KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans have been urged to insulate themselves from the racial and religious polarisation that is becoming prevalent in Peninsular Malaysia.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee blamed the hostile style of peninsula-based political parties for damaging the harmony and civility among Sabah’s diverse communities.
“In recent years, I have met Malays, Indians and Chinese from the peninsula who share the same views.
“They were saddened to see the harmony in Sabah adversely impacted by the importation of Malayan culture into Sabah,” Yong said in a statement issued here today.
He said Malaysians from the peninsula who had worked or visited Sabah had always been impressed by the harmony among the state’s diverse communities.
“The common sentiment from them is that they wished Malaya could learn from Sabah,” he said.
“I recall way back in 1986, the late Mr Opposition, Dr Tan Chee Koon, remarked to me that Malaya had so much to learn from Sabah and Sarawak when it came to national integration.”
Yong said such thinking was understandable as the Chinese community in the peninsula had been facing discrimination in terms of scholarships, appointments in the civil service, grants to Chinese schools, citizenship matters and political positions.
“In Sabah, the Chinese community has been very much part of the political establishment,” he said.
“So why should we continue to allow Malayan political parties and their disruptive political culture to continue polluting Sabah?
“Umno is the mother of Malayan parties. We must reject Umno and other Malaya-based parties,” he said, adding barring such parties from Sabah was also in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said the MA63 stated that Peninsular Malaysia would not interfere in Sabah politics and the Sabah government.
“As Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are only pretending to respect the MA63, they should honourably withdraw from Sabah or else they will be ejected by the people of Sabah sooner or later,” Yong said.
SAPP is part of the four-party Gabungan Sabah coalition. Its chairman, Mohd Noor Mansor, said the Chinese community stood to benefit from a Gabungan-led state government.
He said a Gabungan state government would push for 40% revenue from Sabah’s petroleum resources to be retained in the state.
This will enable the government to implement badly-needed projects, such as a light rail transit (LRT) system, and provide up to 500 tertiary education scholarships to deserving students every year.
Gabungan also includes the Parti Solidariti Tanah Air (STAR), whose chairman Jeffrey Kitingan had said that Sabah’s Chinese community had an equal status with the indigenous communities and they should determine their future by backing Gabungan instead of peninsula-based parties.
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