S’wak, Sabah NGOs propose establishing Borneo-owned institute on economic devt, political science

The participants of the ‘Malaysia at 60: The Borneo State Symposium’ in a group photo in front of Menara Yayasan Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Saturday (Nov 11, 2023).

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 13: The federal government has been urged to set up an Institute of Economic Development and Political Science in Borneo to increase the intellectual wealth of the Borneo community.

This was among the nine-point resolution proposed by Sabah Action Body Advocating Rights (SABAR) and The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) at the ‘Malaysia at 60: The Borneo State Symposium’ held at Menara Yayasan Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on Saturday (Nov 11).

The parties also resolved to have Sabah and Sarawak pursue sustainable economic growth in tandem with the region’s economic growth and obtain territorial rights over their resources found within their respective boundaries and that these resources are to be used mainly for its own economic development.

Additionally, they proposed that the equitable share of Federal revenue derived from Sabah and Sarawak be used to eradicate poverty and build world-class infrastructure to create a modern and vibrant economy.

The symposium also proposed that the federal government honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and what was recommended in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report; appoint representatives from Sabah and Sarawak into the National Fiscal and Monetary Policy-making bodies and its implementing agencies; practise inclusiveness in respect of equality of opportunities in terms of access to markets, resources, and unbiased regulatory environment for businesses and individuals in Sabah and Sarawak; respect the secular, plural, multi-cultural and multi-religious of Sabah and Sarawak and allow them to flourish without hindrance; and return the autonomy in key areas like education and health to build a unique, modern, progressive, and sustainable future for the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak.

At the same time, more than 180 participants from Sabah and Sarawak attended the symposium, which had panel discussions on the political development of the two Borneo States for the past 60 years and the future potential of both States in key areas like the economy, social development, and sustainability.

Among the speakers were DSP Bernard Dompok, prominent leaders from Sabah and Sarawak, experts from their respective fields, panellists, and invited participants who participated in a robust discussion on the future of Borneo States. — DayakDaily