Friday, 14 November 2014

Stop Harassing Sabah Rights Activists – Dr. Jeffrey

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Kota Kinabalu: “The Prime Minister and his federal government and the powers that be should stop behaving like colonial masters and warlords and stop the harassment of Sabah rights activists and Sabahans wishing for a better deal and future for Sabah in the Federation of Malaysia” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief cum Bingkor State Assemblyman in response to reports that 10 Sabahans were called to give their statements at the Police District Headquarters in Ranau on Tuesday under investigations for sedition for a reported incident in Tambunan.

“The use of the purported investigations is a clear-cut abuse of power to lord over and control Sabahans to ensure Umno/Malaya’s dominance and colonization over Sabah” added Dr. Jeffrey.

The team of 4 police investigators from IPD Keningau questioned the 10 persons linked to an NGO, Semangat Sehati Perjuangan Rakyat (SSPR), for almost 6 hours from the morning until about 4.00pm. with questions being asked what were contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the collection of signatures on Sabah rights.

Although it was reported that the investigators acted professionally and courteously, it was still an abuse of power. There is nothing criminal or wrong for any Sabahan to seek the restoration of the rights, privileges and autonomy of the Sabah that were taken away or eroded since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.


However, the investigators were reportedly to have said that the matter would be referred to the Attorney General for further directions.

Before this, two other alleged members of SSPR were also called for by IPD Ranau police and investigated under the Peaceful Assembly Act for allegedly collecting signatures in a signature campaign for Sabah rights in Ranau and in Kundasang.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jeffrey when giving feedback on this issue, said the authorities should not interfere with the movement of activists who not more than fighting for the rights of Sabah in accordance with the law arising from the failure of the federal government in honouring the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the marginalized treatment of Sabahans.

The police ought to know that the Court of Appeal decided in the case of YB. Nik Nazmi that the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of assembly and it was unconstitutional to impose the unlawful requirement of giving notice to the police. It is clear cut law which the police are not abiding and harassing the Sabah activitists and Sabah rights nationalists.

It is a well known fact that Sabah nationalists and activists are not advocating Sabah or inciting Sabahans to secede from Malaysia. They are merely spreading true facts of history on the formation of Malaysia and that the Malaysia Agreement needs to be complied with by the federal government and all parties involved and that the lawful rights of Sabah ought to be restored.

"It is regrettable that the movement by the group that call themselves SSPR wishing only to create awareness and demand the rights of Sabah based on the truth is seen as seditious by the Umno-led federal government. Instead of harassing and treating the movement activists as criminals, the federal government should listen to the grievances of the people and find out the reasons for their unhappiness.
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