“The Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker cum Beluran MP is not correct in attempting to state Sabah is on an equal footing with the other States in the Federation and his examples including on the important positions occupied by Sabahan leaders and officials in the federal government and fair share of continuous development as balanced and equitable are totally out of place and incorrect” said Edward Linggu, STAR Sabah Information Chief, in response to the Deputy Speaker’s statement reported in the local media.
Sabahan leaders and officials rarely get appointed to important positions in the federal government. This can be quickly confirmed by a quick glance at all the important positions in the federal government and federal departments and agencies.
Exception Due to 2008 Election Results
The only noticeable exception is certain Sabahans were elevated in the federal cabinet after the political tsunami in the 2008 general elections. That too was by default and by good fortune of the results of the elections where the BN government needed to be rescued and propped up by the lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak.
As a result, certain lawmakers were rewarded with positions including that of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and Deputy Speakers, for fear that they may abandon the BN ship resulting in a change-over of the government to Pakatan Rakyat.
However, it is sad to see that the lawmakers from Sabah merely looked after their own and their party’s interests and failed to capitalize on the window of opportunity to seek the restoration of Sabah’s rights and autonomy including seeking a review of the 1976 Oil Agreement and an increase in the oil revenue for the benefit and future of Sabah and Sabahans.
Inequitable Development in Sabah and Sarawak
It is sad to see a senior Sabahan leader telling his constituents that Sabah’s good stead in the federation needs to be maintained for the state to have its fair share of continuous development and that the rate of development implemented in all the states as balanced and equitable.
Just ask any Sabahan who have been to the Peninsular will tell our honourable MP that the rate of development and the level of development is lop-sided in favour of the Peninsular states.
The promise of development was a major factor tilting the decision of Sabah founding fathers to agree to form Malaysia with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore in 1963.
After 49 years in the federation, Sabah has descended from the 2nd richest State after Selangor in 1970 to now the poorest in Malaysia as reported by the World Bank.
Apart from the abject poverty where 40% of all poor Malaysians are in Sabah and Labuan, Sabah has a deplorable system of roads not even comparable to the rural kampong roads in the Peninsular.
There is a lack of piped clean water even in the biggest interior town of Keningau, what more in the more rural areas like the Deputy Speaker’s own Beluran district. To add salt to the injury, the federal government has spent billions for rural water supply but has chosen to grant a RM235 million loan to improve water supply in part of Keningau. And to rub the salt in, one wonders what has happened to the RM22.7 billion in federal taxes collected by the federal government from Sabah for 2011 that the RM235 million needs to be given as a loan and not a special grant?
What more of the RM15 billion of oil revenue collected from Sabah for 2011?
Time to Replace the Umno/BN Government?
The statement by the honourable Deputy Speaker clearly demonstrate the fact that Sabahans need to stand up and be united to determine their future and not let another opportunity for outsiders and proxies and stooges of Malayan parties to control Sabah.
The time has come for Sabahans to vote out the Umno/BN government in Sabah and replace them with patriotic Sabahans who are prepared to put Sabah’s interests, rights and autonomy first ahead of personal and party interests.
Sabah’s future lies in the hands of us Sabahans.
INI KALI LAH!