KOTA KINABALU: The appointment of a naturalised Sabahan as one of six nominated assemblymen by Chief Minister Shafie Apdal is seen as a deviation from the original purpose of the posts by the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno).
Usno information chief Musli Oli told FMT here today that historically, the posts were included in the state constitution with the intention of giving a voice to minority groups in Sabah.
“Some of these minority groups do not have representatives in the state legislative assembly. This was the noble reason why it was decided by the Sabah leaders and the then British colonialists that the six nominated assemblymen posts be included in the Sabah constitution,” he said.
Unfortunately, Musli said the Warisan-led state government had decided to appoint a non-Sabahan to the post, a move which veered away from the objective.
He said the appointment of Sabah DAP treasurer Loh Ee Eng, who is originally from Penang, also did not reflect the current government’s promise to the people of Sabah that it would protect their rights.
“This includes the Borneonisation issue which means the government is supposed to give priority to local Sabahans. Usno is confident there are still many local Sabahans who are eligible, including from Sabah DAP, to fill the post as one of the six nominated assemblymen.”
He viewed the action of “importing” leaders from Penang to fill the post as neglecting the interests of Sabahans and putting personal political interests and survival on the pedestal.
“Usno is totally against this approach and we hope the current Sabah constitution on this issue is amended and further strengthened to ensure that only original Sabahans can be appointed as nominated assemblymen,” he said.
The power to appoint nominated assemblymen rests solely with the chief minister.