Search This Blog

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Yong: Pandikar’s challenge is out of point

KOTA KINABALU - The Gabungan Sabah Alliance, consisting of four Sabah political parties, namely STAR, SAPP, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah, has never brought up the issue of religion. There has been absolutely no thought of and no intention at all to amend  Article 5A of the Sabah constitution making Islam no longer the official religion should the Sabah opposition form the Sabah government.

Therefore, the challenge by Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Hj. Mulia, “in his capacity as a Sabahan and not as a Dewan Rakyat Speaker,” to opposition critics to state whether to amend Article 5A of the Sabah Constitution is out of point. Tan Sri Pandikar has picked only one of the twenty points in the Twenty Points Memorandum of 1963 to argue that Sabah local opposition parties are engaging in “empty rhetoric”.

Non-compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which expressly included the promises made in the Inter-Governmental Report 1962, includes a host of issues to be complied by the government. Examples are the Borneonisation of the public service, the 40% entitlement to net revenue collected from Sabah, minerals resources, Cabotage policy, autonomy and related matters.

Therefore, we should not select only one of the twenty points and then paint the entire struggle for compliance with MA63 as empty rhetoric. In any case, there are many matters, such as oil and gas and trade, among others, which were not mentioned in the Twenty Points Memorandum. Further, the absence of matters in MA63 and the IGC Report 1962 does not preclude Sabahans from raising issues of recent times such as Sabah ICs, information technology, digital economy and regional security.

The fact the Sarawak Legislative Assembly has passed a unanimous motion to reclaim their rights, that both the federal and Sabah governments have formed committees to ensure compliance with MA63 and reclaim Sabah rights, vindicates what the Sabah opposition parties have been saying for many years.

After reading the book “Berpisah Tiada” penned by Tan Sri Pandikar and published by USBO (Pertubuhan Bumi Bersatu Sabah), an NGO, which was launched last Sunday, I feel that the time has come for Sabahans of different political persuasions to come together at a roundtable to lay out all the issues facing Sabah so that Sabahans can re-unite to fight for what rightfully belongs to Sabah. Like Tan Sri Pandikar, I too speak as a Sabahan.

By Yong Teck Lee

No comments:

Post a Comment