KOTA KINABALU : A Parti Warisan leader has stated that the way forward for the KDM community is to unite with other ethnic groups in Sabah and to reject federal political dominance so as to ensure they don’t end up as mere subservient subjects to Putrajaya.
Treasurer-General of Warisan, Terrence Siambun said that it is illogical for Sabah-based political parties to form an alliance with federal-based political parties in the likes of Umno or Bersatu because it accorded no real significant power in terms of policy or decision-making to these Sabah parties.
His statement comes in the wake of recent political developments in Sabah.
Siambun said political leaders should stop dividingthemselves into splinter parties as they will be subject tocontrol by national-based parties.
“It is clear since Barisan took the government in 1994, the KDM.community has broken up into so many parties (PBS PBRS, Upko) that has left them only furtherdivided and still lagging in development.
“Today we see local parties like Star, SAPP, PBS and PBRS within the GRS that is led by the national parties Umno and PBBM. These national parties call the shots and there is nothing the smaller parties can do.
“It is time for every Sabah leader to set aside their egos and work together for the interests of Sabahans like GPS in Sarawak. National parties like Barisan Nasional andPerikatan Nasional stayed out of the elections to respect Sarawak parties.”
Siambun said that while he understood the deep-rooted pride and aspiration of the KDM community to see leaders among them to rise and lead the State or even Malaysia itself, they should contemplate on ‘practical politics’ adopted by Sabah’s past leaders in the likes of Tun Fuad Stephens and Datuk Peter Mojuntin or even the former President of PBS, Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan during his party’s earlier years.
“The KDM-inspired leadership in Sabah that some quarters are talking about of late, bears the same resemblance to Umno’s 6 decades of Malay-inspired leadership in BN, that many believe, caused the country’s plummeting competitiveness in all fields over the last .The ‘call for unity and protection of the Malays without strict observance to values’ only allowed incompetent and corrupt Parliamentarians to assume the posts of Federal Ministers or GLC Chairpersons.
“Hence, the KDM community should step back and discern quietly whether it is prudent to support the call to unite under the supervision of federal-based parties or to support the effort to pull all Sabahans together to stand on a foundation of integrity, credibility and transparency. This is what Warisan have been trying so hard to nurture during Shafie Apdal’s tenure as the Chief Minister.
“In fact, the KDM community should re-look at the strategic political decision taken by our two past KDM leaders, Tun Fuad Stephens and Datuk Peter Mojuntin who decided to do away with Umno’s racial-based political model by setting up the multi-racial Berjaya in 1975. They chose to do that instead of re-establishing UNKO or UPKO even though the ethnic identification in Sabah was much easier to do back then than it is today,” he said.
“It is the same as when PBS, UPKO and PBRS were part of the Sabah BN regime where all decisions back then were decided by Umno so I don’t think BN/PN will render much to the KDM community even if all the KDM political parties and leaders stay under GRS because Umno and Bersatu currently are too busy wooing the biggest block that is the Malay voters.
“This is more evident in terms of seat distribution – will Bersatu and Umno allow Sabah-based parties in GRS to contest in more than 60% of either the Parliamentary or State seats? While young KDM potentials may prefer to join Warisan because of Shafie’s leadership and the party’s ideals, others may find Bersatu more attractive and youthful compared to other parties in GRS.
“Many opportunistic KDM political leaders are now jostling and calling for a merger and preparing themselves for prominent posts by seizing any opportunity that may come with the anticipated impasse in GE15 where no coalition is said to have the majority and every party is now apparently a kingmaker. However, Warisan and Shafie Apdal will remain consistent with our original struggle and uphold values of integrity, credibility and transparency and this is what the KDM community can bank on,” he said.