By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
LABUAN: Parti Warisan Sabah has pledged to bring Labuan back to Sabah, and for that, the party will field a candidate to contest the Parliamentary seat in the coming general elections.
“After so many years of being made a federal territory, what has Labuan gained, Warisan vice president Junz Wong asked as the party’s maiden dialogue program here with several Labuanites on Monday night.
He said he believes many people living on the island still feel that Labuan should belong to Sabah and they still have sense of belonging for Sabah.
Junz said the people of Labuan are fed up with the Barisan Nasional with its empty promises but remain frustrated with little option, until now.
Junz who is also Likas Assemblyman called on all people of Labuan to rally behind Warisan in attempt to fight for Labuan to be returned back to Sabah.
“We have set base in Labuan, and we will a form few more branches and activate our election machinery in the near future,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
“Warisan is committed to bringing back the glory days just like the Labuan used to be when part of Sabah back in 70s and 80s.”
Junz with Warisan now, the political scenario has changed for the better for the voters of Labuan.
“They can now unite under Warisan to fight for the return of Labuan back to Sabah,” he said, adding most Labuanites prefer to be a part of Sabah than a federal territory.
In 1984, the Sabah Government led by Harris Salleh, ceded Labuan to the federal government which later been accessed to a federal territory.
The Labuan International Business and Financial Centre Labuan IBFC was created as Malaysia’s only offshore financial hub in October 1990 and was operating under the name of Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC).
Since its inception, it has expanded to become a base for more than 6,500 offshore companies and more than 300 licensed financial institutions including world leading banks. Labuan IBFC is embarking on an aggressive growth strategy to become the premier international business and financial centre in the Asia Pacific region.
But with the decline in prices of oil and gas, the situation seems to have become bleak with lay-offs in the thousands. Even locals are unemployed.
A promise of bridge for Labuan connecting to the mainland to boost economic development remains ‘a fairy tale’ after so many years and numerous announcements by various BN leaders.
Another announcement on the bridge, whether it will get the go ahead or not, is expected to be made sometime this month when the Prime minister makes a visit.
With GST implemented, a gloomy oil and gas industry and a declining shipyard, Labuan has practically become a ghost town, according to locals.
Even worse, when the Customs Department decided to impose a purchase quota on liquor and cigarettes each month. Labuan’s liquor and cigarettes are duty free.
With Junz at the function was Information Chief Honorsius, vice-Coordinator for Beaufort Hajah Johair, event organizer Richard Fund, and Nic Chak Ketua Wira KK.