State Reform Party is hoping that the two MPs who are exiting BN are doing so because they want to fight for the rights and autonomy of Sabah.
KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional MP Wilfred Bumburing’s speech today potentially to announce his exit from his party Upko and the ruling coalition will be closely monitored by Kadazandusun leaders in the opposition.
Said State Reform Party (STAR) information chief Edward Linggu: “We trust that he will also leave behind all his government posts to show his sincerity as the people will view him with suspicion if he leaves with one leg still inside the BN state government.”
Linggu said much of the talk on the ground now is about “how sincere is Bumburing” in his actions.
He said Bumburing shouldn’t be jumping to the opposition just because he can’t find a seat within the coalition in the coming general election.
“He must be sincere in fighting for the rights and autonomy of Sabah.
“Similarly we trust that many of his other Upko leaders who will be leaving with him are also leaving to fight for Sabah rights and not due to non-candidacy as they are from areas which are traditionally non-Upko seats ands will not be candidates,” said Linggu in a statement.
Linggu, who is also the STAR division chief for Tuaran, said Bumburing’s departure from the BN was no longer a surprise because it’s been in the political grapevine for a long time now.
Both Bumburing and Umno MP Lajim Ukin have been speculated to quit their respective parties for sometime now.
“(Their exits) augurs well for the opposition and for the future of Sabah if they are sincere in seeking the restoration of Sabah’s rights and autonomy.
“I have been saying all along even from the UBF days that Sabah leaders need to re-emphasise their priorities to defend Sabah’s position and autonomy as an independent nation-state within Malaysia and not rely on outsiders to take care of its administration,” said Linggu.
‘Repeat of 2008, perhaps’
In addition, Linggu said, Sabah’s status is as one of the original four equal partners that agreed to form Malaysia in 1963 and Sabah did not join to become one of the 13 states as generally believed.
“We trust that Bumburing will be clear on Sabah’s status as an equal partner in Malaysia with Malaya and Sarawak,” he added.
Edwards contends that the scenario of the 2008 general elections will likely be similar, or even more devastating for the BN, in the forthcoming 13th general election with Sabah and Sarawak playing the role of kingmakers in determining who forms the federal government in Putrajaya.
“Sabah leaders need to leverage on this position and utilise on this position and utilise this window of opportunity to support STAR Sabah’s Borneo Agenda as well as to change the BN state and federal governments and seek the restoration of Sabah’s rights and autonomy, he said.
“We trust that Bumburing will join Sabah STAR in coalition and stand united to restore Sabah’s rights and autonomy within the federation of Malaysia and not fall into the trap of divide and rule policies of Peninsular-based political parties,” he said.