Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bumburing and Jeffrey in face-off

By Joseph Bingkasan of Free Malaysia Today
| December 18, 2012
STAR is being accused of splitting the Kadazan, Dusun, Murut (KDM) communities' votes in Sabah and handing BN a measure of confidence that it can prolong its hold.
KOTA KINABALU: Two Kadazandusun opposition leaders here are going toe-to-toe over who has the more credible solution to what they claim is the great rip-off of Sabah and its people.
Maverick Sabah politician Jeffrey Kitingan has taken a hard line on ‘Malayan’ parties and has accused opposition leaders of being turncoats no better than the all-dominating Barisan Nasional ruling coalition they are castigating for rejecting his Borneo agenda that focuses exclusively on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak.
On the other side is Wilfred Bumburing, a MP who has turned independent and is leading Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS), a opposition-friendly grouping that sees Jeffrey’s brand of Borneo-centric politics as out of touch with reality.
APS has not taken Jeffrey’s State Reform Party (STAR) all-or-nothing, Sabah for Sabahans and accusations of pandering to ‘Malayan’ parties lightly in its battle to unite voters in the state under one opposition grouping.
Using Jeffrey’s own words against him, the APS publicity machine went to work to show how Sabah has always been ruled by the doctrine of divide and rule used by the Barisan Nasional and that the STAR leader’s Borneo agenda was like minded.
Making the case against Jeffrey, who on Sunday walloped rival Sabah opposition leaders as traitors, was APS information chief Lesaya Lopog Sorudim.
Sorudim told FMT today that Kitingan was only making matters worse by not making common cause with the Malayan-based opposition to oust the Umno-led BN coalition.
He said that by going its own route, STAR is disregarding the fact that it is also splitting the crucial votes of the Kadazan, Dusun, Murut (KDM) communities of Sabah and handing the BN a measure of confidence that it can prolong its hold on power through the coming general election.
He said that contrary to what the STAR leader was saying, Bumburing’s movement was established with the aim of restoring the dignity, sovereignty and independence of Sabah as a state within the Federation of Malaysia.
“So when Bumburing held that the natives, especially the KDM community should reject STAR’s strategy he was basing his opinion on facts,” Sorudim said.
Pakatan manifesto not Malaya Agenda
Last week STAR deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun had lashed out at Bumburing for saying that the natives of Sabah should not pin their hopes on his party, calling it “patently mischievous, misconceived and misleading”.
Jambun added that “it should be condemned in no uncertain terms by all right-thinking Sabahans, deplored and exposed as the mother of all lies by a political has-been who shamelessly continues to be a stooge of the local proxies of the peninsular masters.”
Sorudim pointed out that there was nothing ‘mischievous, misconceived or misleading’ when Bumburing made the statement which he said was reflective of the sentiment of the majority of the natives.
“Who would pin their hopes on an organisation that is bent on splitting the Sabah into five regions and moving the state capital from Kota Kinabalu to Keningau should they come to power,” Sorudim said of a controversial statement made by Jeffrey which the later claimed was taken out of context.
Jeffrey had said that if STAR was voted into power, the state would be divided into several states – West Coast, Sandakan, Tawau, Kudat and Keningau – each headed by a Chief Minister.
Sorudim said APS objective was to help the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim win the coming election by ensuring victory in all KDM majority constituencies.
Pakatan’s manifesto, he said, does not in anyway outline a Malayan Agenda as alleged by STAR, but instead contains a comprehensive development plan specifically designed for Sabah.
“It is therefore on the basis of this struggles that generated interest among the natives of Sabah, and along with this scenario, the non-natives Malaysians of Sabah origin are also coming out in support of this agenda.
“APS’ struggles is about change … change in policy that are no longer applicable to Sabah, changes in the delivery system and changes in the distribution of wealth namely the oil royalty, management of tax and tariff,” Sorudim said.
STAR’s contradictory stand
APS youth leader Denis Gimpah also hit out at Jambun and STAR for not explaining their contradictory stance.
“Who is STAR trying to fool? Where does STAR come from anyway?
“Would the so-called STAR Sabah-chapter explain why the Sarawak-based party is not even contemplating putting up any candidates in their home state in Sarawak?
“Can they categorically deny the story about a meeting between their leader and Tun Daim Zainuddin in Nexus here sometime ago,” Gimpah asked.
Gimpah also raised the matter of Jeffrey’s ‘willingness’ to work with BN in the event it wins the polls in Peninsula Malaysia.
“Jeffrey Kitingan in May said that STAR was willing and would be ready to talk to BN. Does this not show who is actually being used as a BN tool here?
“How would STAR be able to solve the PTI problem without sound working relationship with a new in-coming federal government?
“They owe Sabahans an explanation,” he said.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Police warning over girl’s death

