Saturday, 25 July 2015
Jeffrey has all along been consistent in his struggle for Sabah rights which has been brushed aside even by Umno Sabah
KOTA KINABALU: Tamparuli assemblyman Wilfred Bumburing said it was unbecoming of Sabah Opposition Chief Lajim Ukin to describe Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan as an Umno Sabah/Barisan Nasional (BN) “stooge” just because the latter and not he was included in the 40 per cent Committee negotiating with the Federal Government for the return of 40 per cent of the revenues collected in Sabah.
“Jeffrey has all along been consistent in his struggle for Sabah rights,” said Bumburing who is also President of the Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS). “Sabah’s rights have all these years been sidelined and brushed aside by the BN leaders especially after the entry of Umno.”
He pointed out that given the fact that Foreign Minister Anifah Aman organised the Public Forum which led to the formation of the 40 per cent committee, although seemingly hostile to Putrajaya, shows that leaders across the political divide are willing to come together in defence of Sabah’s constitutional rights. “Before Anifah entered the picture, Jeffrey had been brushed aside even in the assembly whenever he raised Sabah rights. “The atmosphere in the Sabah Assembly, dominated by Umno, turned hostile whenever Jeffrey spoke up on Sabah rights.”
“Even his own brother, Huguan Siou and Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan, criticized him and shouted him down.”
Bumburing called on Lajim to withdraw his statement against Jeffrey, apologise, and promise never to repeat something that would only further divide the Opposition and the people, and agree to support the work of the 40 per cent committee. “Lajim should stand with fellow Sabahan leaders and join in the struggle for the homeland instead of criticizing and coming up with insinuating comments on issues which he isn’t certain.”
Bumburing pointed out that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak met with the committee which he earlier proposed. “This fact should be appreciated by Lajim. Najib supporting the work of the Committee doesn’t mean that Jeffrey is being used as his tool.”
Bumburing expressed the hope that the 40 per cent Committee will not end up like so many other committees whose findings and reports ended up on a dusty shelf somewhere and were soon forgotten. “This seems to be the fate of the RCI Technical Committee headed by Pairin and the RCI Management Committee headed jointly by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Chief Minister Musa Aman.”
Lajim fears that Jeffrey was being made use of by the Federal Government on the 40 per cent issue. “He was invited to meet with Najib recently on the 40 per cent issue while others including myself as Opposition Chief were left out.”
Jeffrey’s supporters, rebutting Lajim, pointed out that Jeffrey was the first to raise the 40 per cent issue.
The social media, coming to Jeffrey’s defence, has pointed out that it was the consensus among the people that the Bingkor assemblyman should be included in the committee. “He has been widely credited for raising the issue that 40 per cent of the revenues collected in Sabah by the Federal Government should be returned to the state government.”
“For the first Public Forum on the 40 per cent issue at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jeffrey was initially not invited,” said Evelyn-Gobile Koh on Facebook. “But Sabahans pushed for his inclusion through the social media.”
“That was an eye-opener. He was invited again for the second Forum and by consensus from the floor it was suggested that Jeffrey should be chairman of the committee.”
AG awaits police report before deciding on taking action against organisers of 722 Freedom, Independence Walk
KUCHING: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) and Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), the organisers of the July 22 parade here, may face police action if an ongoing investigation proves that they have breached the law.
According to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the Attorney-General would determine whether the ‘722 Sarawak Freedom and Independence Walk’ rally held here last Wednesday, which was attended by about 5,000 people, was illegal.
The decision would be made after the police had completed their investigation into the matter including recording statements from the organisers, he added.
“While the event was done in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the organisers however still needed police permission to determine the proper venue for the event,” he said.
“I am not saying the parade was illegal but have the organisers received any police approval prior to the event?
“If the police said no but the organiser still proceeded with the parade then it is clearly against the police directive,” he told reporters after attending a Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri at SMK Bandar Baru Samariang yesterday.
Meanwhile, Peter John Jaban, one of those who organised the rally, claimed that he was questioned by the police for six hours yesterday.
“Twelve other coordinators were similarly questioned,” he said.
He said the S4S was not a registered entity and that people had come from throughout the state voluntarily to express their feelings peacefully.
Peter said future rallies would be more entertainment-oriented.
“We may even seek government aid. We will use a new slogan, ‘We are Sarawakians’, instead of ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ to show that it was an event for all Sarawakians, irrespective of race.
“We will welcome more people to participate, including members of political parties, as long as they do not turn up with their respective symbols and slogans,” he said.
Peter said the gathering was not about getting Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.
“It was all about Sarawak getting fairly treated as a founding member of the Federation of Malaysia,” he said.
He said that at no time during his speech at the rally did he touch on secession.
“The goal was clear. We celebrated Sarawak. All we want is a fair deal for our state as promised to us under the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.
On another matter, Wan Junaidi said Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua was among three individuals barred from leaving the country but Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli on the other hand was not barred.
Man behind July 22 Independence Day Walk makes the change after being interrogated for six hours by police over his Sarawak4Sarawakians movement.
KUCHING: Radio Free Sarawak’s (RFS) Peter John Jaban, the man behind this year’s “722 Sarawak Independence Walk” has decided to change the slogan for next year’s walk from the controversial “Sarawak4Sarawakians (S4S) to the even more controversial “We are Sarawakians”.
There’s no mention of Sarawakians being Malaysians.
The Sarawak Chief Minister had earlier endorsed Sarawak4Sarawakians and did not think that it was a controversial slogan. “Sarawak should be for Sarawakians.”
Peter made the decision after he was interrogated for six hours by police on Thursday for organizing the July 22 walk in Kuching and elsewhere in the state in conjunction with Sarawak Independence Day. “Sarawak4Sarawakians was not registered because it’s an idea, a belief. It’s the same as the ‘agi idup, agi ngelaban’ (as long as there’s life, we fight) war cry of the Malaysian Rangers.”
“We are Sarawakian”, he said, would not be registered either because it’s also an idea, a belief, a movement.
“I was the only one interrogated for so long,” said Peter on being shabbily treated by the authorities. “The other 12 members of the organizing committee were only questioned for about 15 minutes.”
“I could not cancel ‘722 Sarawak Independence Walk’, the event, as demanded by Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar because people from all over Sarawak, 10,000 of them, had already gathered in Kuching alone.”
The police, he added, wanted to know whether S4S was working towards the secession of Sarawak from the Federation. “I told them no one talked about secession. We just wanted to observe Sarawak’s Independence Day which falls on July 22.”
August 31, he pointed out to the police, was the Independence Day for Malaya in 1957 and Sabah in 1963. “16 September is not Independence Day.”
Several leaders, he said, also spoke up for full autonomy for Sarawak. “If I am being seditious, then they are also being seditious.”
He pointed that among others, Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem and PRS Chief James Masing spoke on full autonomy during the official celebration in Kuching. Others, he said, came from SUPP, DAP, PKR, and UPP.
Sarawak4Sarawakians was inspired by the Sabah4Sabahans movement initiated by the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and then Sabah Foundation Director Jeffrey Kitingan in 1985.
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