Governance Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)

Warisan: Sabah Needs To Assert As Equal Partner

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan today reiterated the need for Sabah to assert itself as an equal partner in the Federation of Malaysia particularly in the drafting and approval process of national policies that would affect everyone in the country.

The party’s Treasurer General, Terrence Siambun said that Sabah cannot continue to remain subservient to the wishes and at the mercy of the power players at Putrajaya for the State’s development.

“Some Sabahan politicians even went as far as bootlicking leaders from Peninsular whom are said to be understanding and accommodating to the plights of the State.

The very act of bootlicking contradicts the idea of Sabah as an equal partner – what we need is Sabahans being given wider opportunity to determine the course and direction of the country particularly in policy and decision making.

And on matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, we must show a very strong and affirmative role as leader to represent and argue for the case of stakeholders from Sabah affected by policies or decisions made under the said jurisdiction,” he said in a statement today.

Siambun was commenting on the report by Daily Express, a local daily from Sabah that earned praises from Datuk Wong Khen Thau, the President of MICCI for the Cabotage Policy highlight resulting the Federal Government to withhold the repeal of the exemption.

“Early last month, I have highlighted the appeal and proposals made by our local tourism players to the Federal Government which should not had happened because those in power should have empathized with their predicaments and argued for their case in the first place.

How could we leave our local tourism players to their own devices at this trying time when they have consistently contributed to the State’s coffer and provide employment to Sabahans before the pandemic?

And now, when a local daily and a prominent activist managed to successfully postpone the repealing of the exemption, a particular PN component party that had been very vocal against the Cabotage Policy in the past suddenly have grown eerily quite when the issue resurfaced.

I would like to believe that the President of this party had argued tooth and nail with the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin behind the scene but it is apparent that this had not happened and interestingly, coffeeshop and kopitiam patrons still remember what he previously had said on the policy more than me,” he explained it.

He added that the process of election essentially is about voting the best leaders who will represent the aspirations and interests of the constituents, stakeholders and State in general.

“How can you ask the people to vote for you during the election time and undertake to be responsible in myriad of issues relating to Sabah but suddenly become powerless after coming into power – whether you like it or not, the voters expect you to understand their situation and fight for them,” he added.

Siambun also said that Warisan will not trade its credibility in return of quick gains or personal opportunities to be enjoyed by several individuals in the party and said potential allies must understand the aspiration of the party.

“It took years with daily challenges to create a credible reputation and it will be foolish for Warisan to ditch its reputation now in return of some gains and opportunities to be enjoyed by several select individuals under the guise of ‘doing it for the people’ more so when the current governing coalition is weakened.

What we had been saying so far about the future of Sabah under PN is correct and the current political dynamics necessitate us to seize the opportunity to play a bigger role in this Federation.

Obviously we cannot do it with Umno, Bersatu and PAS because their immediate priorities and agendas contradict Sabah’s core social aspects and MA63 yet at the same time, we cannot allow these parties to continue with their antiquities because this will eventually destroy the country.

Having said these, Warisan is fully aware that to defeat BN and PN, we need political allies but potential allies must understand our aspirations and our responsibilities towards the State and Sabahans and the need to argue for their cases within the Federal level.”