- Saya ingin merujuk kepada suatu artikel oleh media antarabangsa Al Jazeera bertajuk “Very hush-hush: Borneo’s $80bn carbon deal stokes controversy” yang telah disiarkan semalam, 2 Februari 2022.
- Artikel itu menyebut bahawa mengikut seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah, Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) ini telahpun dibentangkan dan diluluskan pelaksanaannya dalam Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Sabah. Ini merupakan suatu kenyataan yang tidak benar dan mengelirukan rakyat Sabah dan masyarakat antarabangsa.
- Pada 6 Disember 2021, saya sebagai Ketua Pembangkang di DUN Sabah telah membangkitkan isu mengenai NCA ini dan buat pertama kalinya ia disebut dalam Mesyuarat DUN Sabah. Saya telah mempersoalkan kewajaran Kerajaan Negeri Sabah menandatangani perjanjian ini yang dilihat sebagai berat sebelah dan tidak memberi kepentingan yang jelas kepada rakyat dan negeri Sabah.
- Pertamanya, tempoh durasi perjanjian adalah selama 100 tahun dan ini menyebabkan 2 juta hektar hutan negeri Sabah diserahkan kepada syarikat asing yang berpengkalan di Singapura. Keduanya, tindakan Kerajaan Negeri yang tidak membuat konsultasi umum sebelum memasuki Perjanjian ini juga dipersoal. Ketiganya, saya juga telah membangkitkan kredibiliti pihak yang memasuki Perjanjian ini dengan Kerajaan Negeri Sabah. Ini adalah kerana mengikut semakan, syarikat ini tidak pernah mengendalikan apa-apa perniagaan dalam industri karbon kredit.
- Untuk rekod, tiada sebarang kertas usul dibawa oleh pihak Kerajaan dalam DUN yang lalu mengenai Perjanjian ini. Oleh yang demikian, saya menyangkal kenyataan bahawa NCA ini telah dibentangkan dan diluluskan oleh DUN. Kenyataan yang tidak bertanggungjawab ini boleh membuatkan kesemua Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri, termasuk dari blok pembangkang menanggung liabiliti Perjanjian berat sebelah ini. Ini tidak boleh diterima sama sekali.
- Lebih memalukan apabila penyiasatan yang dilakukan oleh Al Jazeera telah mendedahkan beberapa percanggahan fakta yang dikemukakan oleh Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri tersebut, sebagaimana berikut:
(i) Kenyataan beliau bahawa syarikat yang memasuki perjanjian NCA dengan Kerajaan Sabah, Hock Standard adalah sebuah syarikat yang mendapat sokongan daripada Temasek Holding, syarikat pelaburan nasional Singapura. Namun wakil Temasek bila dihubungi Al Jazeera telah menidakkan perkara tersebut.
(ii) Peranan Dr Ho Choon Hou, yang disebut sebagai pengarah syarikat Hock Standard, walhal rekod awam Kerajaan Singapura menunjukkan bahawa pengarah syarikat adalah Benjamin Ng, seorang rakyat Singapura yang disebut dalam Pandora Papers. Manakala pemegang saham pula adalah sebuah shell company yang didaftarkan di British Virgin Island.
- Seperkara lagi yang perlu diberi perhatian ialah cadangan keuntungan 30% yang akan syarikat Hock Standard perolehi. Ini bersamaan dengan RM100juta yang akan didapati sepanjang tempoh Perjanjian dan ia menguntungkan sebuah syarikat asing yang berpengkalan di Singapura. Lebih merisaukan bila mana syarikat ini tidak pernah menjalankan perniagaan karbon kredit sebelum ini. Tiadakah syarikat tempatan yang layak untuk menjalankan perniagaan ini bagi pihak Kerajaan Negeri Sabah?
- Mana-mana wakil Kerajaan Negeri disarankan untuk menolak dari menjadi broker atau orang tengah dalam mana-mana Perjanjian Antarabangsa yang diragui kesahihannya. Kita tidak mahu Perjanjian NCA ini bertukar menjadi suatu skandal yang boleh merosakkan imej Malaysia di mata dunia.
- Berdasarkan pelbagai indikasi dan fakta-fakta yang dikemukakan, Parti Warisan menyarankan agar Kerajaan Negeri Sabah MEMBATALKAN Perjanjian NCA ini dengan serta merta.
