KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans must insulate themselves against the racial and religious polarisation that is becoming prevalent in Malaya, Yong Teck Lee the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president said.
He said the biggest culprit that has damaged the harmony and civility among Sabah’s diverse communities has been the vicious and hostile style of Malaya-based political parties.
“In recent years, I have met Malays, Indians and Chinese from the peninsula who share the same views; they were saddened to see the harmony in Sabah has been adversely impacted by the importation of Malaya culture into Sabah,” Yong said in a statement.
He said peninsula Malaysians of different races who have worked or visited Sabah have always been impressed by the harmony among the state’s diverse communities.
“The common sentiment from them is that they wish that Malaya can learn from Sabah,” Yong said.
“I recall way back in 1986, the late Dr Tan Chee Koon who was dubbed ‘Mr Opposition’ remarked to me that Malaya had so much to learn from Sabah and Sarawak when it came to national integration.
Yong said such thinking was understandable as the Chinese community in the peninsula had been facing discrimination in terms of scholarship, appointments in the civil service, grants to Chinese schools, citizenship matters and political positions.
“In Sabah, the Chinese community have been very much part of the political establishment,” he said.
“So why should we continue to allow Malaya political parties and their disruptive political culture to continue polluting Sabah,” Yong said.
“Umno is the mother of Malaya parties, we must reject Umno and other Malaya-based parties,” he said in adding that the barring such parties from Sabah was also in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said the MA63 provided for Malaya would not interfere with Sabah’s politics and the Sabah government.
“As Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan pretend to respect the MA63, they should honourably withdraw from Sabah or else be ejected by the people of Sabah, sooner or later,” Yong added.
SAPP is part of the four-party Gabungan Sabah (USA) coalition whose chairman Mohd Noor Mansor said recently that the Chinese community stand to benefit from a GS-led state government.
He said the GS-led state government would push for 40% revenues of Sabah’s petroleum resources to be retained in the state.
This is turn would enable the GS-led state government to implement badly needed projects such as a light rail transit (LRT) and provide up 500 tertiary education scholarships to deserving students every year.
GS also includes the Parti Solidariti Tanah Air (STAR) whose chairman Dr Jeffrey Kitingan had said that Sabah’s Chinese community had the equal status with the indigenous communities and they should determine their future by backing the four local party coalition instead of Malaya parties.