By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah is a party for all Sabahans and is a fresh alternative to the outdated Barisan Nasional concept of “representation by race”.
Warisan believes that the way forward for Sabah is for all Sabahans to unite as “Bangsa Sabah” and not just the KDM political leaders or parties.
“Once we see ourselves collectively and cohesively as Bangsa Sabah, then it will be very difficult for the Federal Government to reject our special rights and privileges because we are now speaking as a State instead of as a particular race,” said Loretto Padua Jr, its Secretary-General, in a statement Thursday.
In order for Sabah to progress as one, it is not merely the unity of the KDM political leaders or parties that is required to secure the 22 KDM seats but for all Sabahans of different race and ethnicity to come together as one to topple BN in all 60 state seats.
Based on the election results of 2013, Loretto is confident that the KDM communities are ready to forgo the idea of representation by race upheld by Sabah BN all these years through its KDM-based component parties with the likes of PBS, Upko and PBRS.
He was responding to the call made by Henrynus Amin, the President of Parti Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN), who urged opposition KDM political leaders to form a pact with PAN with the primary intention of influencing major policy decisions in the future by focusing on the 22 KDM dominated state seats in Sabah.
“Parti Warisan Sabah disagrees with the proposal because it is against the spirit of Warisan as a party for all Sabahans and is against the spirit of Bangsa Sabah that we are promoting.
“Henrynus may have mooted the proposal out of political necessity favouring PAN but we believe that the proposal is no different from the idea of representation by race upheld by Sabah BN,” said Loretto.
Further, he believes that the BN is discriminative and its concept of representation by race is a failure because throughout BN’s 25 years of administration in Sabah, the KDM communities have constantly talked of fear over losing power and authority and complained about lagging behind in education and development when compared to the rest of Malaysia.
Warisan is firm in its stand and will not replicate any of BN’s failed concepts or even practise politics based on race.
During the Berjaya and PBS eras, it was proven that a Bajau assemblyman could effectively represent a seat with a Chinese majority and similarly a Kadazan representative was able to serve well in a Bajau majority seat.
“What all the political parties in BN and other opposition parties leaders including Henrynus must know and understand is that, if we want to create a highly competitive and progressive State of Sabah, we must start thinking about meritocracy instead of race so that we can produce a crop of highly talented Sabahans who will then be able lead the State without having to prioritise any particular race.
“Only then can there be fair policies that benefit not only the KDM, Bajau or Chinese communities but all race and ethnicities recognised as Sabahans such as the Sungai, Kadayan, Bisaya, Suluk and so on.”