It is pointless for native parties in the Sabah BN coalition to continue with their blind allegiance when it is now obvious that the federal government 'does not take them seriously'.
One is the federal government’s rejection of the “united” demand of the BN partners to re-issue fresh MyKads to bona fide Sabahans.
The other is the incriminating revelations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the issuing of MyKads to the illegal immigrants.
Will these two events be reason enough to compel the BN partners to leave the coalition?
Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) hopes these disturbing developments will be enough to lead the parties to collaborate with genuine stakeholders committed to protecting the rights of Sabahans.
With general election weeks away, STAR desperately needs to consolidate with other local parties and wrest the state administration from BN control.
Straddled between giants – BN and Pakatan Rakyat – STAR and Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP) are the “bigger boys” among the locals.
Both are championing local agendas: STAR has its Borneo Agenda and SAPP has Sabah for Sabahans.
STAR and SAPP are backing PBS, Upko and PBRS in their collective call for the federal government to revoke and re-issue MyKads to genuine Sabahans.
STAR said de facto law minister Nazri Aziz’s dismissal of a “sound proposal” was telling.
Nazri claimed that there were “legal implications” and that the process to re-issue fresh MyKads was “difficult”.
But Sabahans who have been closely following the testimonies of witnesses at the RCI in January into the issuance of MyKads to illegal immigrants in the 1990s in a citizenship-for-votes scam are not buying the tall tale.
Nazri’s dismissive response to Upko president Bernard Dompok’s willingness to surrender his own MyKad merely confirmed suspicions about the direction the RCI was taking and the federal government’s intentions.
Sabahans have already read the writings on the wall and knew the RCI would amount to nothing because to begin with, the terms of reference did not allow for or empower the commission to act on testimonies received.
Concerned over the widespread fall of public support for their respective parties, Dompok, PBS leader Joseph Pairin Kiting and PBRS chief Joseph Kurup were compelled to stand united on this demand for the old MyKads to be revoked and re-issued.
All three incidentally are facing an uphill battle to retain their respective constituencies. Their incumbents and candidates, too, are facing severe threats from Pakatan and STAR.
Toothless in BN
Dompok took a firm stand against Nazri, saying the latter was “wrong once and will be wrong again”. STAR deputy chairman Daniel Jambun agreed with Dompok.
“I agree with Dompok that Nazri was wrong and this time will be proven wrong again.
“The federal government ignored the Federal Constitution and many other laws to commit the treasonous act of issuing the blue ICs and MyKads to illegals [in Sabah].
“The treasonous act has now blown into the face of the federal government with the death of almost 100 people and souring diplomatic relations with the Philippines [over the Sulu claims and Lahad Datu incursions].
“This is a clear case of what is called a ‘blowback’ or a backlash of an act committed in ‘good intention’ in the past,” he said, adding that knowing this, Nazri had trivialised the three parties’ demands.
Jambun said that as leaders of the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) communities, they [Dompok, Kurup and Pairin] should pull out their parties from BN.
“It is very obvious the BN government is not giving face at all to their proposal. It is proven again that they are toothless in BN.
“As leaders of Upko, PBRS and PBS who are supposed to be the representatives of the KDM communities in BN and fight for the KDM rights, they should now seriously consider leaving the BN.
“Now that Parliament has been dissolved, it is an opportune time for them to sit down with local Sabah parties to help fight for justice under the Borneo Agenda.
“With the three parties in UBF [United Borneo Front], the defeat of the BN in Sabah will be a foregone conclusion.
“Thereafter, we can proceed to set up our own homeland security system and use our kingmaker position to force the federal government to do what it is supposed to do: to develop and protect Sabah and Sabahans.”