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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yong: Why the need for many committees?

KOTA KINABALU - SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee has questioned the need to form "committees after committees" to deal with Sabah issues.

"We now hear about a committee on "devolution" chaired by the Sabah State Secretary plus another one chaired by a minister.

"Why is there now a maze of committees that can only delay and bury the issue of Sabah Rights? Since the 40% entitlement (a revenue right) is part of the constitution, all that remains is for the Federal government to implement it. That's all.

"As I understand it, more than a year ago, a team from Sabah had submitted to the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister a memorandum on the 40% entitlement.

"That is already the highest level of government. What is there left for a Sabah Rights Review Committee another farce like the RCI Technical Committee that has gone "missing in action?" Yong asked.

"The lack of confidence in the government is compounded by the scary fact government leaders do not know the difference between devolution and autonomy.

"Devolution, like decentralisation, is top-down delegation of powers from a central government in a unitary state, such as a kingdom, to lower levels of government," he said.

"Whereas, autonomy means that a country like Sabah retains all residual powers other than specific powers (such as external defence and foreign affairs) passed on to the federal (not central) government.

"Whereas an autonomous state is master of itself, a devolved state is merely a sub-division of the bigger unitary nation. To ask for devolution is to make Sabah subservient to Malaya.

"To fight for autonomy is to insist that we are masters of ourselves. Hence, what Sabah should be striving for is autonomy, not devolution.

"Ultimately, Sabah will rid Sabah of Malaya parties in order to regain full autonomy so that Sabahans are free to elect our own Government with no interference from Malaya parties of whatever ideology or race," Yong said.

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