Is this the beginning of the end for the ruling BN coalition? Its Sabah-based component party, Sapp, will reveal its decision on its future in the coalition in a couple of days, but the outcome looks a foregone conclusion. “Actually, the BN has already left Sabah. The spirit of BN is no longer there. It is not that Sabah does not want BN; it is BN that does not want Sabah,” a report on the Sapp website said.
KOTA KINABALU, 18 June 2008: We must make a stand before the window of opportunity closes. This window of opportunity closes by August after which Sabah would be forgotten again. The nation¡¦s attention would switch to MCA and UMNO elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year end events. Political fatigue in the national mainstream over “Sabah-Sabah-Sabah¨ issues would set in.
The momentum for us to recover our autonomy, get 20% oil royalties and return of Labuan would be lost. Unfair federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched. Sabah will remain the poorest state subservient to the central leadership. Labuan bridge, poverty eradication and rural development will remain elusive. Racial politics and wasteful monopolies will continue as usual. The illegal immigrant problems will reach boiling point. Grown up street kids, illicit drugs and crimes will continue to strike fear among the people. Police and law enforcement will remain understaffed and under-resourced. In other words, Sabah will lose out badly again. We will not get this window of opportunity for another 50 years, if ever again. In fact, we have now become suspicious of their delaying tactics.
This is why we need an immediate declaration of no confidence in the PM and the government to tell the Barisan Nasional Federal Government that we can no longer tolerate their insensitive attitude towards the Sabah issues that are real and serious.
The people are also suffering from high inflation resulting from the recent astronomical and unexpected fuel price hikes which was contrary to a BN election promise. Fuel prices have brought about stagnation in the business sector. Unemployment and social problems will rise. But the government¡¦s responses seem ad-hoc, flip-flop and lacking in foresight with a fire fighting style.
This is why we have to START INSULATING ourselves from the external shocks such as oil prices and food crisis. The food and energy crises will last a few years. The effects will be around for many more years. This is worse than the financial crisis of 1997-98 from which Malaysia took five years to sufficiently recover.
In Parliament on May 13, a BN Federal Minster killed off any hopes of a review of the petroleum royalty for the oil producing states of Sabah, Sarawak and Trengganu by declaring that the oil royalty shall remain at 5%. With our political move today, SAPP hereby initiates the political process to claim 20% in oil royalties which is after all the natural resource of Sabah. With that extra billions, we can invest in agriculture, education, capacity-building and achieve self-sufficiency in many things. We can therefore insulate ourselves from the external shocks or economic tsunami.
Is SAPP pulling out of the BN?
We will have a press conference o Friday June 20 to announce this matter of SAPP membership in BN after our Supreme Council meeting. This is the most popular question of the week. Actually, the BN has already left Sabah. The spirit of BN is no longer there. It is not that Sabah does not want BN; it is BN that does not want Sabah. The BN does not recognize the contribution of Sabah to the national mainstream. Ask any Sabah UMNO leader privately, they will pour out their frustrations. Remember the speeches of MPs Datuk Anifah Aman on ¡§terrace houses¡¨, Datuk Ghapur Salleh, Datuk Wilfred bumburing and Datuk Eric and Datuk Dr. Chua Soon Bui? Many BN component leaders also share our feelings. (SAPP)