- Ketika Parti Warisan memerintah pada tahun 2018, Kerajaan Negeri Sabah telah membekukan kesemua lesen import balak. Saya sebagai Ketua Menteri pada ketika itu juga telah menyerahkan beribu-ribu hektar tanah kepada orang Asal di negeri Sabah sekaligus mengakhiri penantian mereka sejak berpuluh tahun.
- Namun, Kerajaan Negeri pada masa kini pula bertindak mencagarkan tanah negeri ini selama 100 tahun kepada syarikat asing. Turut dibimbangkan apabila Kerajaan Negeri tidak boleh mengesahkan latar belakang dan keupayaan mereka untuk menjaga hasil bumi negeri ini.
- Untuk rekod, Parti Warisan tidak menolak sebarang usaha untuk mengekalkan khazanah bumi Sabah dan digunakan bagi tujuan perusahaan karbon kredit. Perusahaan ini telah dijalankan di seluruh dunia di mana model perniagaannya adalah berdasarkan penjualan karbon dan bukannya pencagaran tanah hutan.
- Parti Warisan boleh menyokong usaha pengekalan rizab hasil bumi negeri Sabah melalui penjualan karbon kredit namun perlulah dilakukan dengan penuh terbuka, berintegriti dan mengambil kira kepentingan Orang Asal dan peribumi.
- Sebagai alternatif, Kerajaan Negeri disaran untuk mempertimbangkan strategi carbon capture, utilisation dan storage (CCUS) yang boleh dipraktikkan di negeri Sabah sebagaimana yang telah dilakukan di seluruh dunia. Ini bagi mengimbangi usaha decarbonisation oleh syarikat-syarikat gergasi dan menangani isu perubahan iklim.
YB DATO’ SERI PANGLIMA MOHD SHAFIE BIN HAJI APDAL
PRESIDEN PARTI WARISAN
3 FEBRUARI 2022, KOTA KINABALU
Hoch Standard Pte Ltd (Hoch) credibility as the company that is dealing with the Sabah Government on the Nature Conservation Agreement is highly doubtful. The business address given refers to a residential unit in International Plaza, Anson Road and from checks made from concerned citizens and friends the unit has been dormant from since at least November 15th, 2021 based on the notice from the building management to the tenant left in front of their doorstep.
Please check out the pictures and videos taken to see it for yourselves and judge whether we want to surrender Sabah’s 2 million hectares of forest for 100 years to a company running from an apartment.
KOTA KINABALU : As daily new Covid 19 cases in Sabah hovers above 2,000 for the past 2 weeks with experts suggesting another incoming crisis, Warisan today, while stating that even though some in Government have claimed that they have done well on overcoming the pandemic, questioned the Sabah State Government for its continuous inability to wholly assert themselves when dealing with the Federal Government to resolve to mitigate this clear and present danger to Sabah.
The Deputy President of Warisan, Darell Leiking said that there are now talks of an alleged “standing order” being issued to doctors and nurses in Queen Elizabeth Hospital to prioritise younger patients over the elderly due to the lack of sufficient intensive care unit (ICU) beds and equipment and such order is indeed the saddest thing that a family could have to bear.
“Hence, it should not be left to the doctors, nurses or staffs who have done their utmost best and acted professionally through-out the duration of the pandemic to tell families that the hospital cannot accept their infected members because of the alleged standing order but the entire Sabah Government who never had the courage in the first place to stand up assertively in front of their Putrajaya’s political masters and demand that Sabah be prioritised and have an immediate delivery of all essential medical supplies and apparatus for the benefit of fellow Sabahan.
Never forget that Sabah has been a consistent contributor (more so thru its Oil & Gas and Plantations amongst many more) to the Malaysia’s GDP and continuous announcement of Sabah getting all the needed supplies when in fact there are serious shortcomings only affirms that Sabah never is a priority by their Federal Political Masters.
Time and time again, Warisan and throngs of Sabahans be it in printed or social medias have reminded the State Government to be assertive when dealing with the then PN led Federal Government, and now BN, over the inconsistent supplies to the medical facilities issue, the inconsistent SOPs and on the lack of vaccines to Sabah but they (State Government) have seemed to ignore or if they had attempted to liaise with their Federal leaders have been ignored by their Federal Political Masters instead.
What we only seemed to have heard instead are lavished praises to the former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yasin and media statements announcing that the State Government are doing their job whilst the current predicament faced by the medical facilities and counter facts now speaks for itself.
