Penampang: Non-governmental organisation (NGO) KDM Malaysia said it strongly disagrees with the overbearing tactics and action taken by the authorities in charging some people in Sabah for alleged sedition.
Its President, Datuk Peter Anthony, said most of the Sabahans that were charged under the Sedition Act were only dissatisfied with the situation they see as unfair to the people in this State.
And because of this, the Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) or Sabah and Sarawak out of Malaysia movement was formed.
He said instead of taking the harsh move by applying the Sedition Act on these mostly indigenous people, the authorities should engage them in a dialogue to find out what are their actual grouses.
"The Government must strive to understand the reasons behind their action," he told reporters after the KDM Malaysia annual general meeting at Penampang Cultural Centre that saw him winning the top position uncontested.
According to him, these mostly rural residents are frustrated with the level of facilities and infrastructure in the state compared with other states in the country.
To this, he said, KDM Malaysia hoped that the government would consider Bumiputera students in the interior of Sabah be given an "open quota" to enter institutes of higher learning across the country.
Because of the glaring gap in facilities between the rural and urban, it is only natural that there would be a difference in education achievements between the two areas.
Further on the SSKM, Anthony said it should not have come to that extent.
He said the movement was mooted out of dissatisfaction on many issues such as employment opportunities and land rights.
On this, he disagreed with the suggestion by President of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) cum Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, that the authorities just arrest those in cohorts with SSKM.
"The SSKM issue must be professionally handled because the people are watching.
"And (even though they may not support the movement) they might get angry with how the authorities or government are treating them," he said.
The problem or their grouses, he said, should be dealt with in stages.
"As the eye and ears to the government, this is our view if the government want to continue being relevant," he said.
On the AGM, apart from Anthony who won uncontested, Datuk Juil Nuantim was elected Deputy President.
Ahuar Rasam and Michael Ubu were retained as Vice President I and Vice President II respectively.
Mudi Dubing was elected the new Vice President III. The new Secretary-General is Eneycia Doulus while Treasurer General, Elsie Vivian Mansin, Information Chief, Donneysius Ansuku, Executive Secretary, Mohd Zinin Andong Ajak, Youth Chief, Henry Soimpon, Beliawanis Chief, Diana Edward and Assistant Youth Chief, Oliver Isidore Bosuin.
The Supreme Council comprise of Abu Bakar Ellah, Agustin Paga, Ampulas Kaluhu, Anthony Anton Laga, Florence Ebbie, Jaikol Pondok, Jasnin Suman, Jickol Tagua, Michael Angkui, Nixboy Piunin, Vitalis Gulabok, Ebby Roy Raimon, Jellysius Saimpon, Masly Dangku and Lazarus Anthony.