KOTA KINABALU: Rights activists behind the Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPIM), a UK-based human rights NGO, sees a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Malaysia as perhaps the best way forward in Borneo after over 50 years of Sabah and Sarawak in Federation with the peninsula.
“We need to institutionalise the debate through a mechanism and RCI would be the ideal approach under the circumstances,” said BoPiM President Daniel John Jambun in a telephone call.
“RCI would be almost like a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after 50 over years of a troubled history.”
He was commenting on media reports that the authorities are after UK-based Doris Jones, the Labuan-born mystery Sabahan who has drawn rave reviews of late for Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM), her rights movement in cyberspace.
The RCI, stressed Daniel, would help heal the deep divide between Borneo and the peninsula on Malaysia.
“These divisions have been accentuated by the degeneration of the Federation into a unitary state, the annual debate in Aug/Sept on the actual age of Malaysia, and the constant din that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” said Daniel. “Then there’s the fear that the Government is rewriting the Constitution through the Court to facilitate creeping desecularisation and creeping Islamisation.”
He suggests that the RCI also examine the declassified colonial documents which may shed light on the exact nature and circumstances of the British departure from Borneo.
BoPIM, disclosed Daniel, has researched colonial history and has come to the conclusion that the Malaysia Project 1963 was less about the people of Borneo, Singapore and Malaya, but more about British concerns and the end of their Empire in this part of the world.
Daniel said, ”We want to know whether the Malayan and British Governments were in cahoots in Borneo,” said Daniel. “The RCI should of course examine the period 1963 todate after the Royal Malay Regiment marched into Borneo.”
The British stand in Borneo, on their departure, was a complete contradiction in terms considering their record in India, said Daniel in citing the most relevant example of colonial duality and duplicity.
“In Borneo, it was the reverse, as two very different people separated by thousands of kilometres of water were forced into being together in a difficult relationship which has only gotten worse over time.”