Sabahans must have the right to participate in the administration of Malaysia, because this is the country they formed with Malaya and Sarawak, said a local lawyer.
KOTA KINABALU: It is time the Federal Government honours the Malaysia Agreement 1963 by setting up the Sabah branch of the Federal Public Services Commission, said state opposition Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).
SAPP supreme council member Kent Yong said the setting up of the commission is necessary so that the promise of Borneonisation of federal departments and agencies in the state could be fulfilled.
He said the number of Sabahans working in federal departments and agencies was dropping as Malaysians from other parts of the country were being posted to the state either as directors or administration assistants.
“The commission once set-up would definitely correct the imbalances, which is getting serious,” Yong said.
He noted that the commission as stated in the agreement should have full authority in respect of all appointments, promotions and discipline of the Federal Public Services in Sabah.
He said there was no reason for the Federal government to refuse to set up the commission here since Sarawak already had one.
“The Sarawak branch of the Federal Public Services Commission is responsible on matters regarding recruitment and service for members of the Federal Public Service in Sarawak,” he noted.
In the case of neighbouring Sarawak, a secretariat provides consultancy services to the public on career opportunities in the public service as well as manages the services of federal department personnel throughout Sarawak.
Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement provides for implementing the assurances, undertakings and recommendations contained in the Inter-Governmental Report signed on Feb 27, 1963 by the governments of the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak.
The Inter-Governmental Report states that Natives of Sabah and Sarawak should be given preference over other candidates for all the posts in the State and Federal Public Departments in Sabah and Sarawak.
‘Sabahans must have rights’
The Federal government is also bound to ensure that there is a reasonable number of positions in the Federal Public Service for natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
“In other words, all the governments departments in Sabah, be it State or Federal are required to employ Sabahans according to the Malaysia Agreement,” said Yong.
“Unfortunately, the Sabah branch of the Federal Public Commission has not been set up since Merdeka,” he said, adding that Sabahans are entitled to fill the quota of reasonable number of positions in the federal departments and agencies in their own state.
There are about 81 federal departments and 39 federal statutory bodies in Sabah and its full implementation would provide numerous employment opportunities to Sabahans.
“Sabahans must have the right to participate in the administration of Malaysia, because this is the country they formed with Malaya and Sarawak,” said Yong, a prominent lawyer based in Sandakan.
He reminded that two Sabahans, Bernard Fung and Nazib Maidan, had filed a suit against both the federal and state governments for their failure to implement the Borneonisation programme.
The two also wanted to know if the state Barisan Nasional government would pursue the Borneonisation programme for the people starting with the setting-up of the Sabah branch of the Federal Public Service Commission.