KOTA KINABALU: There is no necessity for the members of parliament from Sabah and Sarawak to meet with other leaders in Kuala Lumpur to lead or even assist in securing the restoration of the rights of the Borneo States or even to ask for ministerial positions in the Federal Government.
STAR Sabah chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said this in response to reports of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak meeting up with veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Jeffrey said the position of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak as ingmakers?had been clear-cut in the political tsunami of 2008 and in the 13th General Election, more so in the latter, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had no choice but to appoint 21 ministers and deputies from the Borneo states.
“Even then, as there were subsequent disgruntlements from MPs in Sarawak, the PM had promised to make further Cabinet changes to accommodate other MPs from Sabah and Sarawak after the Umno elections later this year,” he said.
Jeffrey said the people of Borneo need to shed and discard their old mentality, which has been wrongly cast by decades of propaganda and brain-washing, to depend and rely on leaders from Malaya.
“With due respect to Tengku Razaleigh or better known as Ku Li who is not only eminently qualified and experienced to lead Malaysia and probably will do a better job as Prime Minister than many from Umno, he is in the wrong party and the wrong coalition.
Several disgruntled Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs from East Malaysia were reported to have met Razaleigh last Monday night to discuss their positions after not getting anything for their wins in the closely-fought 13th General Election.
A report in the Malaysian Insider said that about the dozen or so MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are not keen to cross the aisle to join Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but are also not happy with Putrajaya over the spoils of victory.
According to Jeffrey, the PM and Umno and the Sabah, Sarawak parties and their 47 MPs need to remember than without the four MPs from MIC and one from Gerakan, BN will still form the federal government. However, on the other hand, if the Sabah, Sarawak parties abandon BN without even joining Pakatan, there will be a change of the Umno/BN federal government.
This point is not lost when Ku Li did not pass up the opportunity to meet with the Sabah and Sarawak MPs who are not only kingmakers but also hold the trump card to change the PM. That is the strength of Sabah and Sarawak in the current political equation in Malaysia.
Jeffrey added there is no necessity for Sabah, Sarawak MPs to be diplomatic let alone beg to be given ministerial positions. Just lay the cards on the table and openly demand for their rightful positions in the federal Cabinet. These ministerial positions are not the possessions of Umno or their Malayan counterparts but equally belong to the Borneo states as equal partners in Malaysia, more so when these seats are needed for Umno/BN to remain as the federal government.
“Their demands should not stop at just ministerial positions.
“The MPs from Sabah and Sarawak need to realize that they have been elected by their own people and have a moral and legal obligation to safeguard and protect their homeland, Sabah and Sarawak, as well as to fulfill the legitimate expectations of their electorate.
“These obligations and expectations include the restoration of the rights and autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak, the return of the oil revenue and resources and to bring about development,” he stressed.
Jeffrey said they need to ensure that for every ringgit spent on Malaya, a minimal equivalent ringgit is spent on Sabah and Sarawak and for every kilometre of road built in Malaya, another kilometre is built in Sabah and Sarawak and the basic amenities should be upgraded within the next five years to bring them on par with Malayan standards. This minimal equivalent is already a big concession to Malaya considering the lop-sided development for the past 50 years and the RM35 billion oil revenue taken from Sarawak and another RM18 billion taken from Sabah yearly.
A better option for the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak is to abandon BN and to be united as a Borneo coalition and to forge a genuine partnership with their counterparts from Malaya to form the Malaysian federal government and not be dictated by Umno or their Malayan counterparts, he added.
“There is no better alternative to a United Borneo Alliance to safeguard the rights, autonomy and future of the Borneo States. Then, the true spirit of the formation of Malaysia would be respected and the intentions of the founding fathers of Malaysia fulfilled,” he said.