If at all they had assertively demanded from the Federal Government, then why do we continue hear not only from social medias but also from their own Government State Assemblymen of vaccine shortages at PPVs (Vaccination Centre) that have caused much frustration to Sabahans who had troubled themselves for that particular day to get their vaccinations but only to know that there are limited supplies or none at all.
Have the State Government ever thought that this irregular, limited or inconsistent supply of vaccines at PPVs, which several people have already informed me, will seriously demotivate Sabahans, rendering them to delay their vaccination to a time until there are no more shindigs at PPVs or only when these Covid19 vaccine supplies are guaranteed?”, he said in a statement today.
He also said that there are also reports of oxygen tanks and ventilators from other districts in Sabah being rushed from Beluran and Kinabatangan to the Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan which is also another tell-tale sign of how the State Government lacks foresight in its fight against the pandemic.
“Have the State Government initiated any allocation to purchase ventilators and oxygen tanks to supplement infected Sabahans at all hospitals in Sabah?
Common sense tells us that the need for the oxygen tanks and ventilators in one way or another, will correspond with the increase of daily new cases in a particular district especially in relation to those who need hospitalization and if this State Government had only a little bit of more of foresights, it should have anticipated which district will require these tanks based on the daily reported new cases.
And the State Government should also know that the increase of new cases in the State is based on a constant trajectory hence the reports in the last 2 weeks should have given them ample time to prepare for sudden rise and need of oxygen tanks and ventilators in the State.
But how can we anticipate the next district that will require oxygen tanks (after Sandakan) if the Government continues to tell us that most daily new cases are actually backlog results – since Sabah has only 2 PCR test centres (Kota Kinabalu and Lahad Datu), the delivery of results from these centres to other district can take up to 3 days.
Hence, the State Government must and should establish as many temporary PCR test centres as possible, spread them all over Sabah, so that we can correctly anticipate and triangulate which district that will require sufficient oxygen tanks and related medical instruments to treat Covid patients,” he pressed on.
Leiking also said that the recent revelation by frustrated officials and those who face the reality of what is actually happening on the ground wholly contradicts what the State Government have been announcing of late.
“It would be no surprise at all that some may deem reminders issued by President of Warisan, Shafie Apdal and many others who have reminded, criticised and reprimanded the State Government as merely ‘a statement intended to gain political limelight’ but have these counter-critic realised how could that be a mere statement if the revelations by medical officials and others on the ground contradicts with whatever assurances given by the Government to Sabahans that they are managing the pandemic well?
Let us all admit that that the real pandemic situation in Sabah are not as what they said it to be and in fact Sabah is in a serious and critical medical situation indeed where the Sabah State Government must now present an emergency allocation to supplement what the Federal Government have continuously failed to do for Sabah and now declare that there is indeed a clear and present danger to the health of Sabah not only medically but economically.
Many Sabahans and many medical experts had consistently given warnings, recommendations and ideas to the Federal and Sabah Government on how to contain and mitigate the pandemic Sabah is facing but it would seem that the Government have not seemed to have taken these ideas and recommendations but have just left it to their usual way.
It is imperative that the State Government should while demanding without any reservations from their Federal Political Masters MUST :-
- start engaging first the expertise and facilities available by private clinics in Sabah and even from out of Sabah (as an addition when Sabah-based medical doctors have been fully utilised);
- engage medical experts in the military to combine their current strategic approach to resolve the pandemic in Sabah;
- to immediately deal direct with vaccine producers to procure additional vaccines or even consider taking up the excess vaccine supply as loans from the State of Selangor as had been reported in the media of late;
- to secure more single shot anti Covid-19 Dosage such as CanSino and similar products;
- to allocate from the State’s funds, the purchase of oxygen tanks, ventilators and essential medical utensils and medication to treat and save the lives of all Sabahans young or old; and
- in addition to all, to also secure medical experts who have experience in treating Covid 19 patient treatment regime just as how India, Indonesia and other countries have treated the same including the supply of these proven medication.
It is also proposed just as we had heard as talking points in social media these days that the State Government should consider allocating an aggrievement entitlement of not less than RM5,000/- to the immediate family of those who have passed away because of Covid-19 so that the State Cabinet Ministry will look into the pandemic more seriously than ever before,” he concluded.
Allegations implicating the independence of our Judiciary, the legal profession and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) must not be swept under the carpet.
