‘Reverse Psychology’ by a true Malaysian federalist
20 Sept 2022
I am both amused and concerned to learn that political scientist Prof Wong Chin Huat is accused of stirring up separatist sentiment by Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, UMNO Vice President and former Menteri Besar of Johor.
Prof Wong is the last person to qualify as a Sabah or Sarawak separatist. He does not even support the proposal to give 35% parliamentary seats. Instead, he backs the growing call by me and others that Sabah and Sarawak should first and foremost be given autonomous power on education and health, and a one-third veto power for Sabah and Sarawak in an elected and enhanced Dewan Negara.
Prof Wong is a true Malaysian federalist. His challenge to those Sabahans and Sarawakians who want their home regions to leave Malaysia was cheeky. He wanted them to first advocate for the kind of Malaysia they want to see, with secularism, multiculturalism and decentralisation, and even to Borneonise Malaya.
Such challenge is simply a clever play of reverse psychology, as he explains in his second posting in response, to push Sabahans and Sarawakians to develop a stronger sense of ownership in Malaysia.
I may not agree with many of Prof Wong’s ideas, but I am happy to listen to him. I hope Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and other leaders from the Peninsula too would listen, to not just him, but also more Sabahans and Sarawakians to understand what Malaysians of various backgrounds want of Malaysia. Please be open minded and gentle with dissenting voices.
Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau
President United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO)