Sabah natives urged to reconsider staying with BN


By Michael Kaung, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: A former senator has urged native leaders in Sabah to re-evaluate their position in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as they lack power to make changes for the state.

Kalakau Untol, who is now with PKR, said Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) leaders in BN Sabah must remove their blinkers and see the coalition for what it is as it seemed not to be serving their
best interests.

Untol, the PKR Sabah election secretariat chairman, said that KDM leaders must know they have tried their best and have exhausted all avenues to voice their grouses to get a better deal for Sabah.

“But all their efforts have fallen on deaf ears… with Umno dominating the political manoeuvring, achievements are short of expectations,” he said in a statement.

“I am therefore inviting the KDM leaders in Sabah BN to join the PKR,” the former deputy labour minister said.

Untol said that ideally, since the inception of Malaysia in 1963, Sabah should now be a very progressive state, given its wealth of natural resources.

But Sabah has been shortchanged for so long that the state seemed to be 50 years behind other states in Peninsular Malaysia, he said.

“How can Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak proudly shout the 1Malaysia concept when the poverty rate is very high in Sabah?,” he asked.

“I want to ask the KDM leaders how long more can they stomach the mistreatment of ethnic KDM? To quote Edwin Burke, ‘for all injustice to happen, it takes a good man to do nothing,’” he said.

He said that KDM leaders should align themselves to those who treat them as equals, adding that “as a reminder to all, Sabah formed Malaysia as an equal partner in 1963 but has since been reduced
to just another state and hence have to share its wealth with other states.

“Why must we beg for what is rightfully ours? KDM had in the past been a major force in determining the state government of Sabah.

“This time, I ask for a bigger role from my fellow KDMs in BN to unite to help install Pakatan Rakyat as the next federal government so that Malaysia can be put on the right track and we, the KDM, are given due respect,” he said.

Tide of change

He said that all KDM must sail with the tide of change as their Malay, Indian and Chinese brothers in Peninsular Malaysia have embraced change since the 12th general election.

Sabahans, especially the KDM, and its leaders must start the ball rolling to effect change in the state.

“We must not be at sixes and sevens anymore. God has given us the brain… all it takes is a little courage to ensure change as there is already growing disenchantment with the BN government,” he said.