Thursday, 4 December 2014

'Allow this group a chance to be heard'

KUALA LUMPUR: Kalabakan Umno Chief Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said the Sedition Act 1948 that will be retained and enhanced must be used wisely without any political agenda.

He said the Act should be enforced in accordance with its provisions to maintain racial and religious harmony and order in the country. "If you want to retain the Sedition Act, then use it based on its provisions and do not misuse it, especially for political purposes.

"Don't simply use the Act to arrest people indiscriminately, especially political enemies, based on hearsay, rumours or speculations. Use the Act wisely and in 'harmony'," he said to Sabah reporters during the Umno General Assembly.

He was commenting on the announcement by party President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his policy speech that the Sedition Act 1948 will be retained and enhanced.

"I have mentioned in Parliament about a small group named as 'Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia' (SSKM). Do not take immediate and stern action against them without knowing the reasons why they are doing so.

"Instead, this group should be called to air their problems so that solutions can be found, which is better than arresting them.

"The group probably has problems like me but the difference is that I could voice my concerns and dissatisfactions over the big gap in development between Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia in the Parliament, but this group does not have the avenue that I have.

"That is why I am recommending that this group be given the chance to be heard and provide them with a proper channel as their members are intellectual people who can think articulately," he said.

On the tabling of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah this month (December), the Kalabakan MP said there is not much difference with the Government tabling the report in the Parliament or making the report public in the form of a book.

This is because, he said, Members of Parliament can still raise the findings shown in the report in the Parliament for debate. On his proposals to address the longstanding problem, Ghapur said the Government must take serious action against those who issue the Malaysian identity cards to illegals.

According to him, there were many allegations that illegals in Sabah obtained genuine Malaysian identity cards and personal identification documents.

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