Monday, September 17, 2012

Pledges on an Oath Stone

Sabah is awakening! A Sabah Catholic bishop questioned if a 49-year-old federal agreement with his home state has been kept as Malaysia marked the anniversary of its founding yesterday, signalling palpable discontent at Putrajaya’s profligate neglect of the state over the years.

Bishop Cornelius Piong (left) in his Malaysia Day message published yesterday in the latest edition of the Herald, the country’s sole Catholic paper, gave a reminder that 49 years ago leaders from the federation of Malaya promised the people of Sabah they would progress together and have their basic human rights protected, in a pitch to convince them to come together and form the country, now known as Malaysia.

The three key pledges, Piong highlighted, were guarantees that Sabahans would have (1) freedom of religion, (2) their native land would be safeguarded by the state government, and (3) the federal government would respect and protect Sabah local customs.

“The agreement was carved on an oath stone (Batu Sumpah Peringatan) which is still visible read and remembered,” said the bishop, who is in charge of the Catholic diocese of Keningau, which is the oldest and largest district in the interior of Sabah. He added that the oath stone still stands in the compound of Keningau district council’s administration centre.

His pertinent question: “Are these promises still being respected and honoured?” Sabahans have much to reflect, contemplate and ponder. But deep inside, I know that they already have the answer.

1 comment:

Kurtis Ren said...

"Freedom of religion" is a very touchy subject as far as the malay's are concerned. I don't exactly know how the current muslim's think about their standing within the country. We may be a Muslim established country, but I really think - that EVERYONE of any race, should not be forced into religion just because it is deemed necessary.

Yet again, this state of mindset has been restraining the country from progressing any further (I believe we're a 3rd world country, or at least similar to one) and until one takes the leap of faith, nothing can be achieved just yet.