Sabah Umno Youth has described the remark by former Suhakam vice-chairman Simon Sipaun that “life in Sabah before Malaysia was good” as unfair and ignorant of Malaysia’s history.
Its head Azman Ruslan said the remark was also tantamount to questioning the wisdom behind Sabah’s decision to join the formation of Malaysia.
“As a former top civil servant in the state, Sipaun is in a better position? to understand the background and history of the formation of the Malaysia.
“The fact cannot be denied that the views of the people of (the then) North Borneo and Sarawak were ascertained through the Cobbold Commission of Enquiry before the proposed Federation of Malaysia was formalised.
“In fact the president of the United National Kadazan Organisation (Unko),?Donald A. Stephens (later Tun Mohd Fuad Stephens), was elected chairman of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC),” he told Bernama recently.
Among MSCC’s objectives was to collect and collate views and opinions? oncerning the creation of Malaysia consisting of Brunei, North Borneo (Sabah),?Sarawak, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya.
Quoting the Cobbold Commission’s report, Azman said, Unko had contended that the best security for the future of the former and the then British colonies in Southeast Asia “lies in their getting together to form Malaysia.”
Azman said Unko, the first Sabah political party, also maintained that unless Malaysia came about, there might be a ‘claim’ to the Borneo territories from elsewhere.
In a remark made at a seminar organised by the United Borneo Front on Saturday and published in a local daily, Sipaun said life in Sabah was considerably better in many aspects before Malaysia was formed compared to now.
Sipaun, a former Sabah state secretary, was also quoted as saying that the political union between Borneo territories and Malaysia was at best “an artificial one as the two regions had very little, if any, in common.”? Azman said the remark was “a blatant disrespect to the founding fathers of?Malaysia”, especially to the late Tun Mohd Fuad, the first “Huguan Siou” or paramount leader of the Kadazandusun.
“The world has moved on ever since Malaysia was formed some 48 years ago.
Why then there was a need to tell the people of Sabah now that having joined the Federation of Malaysia was a ‘mistake’,” he said.