The State Reform Party (Star) has queried varied claims by Umno on solving all problems in Sabah including the 20 Points and Borneonisation, issues raised by the party, and dismissing it in the process as “a party from outside” i.e. Sarawak.
The party, in a statement, challenged Deputy Chief Minister, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president and Huguan Siou Joseph Pairin Kitingan to state his stand publicly on the Umno claims, “equivalent to staying in a glass house and throwing stones at others”.
“It is Umno which is the party from outside, Malaya. It has crossed over from the other side, across the South China Sea, to step up the internal colonisation of Sabah and Sarawak,” said Star deputy chairman Awang Ahmad Sah in the statement after consultation in Kota Kinabalu with the party’s three other deputy chairmen and clearing with chairman Jeffrey Kitingan.
Star may have its national headquarters in Kuching, added Ahmad, but both the Sarawak and Sabah chapters are locally incorporated, autonomous and independent of each other unlike Umno in Sabah.
“We, Sabah and Sarawak, are together in building a 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament,” he explained. “The Sarawakians, unlike Putrajaya, are not telling us in Sabah what to do.”
He said that under Umno, even the Chief Minister of Sabah was appointed by Putrajaya in defiance of the will of the people, the state assembly, the state constitution and the Governor.
This stems from Umno in Sabah not being locally incorporated, independent or autonomous, he further observed. “The Sabah Umno Chief is not elected by locals but picked by the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and thrust on members.”
He was responding to a statement in the local media on Thurs by Liawan state assemblyman Sairin Karno against Jeffrey.
The statement by Sairin also thanks Umno for making him a state assemblyman unlike his previous party, the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno), “which could never bring him victory at the polls”. Usno is a member of the Star-initiated United Borneo Alliance (UBA).
He also paid tribute to PBS state assemblymen, Rubin Balang and Lajim Ukin, for defecting to Umno in 1994 to allow the latter party to come to power.
Sairin has issued repeated challenges to Jeffrey in recent days, via the local media, to debate him on Borneonisation and the 20 Points “despite the party calling his bluff on these issues every time and accepting his dare while questioning his understanding of protocol and locus standi.”
His latest take is that such a debate with Jeffrey is no longer necessary or relevant since Umno has solved all problems in Sabah, including that on the 20 Points and Borneonisation, “presumably within days of him first issuing his challenge”.
“Sairin’s claim is no different from other claims by Umno which are based on nothing but sheer lies to insult our intelligence as a people and to hoodwink the world,” said Ahmad. “The international community is watching us being picked on by local proxies of Putrajaya.”
Such tall claims, noted the Star deputy chief, was in line with other sheer lies trotted out recently by Umno “and its lackeys”.
As examples, he cited the recent claim by the Election Commission that the country’s electoral rolls were the cleanest in the world, and other equally preposterous claims like the education system, the police and the civil service being “the best in the world”.
Touching on three aspects of the 20 Points which is linked among others to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, Ahmad pointed out that the head of government in Sabah would be known as Prime Minister, the Governor would be the Yang di Pertuan Negara and not Yang di Pertua Negeri, and the state would be unqualified in being secular.
“Borneonisation has not seen non-Muslim Natives, apart from one or two, being appointed to head federal departments in Sabah,” alleged Ahmad. “Instead, Borneonisation has been used by Putrajaya as a colonial divide-and-rule tactic, pitting the Muslims and non-Muslims against each other other in an effort to create racial polarisation in the state like in Malaya to disunite us.”
Among Muslims, he stressed that Indonesians — not considered Natives — apart from Peninsular Malaysians held a disproportionate share of Federal Government posts as heads in Sabah.
In Sarawak, according to Ahmad, there’s an autonomous Sarawak Federal Public Services Commission unlike in Sabah which still comes under Putrajaya.
“Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud doesn’t take too kindly to anyone from Peninsular Malaysia being appointed to head a Federal Department in the state,” claimed Ahmad. “He doesn’t hesitate to impose the work permit ruling strictly and keeps Umno out.”
“In Sabah, any Tom, Dick and Harry from Peninsular Malaysia can head a Federal Department in the state with Umno in power.”
Ahmad alleged that Sairin, like other Umno leaders, was afraid to debate Star leaders in the run-up to the 13th General Election “given his poor command of Bahasa, zero ability in English and ignorance of the various issues”.
He reiterated the willingness of Star leaders to debate anyone in Umno besides Sairin, including Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, on all issues facing Sabah including the 20 Points and Borneonisation, “so that the people can judge the calibre of their leaders”.
“The latest example of Umno’s failing is imposing a minimum wage of RM 800 per month on Sabah and Sarawak while giving RM 900 per month to Peninsular Malaysia,” fumed Ahmad.
“Anyone who has been in Sabah and Sarawak knows that our cost-of-living is 40 per cent higher than in Peninsular Malaysia because of the National Cabotage Policy (NCP), among others.”
The NCP, along with Putrajaya taking a disproportionate share — more than RM 40 billion a year in revenue — is the reason why Sabah, despite being rich in natural resources, is the poorest state in Malaysia, continued Ahmad.
Ahmad advised Sairin and other Umno leaders or opposition parties in Sabah to contact Demokrasi Sabah (Desah), an NGO headed by former Sabah state secretary Simon Sipaun, to arrange for any public debate with Star leaders. Desah, a new NGO, wants to promote one-to-one contests in Sabah to further strengthen and entrench a two-party system in the country.
He suggested that the continuing influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah, the issuance of Malaysian personal documents to them, their placement on the electoral rolls to especially disenfranchise local Muslims, and the illegals going on to claim instant Native status, “be the first of the subjects to be debated”.
Thursday, 3 May, 2012