Musa must protect Sabah’s rights

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

KOTA KINABALU: STAR Sabah leader Jeffrey Kitingan is concerned that the state Barisan Nasional government keeps choking whenever the issue of Borneonisation of the state’s civil service comes up.

He said yesterday the state government seem to be shying away from their duty of ensuring the guarantees given to Sabah in the Malaysia Agreement are adhered to.

Another opportunity to select and place a Borneo native in a senior judicial post is coming up, he said, referring to the post of Registrar of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak which is due to be filled.

The assemblyman for Bingkor said the state government under Chief Minister Musa Aman has so far kept silent on who should fill the post following the mass transfers of prime candidates for the job to the peninsula.

He fears the transfers of seven senior Sabah judicial officers have opened the way for “someone from Malaya” to be given the senior post.

“The federal government should not be allowed to indirectly meddle with the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and do as it pleases.

“The separation of powers in Sabah and Sarawak in the judiciary must be respected and safeguarded at all times,” he said.

Kitingan stressed that it was imperative for the state government to safeguard the autonomy of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and stop the federal authorities from meddling with the affairs of the judiciary in the Borneo states.

“The Sabah government must ensure that the Registrar of the High Court here is headed by a Borneo native and not replaced by another Malayan and put to rest the rumours circulating over his replacement,” he said.

En bloc transfer

He said this while commenting on the promotion of the Sabah High Court Registrar as a Judicial Commissioner recently leaving the post vacant.

Kitingan said the promotion along with the en bloc transfer of seven native Sessions Court judges and magistrates to the peninsula recently aid speculation that a judicial officer from Malaya would be transferred to Sabah to take over the post.

“The rumour then was that the (former) registrar would be promoted and the seven judicial officers were being sent away, removing them from contention to be the replacement Registrar.

“It was also rumoured that the replacement Registrar would be another Muslim officer from the peninsula. So far the rumours have come true” he said.

The fervent Borneo-rights politician is now proposing that additional safeguards are put in place to prevent the further colonisation of the state civil services.

“If not, it will not be surprising if the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak is completely taken over and usurped by the peninsula in the foreseeable future,” he warned, reminding that at the outset of the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the judiciary was to be one of the pillars of the rule of law for Sabah and Sarawak.

It was agreed then that the High Court of Borneo was an equal to the High Court of Malaya, both with an ultimate avenue of appeal to the Privy Council in London.

Since 1963, the Registrar of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak has always been headed by a Borneo native.

“The High Court of Borneo (now High Court of Sabah and Sarawak) has jealously guarded its autonomy and rejected external interference from the peninsula,” Kitingan noted.

If Kuala Lumpur decides to appoint a Malayan as the new registrar it will turn the whole process of Borneonisation of the state civil service on its head, replacing it with a Malayanisation programme, he said.

“It is also totally contrary to the Borneonisation set out under the 20-Points and the Malaysia Agreement.

“It only shows the colonial master mindset of the federal leaders from the peninsula and the sheer trampling of the special rights and privileges of Sabah and Sarawak agreed upon in the formation of Malaysia.

“It is just another step in the colonisation of Sabah and Sarawak by Malaya,” he warned.

Free Malaysia Today


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