We refer to news reports on alleged interference with the judiciary involving two senior lawyers and that police reports have been lodged by the parties involved.
An independent Judiciary is central to our democracy and the functioning of our society. An independent Judiciary stands between the people and the Executive as a fort against abuse of power by the latter. The legal profession, on the other hand, is a noble and credible profession.
Not too long ago, the former IGP also alleged interference by the Executive in the course of his work. This was made public just before his retirement.
Allegations implicating the independence of our Judiciary, the legal profession and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) must not be taken lightly.
We call upon the Home Ministry to quickly investigate the police reports lodged. Speedy and thorough investigations must be conducted on the above and the findings be made public.
Malaysians deserve to know and these 3 important institutions’ rightful standing must be preserved and protected.
Darell Leiking (MP Penampang)
Hannah Yeoh (MP Segambut)
Wirawati Parti Warisan Sabah (WARISAN) telah menggesa supaya senarai nombor-nombor telefon Unit Pemimpin Pembangunan Masyarakat (UPPM) Sabah diterbit oleh Kerajaan Negeri Sabah.
Untuk rekod, UPPM merupakan lantikan politik di bawah di bawah Jabatan Ketua Menteri. Terdapat ramai bekas calon GRS yang kalah dalam PRN lalu, telah dilantik sebagai UPPM.
Melalui sebuah yang kenyataan media yang dikeluarkan pada hari Ahad, Izzatul Aini yang merupakan bekas Pegawai Khas kepada Ketua Menteri Sabah berkata, terbitan maklumat UPPM adalah mustahak agar rakyat yang memerlukan bantuan mempunyai cara berhubung dengan wakil-wakil kerajaan.
“Saya menerima banyak aduan dari rakyat. Lebih-lebih lagi di masa pandemik Covid-19 menular.”
“Rakyat hilang arah dan tidak tahu siapa perlu dihubungi untuk memohon bantuan, kerana kerajaan tidak menyenaraikan cara menghubungi UPPM masing-masing.”
“Malah ramai rakyat masih tidak tahu siapa UPPM di kawasan masing-masing.”
Izzatul yang juga merupakan Ketua Wirawati Warisan Putatan menambah, keadaan sekarang amat berbeza dengan pentadbiran Warisan.”
Ketika saya berkhidmat di Pejabat Ketua Menteri pada era pemerintahan Warisan, senarai UPPM itu kami ada buat.”
“Senarai nama UPPM, nombor telefon pejabat dan telefon bimbit UPPM, semua kami sebarkan kepada umum kerana kami mahu memudahkan urusan di antara rakyat dan kerajaan.”
“Tapi sekarang, maklumat menghubungi UPPM masing-masing tidak boleh dijumpa di mana-mana.”
Kata Izzatul, pihaknya dimaklumakan bahawa peruntukan yang besar telah disediakan kepada UPPM.
“GRS sudah umum bahawa sudah ada peruntukan untuk UPPM. Peruntukan itu sudah disediakan, jadi UPPM harus mengguna sebaik mungkin peruntukan itu untuk rakyat yang susah.”
KOTA KINABALU: Gabungan Rakyat Sabah component leaders should emulate their coalition partner Parti Bersatu Sabah in reprimanding a state PAS representative over remarks on segregating shopping trolleys, a Warisan leader said today.
Warisan treasurer-general Terrence Siambun said Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in particular, should follow PBS which had rebuked nominated assemblyman Aliakbar Gulasan of PAS for his comments.
Aliakbar had said trolleys should be segregated for non-halal products in local shops, to which Siambun said the PAS rep had attempted to divide the people through religious bigotry instead of highlighting Sabah’s unique brand of religious coexistence.
He said STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan, who is deputy chief minister, “must now show some leadership in schooling his component partner by educating PAS as how PBS had done a few days ago”.
“Kitingan should emulate Sarawak deputy chief minister James Masing who showed strong leadership and had shown that he is not easily intimidated when anyone challenges Sarawak’s unique social fabric.”
Aliakbar’s call for the segregation of trolleys came after an incident at a supermarket in the interior Keningau district which, according to him, was selling pork without segregating the trolleys used by its customers.
He said this was an insult to the sensitivities of the Muslim community, adding that the supermarket should have checked with the religious authorities first.
PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun subsequently said he was concerned over what he described as “the beginning of signs of extremism creeping into the state”.