Police detained a 40-year-old Pakistani
by Elton Gomes. Posted on November 29, 2012, Thursday
KOTA KINABALU: Police have warned of stern action against any individuals, especially online media publishers who twisted facts on the discovery of the body of a teenage girl by the roadside near Kampung Ranau, about 2km from Kota Marudu town on Sunday.
State Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said inaccurate facts published by social network sites and blogs would not only create undue fears among the people but could also threaten the national security.
“Police are not denying that the case happened but what was being published in several social network sites and blogs on the Internet, including claiming that five Pakistanis had gang-raped the victim before killing and dumping her body by the roadside, is too much, as the case is still under police investigation,” he said.
“Therefore, I strongly remind online publishers to stop releasing false information or action will be taken under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, which carries a fine of up to RM50,000 or one year’s jail term,” he said during a press conference at the State Police Headquarters in Kepayan yesterday.
Hamza was commenting on claims made over the murder of Norikoh Saliwa, a 16-year-old maid from Kampung Bombong 1, Kota Marudu on November 25.
Revealing the facts of the case, he said the victim, her 32-year-old sister and a 15-year-old male cousin had gone to the Kota Marudu town to find a job for the cousin.
They then went to a furniture shop in Goshen, some two km from Kota Marudu town, where the cousin was given a job.
The trio then returned to Kota Marudu town together with the manager of the furniture shop for a drink.
“While they were having a drink in Kota Marudu, the victim’s sister realized that she had left something at the furniture shop in Goshen and asked the victim to follow the store manager back to the shop to collect it.
“After the victim and the store manager had left, the victim’s sister was still able to call the victim to check if she was fine and the victim replied saying that she was alright and nothing was wrong.
“Moments later, the sister and the cousin heard news of the victim’s body with head injuries being found on the roadside, placing the 40-year-old Pakistani store manager as the last person known to be with the victim before she died,” said Hamza, adding that police had detained the latter on November 27 to assist in their investigation.
As the case is still being investigated, including waiting for the pathologist’s report, Hamza said he had no idea how the online articles could state that doctors had confirmed that the victim was raped by several men or other details on injuries found on the victim’s body.
“Based on initial autopsy pictures that I have seen, the only obvious injuries the victim suffered was the head injury and couple of scratches on the body, but it is only with the full report (from the Pathology Department) that we can determine if there are any internal injuries, including whether the victim was raped or not,” he said.
The case is currently being investigated under Section 304 of the Penal Code for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Also present were Crime Investigation Department chief SAC Omar Mammah and State Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Superintendent Saiman Kasran.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/11/29/police-warning-over-girls-death/#ixzz2Da1udNnN
Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:59


I CALL UPON the authorities especially the Police to leave no stone unturned in their investigation in the death of 15-year old girl, Narikoh Saliwa from Kg. Bombong 1, Kota Marudu who died mysteriously and was found by the road side on Sunday.
I have spoken to the older sister of the victim and what she told me indeed are critical information that should be followed up by the police officers who are investigating the case.
We want to know what is the real caused of the death of the girl, whether a post-mortem have been carried out to determined the caused of death and if the victim was raped before her death.
If indeed the police discovers in the course of their investigation that foreign nationals are found to be involved in the death of the girl then what I have said in parliament about foreign elements posing serious security threat in the country.
This incident is true and that what Minister in the Prime Minister Department Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz said in parliament recently in response to my queries about the foreigners as not posing any form of security threat are lies to hoodwink the people.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Brutally murdered in Kota Marudu, Sabah.


By Bellarina G. Asin as published HERE
This girl was brutally murdered yesterday in Kota Marudu Sabah. She is very precious to my cousin as even treated her like her own sister. I met her once 2 years ago, and indeed a lovely girl. She has been living with my cousin since and even is the nanny of my cousin's 2 beautiful children. Her name is Norikoh...please pray for her soul to be rested in peace. Really tragic...God blessed you NORIKOH.

