‘Star studded’ opposition team attracts huge crowd at Kimanis ceramah

The opposition leaders at the ceramah at Kimanis, Sabah, last night.

KIMANIS: The appearance of a “star studded” team of opposition leaders at a ceramah here last night attracted one of the biggest crowds in the Kimanis parliamentary by-election campaign to date, as it heads towards its final two days.

Among those present at the “Himpunan Penyatuan Muafakat Rakyat Sabah” were Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Sabah Umno chief Bung Mokhtar Radin, MCA president Wee Ka Siong, PBS president Maximus Ongkili, PBS premier adviser Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah deputy president Arthur Kurup, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and former Kimanis MP Anifah Aman.

The speakers urged the crowd, numbering more than 1,000, to vote for Barisan Nasional candidate Mohamad Alamin and hit out the government’s plan to implement the Temporary Sabah Pass (PSS) for migrants.

Pairin, who was making a rare appearance since his retirement from politics in 2016, denied that the BN government had given the green light for the PSS plan.

The former chief minister said he did not approve the plan when he was chairman of the technical committee formed to look into recommendations to resolve Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem, but had only recommended the setting up of a secretariat to deal with the issue to Zahid, who was then deputy prime minister.

The crowd, estimated at 1,000, at the ceramah at Kimanis last night.

Pairin said Sabahans need to “rise up” when they see their rights threatened. “We can’t allow certain groups to be on the side of the foreigners and deny the rights of citizens in their own country,” he said in reference to the Pakatan Harapan government.

“If we let them do this to us, the future and sovereignty of our state can be jeopardised. This is our home and we need to take charge of our own future.”

Zahid concurred with Pairin, saying there were six former BN federal Cabinet members present last night who could attest that BN had never approved the PSS plan.

Meanwhile, Anifah said there was no law that would deny citizenship to the children of those holding the PSS.

He said he had consulted his lawyers who affirmed his suspicion that the children would not be denied citizenship.

‘District office idea mooted by BN’

Wee said the Kimanis district office plan that Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal had announced had actually been mooted during the BN administration of Sabah in 2011.

He also said that no Warisan leaders had hit out at PH which had “shortchanged” Sabah.

For example, he said, the calculation of oil royalty was based on the gross profit of the national oil company Petronas and not on the state’s actual oil and gas output.

In addition. PH had failed to allocate a third of the national Budget 2020 to Sabah and Sarawak as promised in its election manifesto.