Meanwhile, Siambun also said there had been no news from GRS on the proposed Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Muslim Religions Bill to be tabled in Parliament by Perikatan Nasional, as announced by the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (religious affairs) Ahmad Marzuki Shaary last March.
“The time will come when Kitingan, (chief minister) Hajiji Noor or deputy chief minister Bung Moktar Radin will eventually retire but unfortunately it will be our children and grandchildren who will have to bear a myriad of issues relating to racial and religious division because of weak leadership,” he said.
By Jennifer Tugung
There is still a long walk to unity especially among KDM people and its leader. The Chinese Sabahan has united; the Muslim has united; the KDM? The Sabah State Election 2020 is truly a reflection on disunity among KDM.
Even until today, the Kadazan-Dusun community still grapples with unity. Those living in the urban areas might understood this but those in the rural areas? The KDM leaders should make it an ambition to unite everyone and not divide us, KDM.
Shafie is often regarded as ‘tawi-tawi’ or associate with the word ‘pilak’ just because He is of Bajau/ Suluk descent; the introduction of PSS which was wrongly interpreted by the people.
I can’t blame them since the previous minister has somewhat failed to make people comprehend. What saddens me is when my very own KDM friends called him ‘pilak’( I hate using this word, I think it’s the same thing when you use the N word in US). A friend of mine casually explains to me “KDM sangat racist, macam mana mau unite”.
While I understand the PTI issue in Sabah is very critical and sensitive but not only we have grown more divided over the years (ever since UMNO set a foothold here in Sabah), we have also developed prejudice/racism towards those living in the East Coast of Sabah. How sad.
I hope one day KDM, regardless of political views and beliefs, could walk hand in hand in unity to fight for our rights. Om kumaa Mandela.. ogumu poh lahan au navaza diaha.
Tap on the news link to read what Datuk Darell has said previously during the Sabah State Election. I think it’s a good message to all of us KDM. Rakyat Sabah Pantai Timur dan Pantai Barat perlu bersatu.
KOTA KINABALU: Warisan today declined the invitation made by the President of STAR, Jeffrey Kitingan to join Perikatan Nasional (PN) saying that the comment made by the Deputy Chief Minister as ‘humorous’.
The Treasurer General of Warisan, Terrence Siambun said that Kitingan conveniently forgot to invite PBS to formally join Perikatan Nasional (PN) and yet, he (Kitingan) invited Warisan instead.
“Could it be the case that PBS, just like Warisan, had also rejected Jeffrey’s overtures for PBS to officially join PN?” he said in a statement today.
Siambun also said that Kitingan should realize that Shafie Apdal’s reply on his preference to work with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) was merely a respond to a question made by a journalist on whether there had been any discussion with other parties on working together with Warisan.
“Datuk Seri Shafie’s preference to work with PBS were that it shares similar struggles for Sabahans as Warisan and that its President (Ongkili) is a long time personal friend of Shafie and had been a consistent advocate on Sabah’s rights as well.
PBS is also a state-based party that had been consistent throughout these years since its formation and having had been a victim of leap-frogging (the fall of PBS Government after the State General Elections in 1994),” he explained it.
He also said that the unique position held by PBS in the Government allows it to determine the course and direction of the party without having being dictated by others.
“It is also worthy to note that PBS is not a formal component member of BN or PN but only supports the Government of the Day and whose support we are certain is contingent upon ensuring the Malaysia Agreement 1963 are wholly implemented and that Sabahans are given their rightful place in the Federation.
This could well be the reason why PBS President Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili was given the task to helm the Ministry of Sabah & Sarawak Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department,” he said.
Siambun also said that Warisan do not wish to be associated with PAS in PN that had rejected the Bill to amend the Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
“Jeffrey whose STAR party is a formal member of PN also work closely with PAS which is the party that had outrightly rejected the Government’s Bill initiated by Warisan’s Batu Sapi Member of Parliamen to Batu Sapi, the Late Datuk Liew Vui Keong (VK Liew) to Amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to reinstate Sabah and Sarawak to its original definition prior to the 1976 Federal Constitutional amendment.
Perhaps Jeffrey should also clarify his position once more on why he is willing to work with PAS whose party (which now has a Nominated State Assemblyman in Sabah) had outrightly rejects the reinstatement of Sabah and Sarawak as an equal partner of the Federation and its original spirit and definition prior to the amendment in 1976,” he said.
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.”