KOTA KINABALU: United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation’s is committed to fighting for Sabah’s rights, safeguarding and protecting it as enshrined in the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC) and the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“Upko is aware of the great importance of the IGC and the MA63 and the rights, safeguards and protections given to Sabah or the then North Borneo,” Wilfred Madius Tangau, the Upko acting president said.
“To think otherwise, that as the oppositions claimed, the Barisan Nasional and especially those of us in Upko are oblivious of our rights, is furthest away from the truth,”
In his speech delivered at the Malaysia Day Dialogue at Klagan Regency in 1Borneo here Sunday, Tangau who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation said Upko’s track record has been proven.
“Our record is an open book for all to see. Upko can be proud with our success stories all these while. Upko is directly involved in seeing the Kadazandusun language to be taught in government schools, given a chair in Universiti Malaysia Sabah and becoming an elective subject at the university level,” he said.
His speech was read by Donald Mojuntin, the Upko Secretary-General.
He said Upko’s hardwork and efforts paid off when the Government gave the nod for the establishment of the Native Court Training Institute (ILMAN) ensuring the native’s culture and tradition remained relevant.
Tangau said Upko was also in the thick of action when the usage of the word Allah was in court.
Upko will continue to defend the right of whosoever wants to continue using it in their worship, he said, adding that it was also an open secret that Upko was at the forefront on the Alkitab issue which was then resolved with the 10-point solutions.
According to him, the late Fuad Stephens who was the founding leader of the previous Upko, had faced totally new circumstances when Malaysia was formed amidst little resources and with everyone just at the very beginning of the administrative learning curve.
He said the 20 Points, the IGC Report, MA63 as well as the Federal Constitution all happened through their vision and efforts.
However, in recent general elections the oppositions had used the 20 Points and MA63 as the main ammunition albeit twisted facts to instigate voters to hate Kuala Lumpur in canvassing for votes, he said.
“We point a finger (and blame) Kuala Lumpur but in actual fact while we do that three of our fingers are pointing back at us in Sabah. We, Sabahans are part and parcel in the existing Sabah predicament,” he said.
Tangau who is also Tuaran MP said that while it cannot be denied that Sabahans had swayed off the track but it was not the end of the world.
“For this reason, Upko reiterates today: Upko is committed to continue fighting for our rights, safeguards and protections that had been aspired and agreed upon by our pioneer leaders as enshrined in the IGC and the MA63.
In this year’s Malaysia Day Dialogue, Tangau said Upko wanted to share several important topics pertaining to the Federal – State relationship, economy and taxes income distribution, current political scenario as well as the direction of Sabah and the momogun in the context of the 2050 National Transformation (TN50).
He also thanked the panelists for this year’s dialogue, Professor Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Professor Dr Wee Chung Hui and Dr Arnold Puyok whose presence would certainly enrich knowledge of the participants.