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Civil servant under fire for ‘scornful remarks’

 | September 14, 2012

A Sabah MP hits out at the civil servant for dismissing the 20-Point Agreement.

KOTA KINABALU: A civil servant who scornfully dismissed Sabahans’ demands that the federal government honour the spirit of the 20-Point Agreement has been rapped by a Sabah MP who described the officer as arrogant and out of touch.

Sepanggar MP Eric Majimbun said the statement by State Special Affairs Department director Abdul Manap Lakariba that “most of those who talk about the 20 points may not even know what it meant” was condescending and an affront to the people of the state.

He said that it appeared that the civil servant was declaring himself an expert on the 20-Point Malaysia Agreement that was the foundation of Sabah (then North Borneo) to join Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963 and everyone else was ignorant.

“Manap should apologise,” he said, adding that the call for recognition of the agreement would help unite the country rather than alienate Sabahans already enraged by the lack of services and development despite Sabah’s wealth of natural resources.

Manap made the disparaging remark in his talk entitled “Social Media Threats” at an ICT and security briefing organised by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission here on Wednesday.

He also told participants that “Borneonisation of the state civil service” which is listed in the Malaysia Agreement was no longer relevant.

He was quoted in the local media as saying that some interpreted “Borneonisation” as meaning that Sabahans should be directors in the civil service and this was not its intent.

Majimbun, who is Sabah Progressive Party deputy president, said such a statement from a senior government officer only showed that the person himself did not know what he was talking about.

“For saying that it was not relevant anymore is tantamount to ignorance of the agreement signed by our former leaders in safeguarding the uniqueness of Malaysian Sabahans,” he said.

Reinterpretations causing confusion

He added that the people of Sabah are proud of the pre-independence leaders

“They might be poor academically through no fault of their own, but are knowledgeable about their rights, welfare and culture as well as the rights of their future generations,” Majimbun said.

He called on Manap not to further malign and marginalise the people of Sabah, pointing out that Sabahans are only fighting for their rights and not the greed of directorship.

He said Sabah leaders who called for adherence to the agreement are well versed on the matter and know what they are talking about and it was reinterpretations by civil servants like Manap which were causing confusion.

Majimbun also criticised those who villify communities in Sabah just as the opposition has started gaining support at the expense of the Barisan Nasional government.

The latest incident to raise suspicions that a campaign is underway to discredit the opposition is a purported Pakatan Rakyat-run blog that mocked the Kadazandusun traditional dance “Sumazau”, calling it indecent.

“The blogger should be condemned… Kadazandusuns are a peace-loving community and no one should have the right to interpret through signs or words what was handed over to us by our forefather,” Majimbun said.

He said though the community is marginalised, it remains proud of its tradition and culture.

Yesterday, two political parties in Sabah lodged police reports against the blogger who posted the article that ridiculed the Sumazau as being fit for only those of low morality.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary-general Henrynus Amin and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) Youth information chief made their reports at the Penampang police.

They want the police to investigate and take action against the blog and the writer.


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