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Sabah: A victim of its own misfortune

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk James Ligunjang says Sabah finds itself as a casualty of its own circumstances due to an overreliance on the assurances made by Malayan leaders.

The former assemblyman for Petagas stressed that following Malaysia’s establishment in 1963, Sabah and Sarawak had been consistently promised that their progress would be on par with that of Malaya.

“Regrettably, Sabahan leaders have placed unwavering trust in these hollow commitments and neglected to firmly demand the realisation of the terms agreed upon in the Malaysia Agreement,” he said in a statement Monday.

He added consequently, Sabah has fallen behind in all areas of development compared to Malaya.

“Instead of safeguarding Sabah’s rights within the Federation, our political representatives have allowed these rights to be gradually eroded, ” he said

Ligunjang also pointed out that Sabah’s position has shifted from being a founding member of the Federation to merely one of the 13 states in Malaysia.

According to him, this transition in status has hindered our ability to secure a just portion of the 40% federal revenue owed to Sabah.

Additionally, by permitting Malayan parties to intervene in our internal political processes, we have compromised the autonomy of our political affairs, he said “

“These critical oversights have had a significant negative impact on Sabah’s overall progress and sovereignty, to our great detriment.”

“Had our political leaders taken a similar approach with Brunei in 1963, Sabah, with its immense wealth in natural resources, would not be the poorest state in Malaysia today, ” Ligunjang said.

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