By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
PENAMPANG: Parti Warisan Sabah has expressed its scepticism with what Madius Tangau said in relation to his party’s commitment to safeguard the State’s rights and privileges within the Federation of Malaysia.
Crispin Kitingan, Warisan’s Information Bureau Coordinator, said the acting President of UPKO, instead had just reaffirmed that there exist some kind of erosion and breaches upon Sabah’s rights and privileges which are essentially contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“When you think about it, the existence of Felda and Risda in Sabah, or the attempt to erode or breach laws such as the RUU355, actually occurred during the administration of BN in Sabah,” he said in a statement.
“Hence is Tangau telling us that under the administration of the UMNO-led BN government, the threat of erosion and breaches against the rights and privileges of Sabah exist, or will forever exist, and UPKO, who are compliant to UMNO, will protect Sabah?”
Kitingan, a younger brother of Joseph Pairin, a deputy Chief Minister, suggested it is ridiculous for UPKO to portray itself as the ‘good cop’ and the rest as ‘bad cops’ especially as a minority component party, UPKO must adhere to the principle of BN’s collective responsibility over any decision taken by the President and Deputy President of UMNO.
“We might as well end ‘the threat against Sabah’s rights and privileges’ by defeating BN/UMNO Sabah and to invite our Sarawakian counterparts in forming a ‘Borneo Block’ to implement Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and as a whole rather than be fooled around in this game of ‘good cop/bad cop’ by UPKO,” he said.
Kitingan said that Tangau is also unconvincing when it comes to UPKO protecting Sabah’s rights and privileges when it is a general knowledge to Sabahans that UPKO will always play the second fiddle to PBS besides being under the thumb of UMNO.
“I ask Tangau with all the ‘outstanding records’ in preserving the KDM identity in Sabah as highlighted by him, how many seats can UPKO possibly win that makes him think will make his party dominant and fearsome in Malaysia and in turn, make it a champion of the Sabah’s safeguards?
“If UPKO dares enough to be an opposition party, then how many seats could it possibly wrestle from UMNO or at the east coast of Sabah or better still, how many active divisions or elected representations will it have at districts such as Tawau or Lahad Datu.
“So contrary to what Tangau said, I believe that ‘UPKO cannot and will never be able to protect Sabah’s rights and privileges without the help of other BN Sabah component parties and no matter how much noise they make within BN, it makes no real difference unless UMNO leaders first see that there exist some kind of political benefits,” he claimed.
Kitingan also opined that what Sabahans want is ‘the new administration under a single multi-ethnic political party that can come out with single, equal and fair policies for all Sabahans while at the same time, never to neglect any Sabahans from whatever ethnicity or faith in Sabah.
He also said since Tangau had quoted (the late) Fuad Stephens, he should probably emulate what the latter did when UPKO was dissolved in 1967 to combine with USNO and in today’s circumstances by rejoining PBS and to disband this ‘UPKO Baru’ (since they are all in BN).
After all, since UMNO thru Tun Mahathir as the BN Chairman had already united all these KDM based BN component parties before he retired, the only sane thing to do is to show to us Sabahans that PBRS, PBS and UPKO who are dominated by the same major ethnic group and who have the same struggle and visions for Sabah can actually become a single political entity (as they look and sound the same anyway).
“And the reunification of UPKO and PBRS with PBS will forever put down the ghost of (former Prime Minister) Mahathir Mohammad within the KDMs; afterall, Mahathir created UPKO (formerly PDS) and PBRS with the ultimate aim of weakening PBS,” he added.
“How could UPKO continue to say that it aspires to be champion for Sabah’s rights and privileges when the party itself does not want to make the sacrifice by rejoining PBS for the sake of the Sabahans.”