Up-date: Police confirmed this case and are carrying out investigation. Witnesses are requested to assist police in their investigation into this case which had been flashed/posted/shared in Facebook and blogs.
Mangsa adalah gadis berumur 15 tahun. Dipercayai telah dirogol oleh lima orang pekerja kedai perabot. Mangsa ditemui pada 1p.m pada hari kelmarin 26.11.2012...Laporan polis telah dilakukan pada hari yang sama. Suspek kemudiannya telah berjaya ditangkap hari ini ketika suspek cuba mengembalikan MyKad mangsa.

Kejadian bermula pada pagi kelmarin. Mangsa dikatakan menemani
kakak dan sepupunya mencari kerja di Pekan G. Di pekan yang sama mangsa dan kakak dan sepupunya pergi ke sebuah kedai perabot. Mangsa yang ingin membeli sebuah almari telah dibawa ke tingkat atas oleh pekerja kedai perabot terbabit kerana dikatakan ada almari yang lebih cantik lagi di tingkat atas kedai. Kakak dan sepupu mangsa meninggalkan mangsa seorang diri dikedai tersebut (mungkin untuk mencari kedai-kedai lain yang menawarkan kerja kosong).

Beberapa jam kemudian mereka menyedari mangsa hilang dan membuat laporan polis. Mangsa semasa kemudiannya ditemui dengan keadaan yang amat menyayat hati; dengan mata yang hampir terkeluar, rambut kusut, mulut ternganga dengan kesan merah, jari-jemari terpisah dan kejang manakala sebelah kakinya bengkok.

Melalui bedah siasat, doktor mengesahkan mangsa telah dirogol berkali-kali lebih daripada seorang lelaki. Menurut saksi, mangsa telah dihumban melalui sebuah lori yang disyaki milik kedai perabot tempat terakhir mangsa lawati.

Kredit: 1 Suara Sabah


Friday, 23 November 2012

'Sabah NRD listing Christians as Muslims at random'
6:12PM Nov 22, 2012 in http://www.malaysiakini.com.my

 The National Registration Department's (NRD) act of randomly listing Christians in Sabah with "bin" or "binti" in their names as Muslims in their identity cards has come under strong attack.
 The NRD should not be doing this, the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said in a statement today
"The NRD should note the historical position that in Sabah, 'bin' and 'binti' do not necessarily mean they are Muslims," MCCBCHST explained.
 MCCBCHST criticised the NRD action as an act of violating the constitutional rights and fundamental liberties of the individuals concerned.
 "The NRD's further decision that it will continue to list such bumiputera Christians as Muslims until they have obtained an order from a syariah court to say that they are not Muslims is a violation of the affected persons constitutional rights and fundamental liberties as enshrined in Articles 11(1) and 12(4) of the federal constitution," the interfaith organisation said.
Case taken to the wrong court
 The council cited the case filed by Sabahan Intim binti Lambaran and her two daughters as an example, stressing that the fact that they were baptised as Christians and never at any time were Muslims should be sufficient for the NRD to list them as Christians in their MyKad.
 "In the present case, Intim binti Lambatan should have filed a writ in the High Court to compel NRD to list them as Christians in their MyKad and not in the syariah court, as the syariah court has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims," the MCCBCHST statement said.
 The case is still pending before the Syariah High Court in Kudat, after the NRD refused to change the status of her religion, even though the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department has written to the court to confirm that Intim's name is not on record in the Islamisation register.
 Another recent case highlighted by MCCBCHST is that of Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah (right), who wants her religion to be changed to Hindu because her parents converted her to Islam in 1983, when she was an infant.
 Despite the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) and Penang Islamic Religious Council stating that Vangarama was properly converted and that her case must be tried by the syariah court, the High Court has ruled that the matter must be decided by the civil court.
 The Court of Appeal also ruled that there are important constitutional issues to be decided in Vangarama's case and it should therefore come under the jurisdiction of the civil court.
 Based on this ruling by the appellate court, MCCBHST said, the NRD has acted unconstitutionally and in an arbitrary manner in the Sabah instances.
 It called on Sabahans to demand accountability from their government and elected leaders as they are the ones who have allowed this matter to take place by remaining passive.
"MCCBCHST therefore urges the home minister to direct the NRD to rectify and reflect the true religion of the aggrieved parties upon notification, without reference to any third party," the statement added.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Upko flaunts Dompok’s aide for Sepanggar

