Despite Sabah being one of the richest states in Malaysia, it remains the poorest with the highest rates of poverty and unemployment. The state suffers from inadequate infrastructure in areas such as health, education, roads, and basic amenities such as water and electricity, particularly in rural areas.
The disparities between Sabah and other Malaysian states have led to frustration and resentment towards the Federal Government for neglecting the promises made in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. The promise by Tunku Abdul Rahman to bring Sabah and Sarawak in parity with Malayan States was an empty one, and the lack of progress has raised doubts among the people of Sabah whether joining in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 was a right decision.
Discord and underlying racial tensions in Sabah’s political development have led to compromises in the fulfillment of the state’s constitutional rights in the Malaysian Federal Constitution. Sabah’s leaders have been trapped by the demands of Malayan leaders, which have hindered Sabah’s progress.
It is time for the people of Sabah, regardless of their ethnicities, races, or religions, to unite and work towards a brighter future for the state.
A better tomorrow is only possible with the cooperation and collaboration of all Sabahans.