No Room For Pariahs, Time To Put Sabah First

FLASHBACK: A photo of Shafie Apdal and me at the launching of my book in 2004. Shafie was then the Deputy Defence Minister.

By BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
COMMENT: The recent political turmoil in Sabah that caused the state assembly to be dissolved has left foul words in the mouth of most Malaysians.

Indeed and rightfully called political frogs, a connotation that is most demeaning to the so-called ‘Yang Berhormat’, those who lured and those lured by the tens of millions to switch sides deserve to be condemned.

These political frogs have shamed themselves, their families, communities, the whole of Sabah, and all Malaysians.

Elected representatives are leaders of the people. Their words and deeds are respected, revered and the community sees them as role models.

They are garlanded, applauded, photographed and given seats at high tables during public functions.

But nay, their recent antics to lure and to be lured revealed their nakedness, their pretense, hollow in soul and brain. They have no principles. They are betrayers. Betrayal of one to another is abhorred and a private matter.

Betrayal of the tens of thousands who voted them to office is an unforgivable sin that bears the aggregated curse of the community. Referring them as pariahs is only an understatement.

Sabah is an underdeveloped region in Malaysia despite being rich in natural resources and in biodiversity.

It has vast deposits of oil and gas, vast tracts of planted oil palm, and has advantage to attract tourism income; yet poverty is high and it ranks among the poorest states with low GDP and per capita income.

Sabah has been grappling with migrant issues for decades. There seems to be no end to the problem that has caused serious socio-economic and security issues.

Smuggling activities and human trafficking are rampant especially in the east coast. Fish bombing and illegal fishing linger.

Regular floods due to poor drainage systems that cover several districts at a time during downpours are common. Deforestation and conservation of wildlife is still an issue.

Sabah politicians must wake up and stop being frogs. Show to the people you really care and solve the numerous problems plaguing your region.

Work hard to uplift the socio-economic welfare of the Sabah people. Make sure Sabah’s GDP is among the highest in the country. Can you do that?

*BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd) is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan