Please leave Sabah in peace

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Dear claimants of the Sulu sultanate, the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF),

The Brunei sultanate was a colonising overlord on territories that now constitute Sabah, who gave some of that territory to another colonising overlord, the Sulu sultanate, who went into business with another colonising overlord, the British North Borneo Chartered Company, who then gave Sabah to the British Crown.

The people who lived in those territories that now make up the territory of Sabah were not asked on what they thought or how they felt about any of these power handovers. They did not have a referendum, nor cast a vote in the matter at all.

Sabah exercised her right to self-determination, first declaring self-governance on Aug 31, 1963 to be followed by deciding to join Sarawak and Malaya (and Singapore) to form a new independent country called Malaysia on Sept 16,, 1963. Without Sabah there would be no Malaysia.

Without Sabah, there would be no Malaysia.

The Sulu sultanate and the Philippines do not have a claim over Sabah because the people of Sabah have rejected them, and made a choice through the right of self-determination. This choice is reinstated at every general election, and every time we pay our Malaysian taxes.

Ask Sabahans what they think about the Philippines and the Sulu sultanate’s claim to Sabah. Sabah belongs to Sabahans. Please listen to the Sabahan voice.

I am sympathetic to the people of the southern Philippines who desire to establish an autonomous zone for themselves. Peace in the southern Philippines is also peace for Sabah. But you have no rights to claim anything but friendship from Sabah.

I give you my friendship. But right now, please take your warring colonialist attitude away. We do not want any more bloodshed.

Please leave Sabah in peace.

YEE I-LANN is a Sabahan artist.


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