PENAMPANG – A prime minister before Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would arrest anyone in Sabah under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and send the individual to Kamunting for raising the rights of Sabah, said United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation acting president Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.
Unlike this particular previous prime minister, Madius said Najib was more open and Sabah leaders and the people were able to freely discuss Sabah’s rights in the federation (of Malaysia).
“This past leader who used to detain people in Kamunting, is today belittling the present leadership,” he said when speaking at UPKO’s Annual Convention at the Sabah Culture Centre here Saturday.
Madius said Najib was more aware of the importance of freedom of speech, a right of the people which should be respected.
He described Najib as the most suitable leader presently and would give his full support to the Prime Minister.
At the convention, Madius raised several issues relating to the rights of Sabah under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which he said were close to the hearts of Sabahans.
Nonetheless, Madius said Najib had boldly abolished the ISA which gave space to Sabahans to express their feelings on MA63 and matters involving the rights of Sabah Bumiputeras.
Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 but Singapore left in 1965. Sabah and Sarawak were assured of certain rights to be part of the federation.
The ISA allowed for detention without trial. Detainees were held at a detention camp located in Kamunting, Taiping in Peninsular Malaysia.