Saturday, August 13

Peaceful demonstration over rising inflation in Sabah

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The PH and Muda youths held a peaceful demonstration at Gaya Street.

KOTA KINABALU (July 3): Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sabah Youth and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) Sabah on Sunday jointly organised a peaceful demonstration at Gaya Street to urge the Federal and Sabah Governments to promptly address the high cost of living and rising inflation in Sabah.

“It is our view that the removal of the subsidies by the government will worsen the situation and cause further price hikes to necessary goods such as cooking oil and other food products,” PH Sabah Youth and MUDA Sabah said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The statement was issued by UPKO Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang, Muda Sabah chairman Amos Thien, DAPSY national assistant organising secretary Kaven Lee, PKR Sabah AMK Sabah information chief Razeef Rakimin and DAPSY National Bureau chief of Millennials Chan Loong Wei.

They stressed that ensuring food security, especially for those in the rural areas and in the B40 income group, should be our top priority in light of the rising cost of living.

To this end they proposed that the government freeze increments in allowances for GLC and GLIC board members, reduce the size of the Federal Cabinet and the allowances given to Federal ministers, look into resolving excessive freight charges for necessities; and ensure that government welfare programs target those who need it.

“In regard to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), we demand the Federal Government to restore the 40 per cent revenue entitlement to the Sabah Government for the Sabah Government to use the funds to alleviate the burden of the raykat.

“We, Pakatan Harapan Sabah Youth and Muda Sabah, are prepared to sit with the relevant authorities from the government to discuss what needs to be done. Last but not least, we urge every Sabahan, especially the youths, to come out and vote in the next general election. As Malaysians, it is our responsibility to ensure that the government of the day serves the people of Sabah and Malaysia,” they said.

Around 30 youths from PH Sabah and Muda took part in the peaceful demonstration at Gaya Street where former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak held a walkabout on Sunday morning.

DAP Sabah secretary Phoong Jin Zhe said the flash mob showed the true fighting spirit of the Opposition.

PH Sabah Youth and Muda Sabah, he said, believed that standing up against supremacy is what a true Opposition must do.

According to the PH Sabah Youth chief, Najib who has been convicted in courts is trying his best to whitewash his reputation through social media campaigns.

Najib, Phoong claimed, is trying his best to downplay his corruption cases and organising a walkabout in the state capital on Sunday morning is one of the many examples of his attempts.

“This generation must not forget the fact that even professional judges in court have labelled Najib as a ‘National Embarrassment’. This is the main reason why the flash mob was organised.

“In addition to that, we also protested against the BN government that Najib is involved in. The government is clueless and incompetent to resolve the rising cost of living and had instead decided to remove subsidies,” the Luyang assemblyman lamented.

Phoong called out Najib for suggesting the government increase the prices of RON95 as this move would only add on to the financial burden of the working class and M40 families.

“The flash mob is to tell Najib in his face that he is not welcome nationwide, at least in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah,” said Phoong in a statement on Sunday.

He stressed that Malaysians have a fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest under the constitution.

Youths, he said, are also the frontliners of the nation and we will only see hope when our youths stand up and charge forward, he added.

“I would also like to criticise Bossku (Najib) for being late on purpose. Is he afraid of facing the truth?” asked Phoong.

Phoong said that some parties have been criticising DAP and PH claiming that they are no longer part of the Opposition but DAPSY’s actions on Sunday proved them wrong.

DAP and PH members are not only vocal in the legislative assemblies but are also fearless and courageous to go on the streets to demand the government to resolve the people’s concerns, he said.

“In comparison to those who are opportunistic and would only work with the winning coalition after elections, PH and Muda are much more principled and reliable,” he added.