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Sunday, May 6, 2018

2-Party System Will Bury Sabah Rights – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “Sabahans should be wary of the promotion of the 2-Party system, Pakatan Harapan vs Barisan Nasional, and their campaign that PH is the only viable option for Sabahans to change the government as it will kill off Sabah Rights” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku in a press statement released today.

While there are merits in a 2-Party system, Sabahans should realize that given that Malaysia is a 2-tier federation, the 2-Party system is not suitable for Sabah and Sarawak.  At the first tier, Malaysia is a federation of now 3-regions, the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, while the second tier, the Federation of Malaya is a federation of the 11 States in Malaya.

None of the 11 States in Malaya is equivalent to Sabah or Sarawak in rights and ranking and certainly not in size.  Despite the official map size of Malaya being bigger than the size of Sabah and Sarawak, the reality is the opposite.  Sarawak is almost as big in area as Malaya while Sabah is bigger than 6 of the Malayan States and 90 times the size of Perlis.

Neither is it correct to put Sabah and Sarawak as the 12th and 13th States in Malaysia which means in reality that they are the 12th and 13th States of Malaya, renamed as Malaysia.

“If the 2-Party system is fully established in Sabah, the special rights and privileges of Sabah will be buried inside the 2-Party system and will have no chance of being restored” said Dr. Jeffrey.

The rights of Sabah in Malaysia were agreed upon before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.  There are rights and privileges exclusive to Sabah and Sarawak and which are not available to the other 11 States in Malaya.  Such rights include, immigration, language, religion, revenue rights and veto powers in Parliament as well safeguards with regards to amends to the Federal Constitution.  None of these rights and privileges are given to the 11 States in Malaya.

If the 2-Party system is practized in full, representatives of Sabah in the political parties in each of the 2-Party system will be a small minority and will not be able to influence any outcome in the party decision.

As rightly said by the late Tan Sri Adenan, then as Chief Minister of Sarawak, he would have to remain outside and not be inside Umno as he would be a minority voice and would be out-voted.  Hence, he would not be able to protect or safeguard the interests of Sarawak.

The best option to protect and safeguard Sabah’s rights and privileges is to remain outside the 2-Party system but to work and cooperate to form the Federal government.  And if they do not form part of the Federal government, then it should be as an autonomous State government standing up to the Federal government and not being subservient to their political masters in Malaya.

For instance, now Sabah Umno is in no position to safeguard Sabah’s rights and privileges and powerless to demand for their implementation unless they are prepared to be removed and replaced by other representatives.  They would have to toe the party line which is inconsistent with the rights of Sabah.

This is happening in the case of the 5% “oil royalties” or cash payment where the Sabah government is unable to demand for it to be increased and have to accept a big NO from the Federal government.  Similarly, Sabah BN cannot demand for the 40% net revenues to be returned or to enforce the implementation of the RCI on illegal immigrants.  Even if they want to bring it up in Umno general assembly or their supreme council, they will be out-voted.

However, an autonomous Sabah government, which the Gabungan Sabah is advocating, will be able to act on its own and not be subservient or fear any backlash from political masters in Malaya.  Neither would the autonomous government be labelled as pro-BN or BN-friendly as put out by PH propaganda.  An autonomous Sabah government is no different from the PH States of Selangor and Penang which they do not label as pro-BN or BN-friendly.  It is definitely a plus point for Sabahans when considering their vote in PRU-14.

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