Joseph Bingkasan of Free Malaysia Today
| November 21, 2012
Umno, PBS, LDP and PBRS have staked a claim on the Sepanggar parliamentary seat but Upko says it is theirs.
KOTA KINABALU: The United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is cranking up the pressure on the state Barisan Nasional leadership to contest the Sepanggar MP seat for the coalition in the coming general election.
In a less than subtle theatrics, Sepanggar Upko chief Steven Kutai offered the constituency to party president Bernard Dompok in place of their rising star Albert Bingkasan who is said to be eyeing the seat.
Dompok, who is Federal Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister, as expected, declined, saying that it was best to field a candidate from the Sepanggar Upko division and he would be defending his Penampang seat.
The byplay gave the party general convention that was held on Sunday the opportunity to unanimously adopt a motion to be presented to the state BN leadership for its leader to contest the Sepanggar seat.
Kutai, who spoke at the one-day convention, told the over 1,000 delegates that Sepanggar had been a BN stronghold with Upko having the largest number of members in the constituency, which encompasses the state seats of Inanam and Karambunai, compared to other BN components.
The two state seats make up the Sepanggar parliamentary seat. Inanam has 12 polling districts and Karambunai 11. The total number of voters, according to the latest electoral rolls, is 47,836.
Half of the polling districts are considered KDM (KadazanDusun Murut) areas.
The seat was won by BN through Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) in the 2004 and 2008 general elections but the Kadazandusun majority constituency is now in opposition hands after SAPP pulled out from BN on Sept 17, 2008.
Incumbent MP Eric Majimbun is deputy president of the party. He polled 16,884 votes against PKR’s Mohd Ibrahim Abdullah 5,423 while Edward Ewol Mujie of DAP obtained 3,709 votes.
Though Kutai, as party chief in Sepanggar, should be the candidate by convention, he has said he would not be standing in the coming election and is proposing his deputy Bingkasan as the nominee for the post.
Everyone wants Sepanggar
Bingkasan, 48, who initially studied for the priesthood and worked for a few years in the media industry, is one of Dompok’s senior aides in Parliament and in the ministry. He is married to Nelly Henry James and they have four children.
Addressing the delegates at its closing, the would-be freshman MP said the resolution adopted for Upko to contest Sepanggar was in line with the resolution by Upko 13th triennial delegates conference last year.
Dompok brushed aside murmurs that the party was not following BN protocol by overtly grasping for seats.
“It is not wrong to request because we are in a democracy. Requests are the norm when it is election time and there are times when even seats which are held by a component party will also be requested by another party.
“For instance, Upko seats that we have in our pocket are being requested for. But it is up to the BN central leadership to decide which party should get the seats, not only in Sepanggar but also in the other constituencies,” he said.
The other BN component parties to have laid claim to the constituency are Umno, PBS, LDP and PBRS.
Can you expect thieves to arrest themselves?’
By Joseph Bingkasan of Free Malaysia Today
| November 21, 2012
A Sabah-based activist has accused Upko of pussyfooting around the illegal immigrant issue.
KOTA KINABALU: The author of a book ‘Lest We Forget’ that chronicled the ‘acquisition’ of Sabah by Umno-linked authorities, who re-engineered the demographics of the state, is surprised that local leaders are now downplaying the facts.
Expressing his concern, Dr Chong Eng Leong said he was worried that even a hardline local Barisan Nasional coalition component was backing away from the controversial issue after years of championing it.
Chong is particularly incensed that state assembly representative Donald Mojuntin, the son of the late Peter Mojuntin who is lionised as a defender of Sabah’s rights, was now choosing to limit the fallout from a widely acknowledged illegal act.
He accused Mojuntin, from the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) party, who was formerly a parliamentarian of manipulating for personal reasons a pivotal issue in state and national politics.
Mojuntin has also riled independents with his conciliatory stand on other sensitive Sabah-centric issues notably the date of the formation of Malaysia.
Chong said Mojuntin’s recent statement “let’s not waste time and effort to over-politicise it” when speaking about the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, was self-serving.
“I am sure Donald (Mojuntin) and Upko know that hundreds of thousands of foreign migrants are in the Sabah electoral rolls – they decide which political party to govern us. Isn’t this problem a political issue, Donald?” asked Chong who is now with PKR and known for his stance on immigration reform.
He said the coalition partners appeared confused over their stand on the issue with Upko president Bernard Dompok once saying that internal upheavals and the strained relationship between state and federal governments had hampered efforts to resolve the problem.
Chong’s book gives a detailed insight of the audacious re-creation of Sabah’s ethnic and religious makeup of the state to tilt the balance of political power in favour of the ruling BN coalition and Umno in particular.
He pointed out that though the Umno-led coalition had been governing Sabah since 1994, repeated calls by Sabah BN members for a royal inquiry since 1996 had not been entertained until this year and even then reluctantly and with limitations.
“Isn’t this political? Donald (Mojuntin) also said the RCI has no power nor manpower to take action on its findings and recommendations as this belongs to relevant bodies like police, immigration and the NRD,” noted Chong.
Immigration, police, NRD involved
Chong said that by stating this, Mojuntin was conveniently ignoring the fact that during in the Likas election petition hearing in 1999, witnesses testified under oath that the meetings, chaired by the late Megat Junid, the deputy home minister at the time, discussed how ICs could be given to foreigners in Sabah and these meetings “involved immigration, NRD and top guns from Bukit Aman”.
“Can you expect the thieves to arrest themselves?
“My research on this issue since the late 90’s is to let us Sabahans (be) aware of this treacherous deed done by the federal government – Dompok knew the modus operandi as he had heard the testimonies from public and briefings by NRD when he was the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity in 2006.”
He said that Dompok is now urging the public to come forward and help the RCI to set things right but asked since he himself knew the modus operandi, would Dompok come forward to testify.
“I don’t know if I am one of the 48 witnesses identified by the RCI but if not I shall come forward come Jan 14, 2013,” said Chong.
He added that since former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had admitted he did grant citizenship to foreign migrants after decades of silence when challenged,”he must be called if his name is not on the list of 48″.
“The RCI has the power to call anyone to its chamber and even interrogate, if need be,” he emphasised.
Chong said it was hard to believe that the inquiry would lead anywhere as it was the BN government that started this issuance of ICs and citizenship to foreigners for decades through falsified documents and was still doing it now in spite of the RCI in progress.
“Who is going to believe that BN wants to solve this treasonous action?
“Dompok, Donald, and all of you in Upko, if you still vote for BN – the next BN federal government will for sure continue issue MyKad and citizenship to the millions of foreigners already in Sabah now and mind you when the next electoral boundaries are redrawn you shall kiss good-bye to your so-called struggle for your people.
“And forever we Sabahans will become refugees in our own land,” he warned

