Interesting article by Zainon Ahmad, The Sun, Tuesday, July 24, 2007 reproduced in a blog entitled 31august1957 for your reading pleasure - Blog Administrator
Winning over Sabah and Sarawak
INITIALLY the leaders of Sabah (then British North Borneo) and Sarawak were opposed to Malaysia or at best gave it a lukewarm welcome after it was proposed by Tunku Abdul Rahman on May 27, 1961 at the Foreign Correspondents Association in Singapore.
“Let us become independent first and then we will decide whether to join Malaysia or not,” said Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui, the Kuching mayor and leader of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), formed in 1959.
Other prominent Sarawak leaders like Datu Abang Haji Openg – later the first local governor – and Abang Mustapha Abang Haji Abdul Gapor who are also members of the Council Negeri, considered the oldest legislature in the country, were unanimous in their opposition to the Tunku’s plan.
In Sabah, Tun Fuad Stephens (then Donald Stephens), a newspaper publisher, a member of the State Council and Huguan Siou (paramount leader) of the Kadazan/Dusun people, shared the same view as Ong. “We must not be seen as changing colonial masters,” was the response of the United National Kadazan Organisation (Unko), a party Fuad formed with Keningau
community leader GS Sundang. They contacted leaders from the other territories to see whether they should revive the idea of a federation of Borneo states of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei instead.
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