Thursday, 4 September 2014

Anger over Barisan’s incompetence fuelling secession talk, say PKR MP

As police probed a Facebook group discussing secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia, a Sabah opposition MP has said such talk is arising now due to East Malaysians' anger over Barisan Nasional's incompetence in governance, which has resulted in numerous problems plaguing the two states.

PKR Penampang MP Darell Leiking said the incompetence and failure of the BN-led state governments to voice the people's unhappiness towards Putrajaya has created a divide between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.

"If the BN Government had done its job for the past 20 years, Sabahans would be very satisfied with Sabah's position within the Federation of Malaysia and there would be no complaints at all from the Sabahans.

"Even the opposition would not be able to wrestle several seats from BN as evidenced in the previous general election," he said in a statement today.

While he does not believe in secession from Malaysia, the first-term MP cited a litany of problems which he said contributed to the people's dissatisfaction with BN.

This included the large number of illegal immigrants in Sabah, the mistreatment of the Borneon state and the review of oil royalty to be paid to Sabah.

The large number of illegal immigrants saw Putrajaya setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry in September 2012 to probe problems related to it, including the issuance of Malaysian documents to Muslim illegal immigrants under a scheme known as Project IC.

The Commission had called 211 witnesses in the proceedings and had submitted its findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong although the report has yet to be made public despite calls from the opposition and activists.

"Even the RCI report on the existence of the illegal immigrants in Sabah is not forthcoming when Sabahans are eagerly waiting for it despite the fact that Sabahans are the ones who paid the costs for the hearing through the peoples' funds known as taxpayers’ money.

"This caused much resentment and the anger among Sabahans towards the nonchalant attitude of the BN government over all these issues has somewhat come to a point that ordinary and non-partisan Sabahans decided to take things in their own hands by educating and spreading the awareness relating to Sabah such as the Birth of Malaysia, the 20 Points Agreement and Sabah's special rights and privileges which were imbued in the Malaysia Agreement 1963," said Darell.

Darell said what Sabahans wanted is simply to be recognised as an equal partner where their opinions and requests are taken seriously.

As such, politicians, activists, civil society and academicians have shared their thought in some forums, which had been deemed "seditious" by the authorities.

"Why is it seditious in nature to speak and discuss about the special rights and privileges held by Sabah which have been acknowledged by the signatories to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in the first place or even the mistreatment felt by the Sabahans all these while?" he asked.

Sabah police commissioner Deputy Comm Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman had said yesterday that the police is investigating the owners of the Facebook account "Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM)" and other related websites.

The account aimed to collect 300,000 signatures to support its objective to reinstate the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, a treaty that brought Sarawak, Sabah, and for a short while Singapore, to form the Federation of Malaysia as equal partners but critics have charged that it has now turned to a “takeover project” by Putrajaya.

Calls for Sabah and Sarawak to secede from Malaysia are treasonous, which carry severe penalties under the law.

However, Darell claimed even some BN members supported calls for a more autonomous Sabah but due to pressure, their hands are tied. – September 4, 2014.



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