By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KUNAK: In a final act of desperation, the Barisan Nasional has launched a manifesto that hopes to secure its last vestiges of support in Sabah and Sarawak.
Shafie Apdal, the Parti Warisan Sabah president said the promises to realise the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement by consensus, in particular, is an insult to both states.
Another that pledges to incorporate the Sabah and Sarawak perspective into the History subject in schools was blatantly pilfered from Parti Warisan Sabah, he pointed out.
“The manifesto unveiled by the Prime Minister on Saturday night is just another attempt to try and extend the life of the ruling coalition for another term,” he told a crowd of more than 1,000 people at a meet-the-people session in Kunak Sunday morning.
“The pledges made for Sabah, and also Sarawak, do not make sense at all as many of them are actually repeats from the past which have never been fulfilled. And now they recycle these pledges with new wording.
“Do they think that the people of Sabah are stupid? Do they think Sarawakians cannot remember what they promised previously? Do you think the people in Borneo want to support the BN again?”
Shafie, to loud applause from the 1,100-strong crowd that had gathered, also said the people are suffering from the high cost of living compounded by GST, and are now ready for change and will not tolerate lies from the PM and the BN.
On the MA63, which Najib stressed would only be realised by consensus (meaning all States in Malaya would have to agree as well) Shafie said the promise is one of the most ridiculous yet by a PM known for not keeping his words.
“Why must terms and conditions be decided by consensus by people who were not involved in decision-making then on whatever was agreed upon … We in the Borneo states will never see it implemented that way.
“The Malayan states have nothing to do with MA63; Why not just sit down and discuss it with us. The MA63 is only between Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya; the other States have no right to decide for us.
“They will never agree to see Sabah and Sarawak enjoy what is in the agreement.
“I see it as just another ploy of the BN and its leaders dragging the issue. They do not intend to see the terms of MA63 implemented at all.”
Shafie told the gathering that a Parti Warisan-Pakatan Harapan government will ensure that once in power, he will see to it that whatever had been agreed upon is implemented in the best shortest time possible.
“There will be no dragging of feet and no need for committees to study the issue. We must and we will implement all that was agreed upon by our leaders in those days.
“The BN manifesto is yet another tactic by Najib to fool the people of Sabah and Sarawak,” Shafie added.
Touching on the promised upgrade of the Sandakan airport, Shafie instead asked when is the upgrade of the airport in Lahad Datu, made five years ago, going to start, before the PM embarks on yet another of his empty promises.
He recalled that the PM made a big show of calling the then Transport Minister to enquire about the proposed Sandakan airport upgrade (which was made in May last year) adding that funds would be made and work carried out immediately.
“The people in Sandakan are waiting. We may have to wait forever. The people in Lahad Datu have not forgotten about this promise,” said Shafie.
Shafie also asked what upgrade the PM was talking about when Sabah, in the first place, does not have a proper and efficient public transport system.
“Even the bus rapid transport system (BRT) for Kota Kinabalu that was announced by him remains an elusive promise. It was a sweet promise that remains unfulfilled.
“But our oil money is being used to build a massive MRT system in Kuala Lumpur, while the people in Sabah suffer.”
As for Esscom, I want to ask Najib where are the five battalions that he promised to station in the east coast. I also want to ask where are all the assets that he promised over the years.
Coming back on the history aspects of Sabah and Sarawak which the BN said would be observed, Shafie said when he pledged early last year to have it incorporated in the school syllabus, BN Sabah people laughed at it.
“Now they shamelessly steal our ideas and make it as if they thought it all out.”
At the event 15 new branches comprising 1013 ordinary members and one branch of Wirawati with 52 members handed over their membership application forms to Shafie.
This brings the total number of Warisan branches to 120. The State constituency of Kunak now boasts 9,990 Warisan members.