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Sabah, Sarawak petition for self-determination

NGOs aim 300,000 signatures for submission to UN

KOTA KINABALU - Two NGOs, Sarawak Association for Peoples Aspirations (Sapa) and United Borneo Front(UBF) in Sabah - are collaborating to collect 300,000 signatures for the Sabah, Sarawak petition. for self-determination for submission to the United Nations (UN).

The campaign which kicked off on Aug 9 is said to have received over-whelming support from the people but still lacks support from elected representative in both states.

"So far, only three leaders have signed the petition. One elected representative is worth more because he or she represents his or her constituency.It could mean their signatures are worth 100,000 signatures!

"Therefore,it is imperative that our politicians from both sides of the divide unite in support of the cause as their signature would carry more weight," said Sapa President Lina Soo after delivering her presentation at the Malaysia at Crossroad forum here, Thursday.

The forum which entered its second day was grganised by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) think tank the Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis(PIPPA)

and attended by more than 200 people.

Soo said the association had been travelling all over Sarawak to collect signatures

in order for the petition to be submitted to the UN in New York in six months time.

The campaign in Sabah will be spearheaded by UBF which reported that the campaign is doing well in Sabah. "Other than going to the districts, we have even put a counter for the petition every weekend in Gaya Street for people to sign. People are signing it," said UBF Chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who is also Bingkor Assemblyman.

The petition is an effort to revisit the original petition for self-determination submitted 52 years ago by Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo political parties to the UN and was then accepted for hearing in mid-December 1962.

The delegation, however, was forced to abandon their journey to.the UN due to the outbreak of the Brunei Uprising on Dec.8,1962.

Meanwhile, during her presentation, Soo repudiated claims that Sarawakians at the time consented to the Malaysia project. "At the time, there were strong objections to the idea even at the grassroots level.

More than 5,000 people gathered and lined up the road in Miri to show their opposition to the Malaysia idea.

"Along the Rajang river, flags and banners,expressing the people's dismay about Malaysia, were raised with the hope that the UN Commission charged to gather opinion of the people, would see them," she said.

Unfortunately, the movement, which was backed by the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), was accused of being communist-motivated and crushed by the British.

During that time, she said, the people wanted the Brooke family to come back and govern Sarawak and eventually grant them independence.

"Declassified documents in London revealed that the heir to the dynasty, at that time, was blocked from leaving London and returning to Sarawak This as how the British played us.

"And this is why we are planning to sue the British Government because of breach of trusteeship They colonised us and left us just like that. It was irresponsible and they must be held liable for violating our rights.

"Because of their irresponsibility and their collusion with Malaya, we have become the victims of Malaya's greed," she said.

By Tracy Patrick

From: SaSa General FEED


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