Thursday, 4 December 2014

Threatening Sabah, Sarawak won’t work

The manner of the announcement on the Sedition Act goes back to the colonial-era of dictatorial control over Sabahans and Sarawakians.

KOTA KINABALU: “Sabahans and Sarawakians need to unite and stand up for their Rights.”

That is the most important message and lesson for Sabahans and Sarawakians to learn from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s move to retain and fortify the Sedition Act against nationalists and activists of Sabah and Sarawak rights, said Jeffrey Kitingan, Star Sabah Chief in a statement.

”It may be a bitter pill to swallow for the leaders and grassroots of Umno Sabah and other BN components in Sabah and Sarawak but the reality has been laid bare at the Umno General Assembly that the Prime Minister cannot be relied upon to safeguard Sabah and Sarawak rights.”

Sadly for Sabah and Sarawak, Najib has failed miserably to demonstrate true leadership and failed to show that he is the Prime Minister for all Malaysians, including for Sabahans and Sarawakians, and made a mockery of his own “1Malaysia” slogan, he added. “To add salt to injury, there were open calls for “1-Melayu” to replace 1-Malaysia.”

”The retention of the Sedition Act after a grandiose announcement to the world in 2012 that it would be repealed is more than a long line of his flip-flop policies and his waning credibility.”

Jeffrey described the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak as not over a simple broken promise but one involving fair and equitable treatment for them including the restoration of their rights as promised in the formation of Malaysia.

”The manner of the announcement on the Sedition Act is sheer arrogance of the highest order and a clear-cut abuse of power, taking Malaysia back to the colonial-era of dictatorial control over Malaysians particularly Sabahans and Sarawakians,” said Jeffrey.

“Even the British who started the sedition laws know better and the Sedition Act has been abolished in the United Kingdom where sedition is no longer a criminal offence.”

There was a basis that led to the formation of Malaysia, he stressed, and if that basis is not honoured, one of the lawful and legal recourses would be a de-merger or dissolution.

”These nationalists and activists are not seeking additional rights or taking away rights from Malaya or others, he added. “Sabah and Sarawak rights are not different from the claim for Malay rights in the Peninsula.”

”There is no necessity to threaten and intimidate Sabahans so as to control Sabahans to ensure Umno/Malaya’s dominance and colonisation over Sabah.”

If the federal government had any decency and treated Sabahans as equal to Malaysians, he continued, the proper course would have been to engage the nationalists and activists and address the grievances and injustices against the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

The Prime Minister and Home Minister should be aware that the continued threats against the rights of the Borneo States will not dampen the voices and spirit of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, warned Jeffrey. “Any further harassment and continued ignoring of the rights of the Borneo States will only make their voices grow louder.”

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