Shafie’s wooing Yong back into BN

Selvaraja Somiah of Free Malaysia Today
| November 22, 2012
In a bid to unseat Musa Aman, Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal is allegedly brokering deals with SAPP's Yong Teck Lee.
Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal is allegedly masterminding the return of former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee into the Barisan Nasional and claiming he has the tacit approval of party president Najib Tun Razak to negotiate the return.
This is despite the fact that Sabah BN components distrust Yong, who is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president.
Yong, Shafie and Joseph Ambrose Lee were partners in crime at one time. They allegedly took over the RM30-billion timber wealth of Yayasan Sabah through a share-swap. The “swap” had allegedly taken place when Yong was chief minister and Shafie a directer in Yayasan Sabah.
Like it or not, it was Musa Aman who was then Sabah Finance Minister who rejected this share-swap deal, saving Yayasan Sabah from a pending doom.
Shafie’s intention of bringing Yong back into BN will weaken Musa’s leadership among BN followers.
It will serve Shafie well. Shafie’s jealousy of Musa is well known here. He has made innumerable attempts to pull Musa down.
He was responsible for instigating Beaufort MP Lajim Ukin to call Musa’s removal as chief minister. Shafie awarded Lajim with a RM150 million road project from his Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
Shafie also helped form KDM Malaysia to divide the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) community. The aim was to politically weaken Deputy Chief Minister Pairin Joseph Kitingan and his party PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah), hence driving a wedge between Pairin and Musa.
Why is Shafie so jealous of Musa? Shafie dreams of being the top dog in Sabah but I think it’s a pipe dream.
Musa’s good for Sabah
Irrespective of what people say, Musa has done good by Sabah. Let’s look at history.
When Sabah attained independence in 1963, Malaysia was born.
Right from independence in 1963 to 1985, the Alliance-Barisan National ruled Sabah. After 1985, Harris Salleh was defeated, and Pairin became the chief minister.
But even at that time Sabah was ruled by BN until 1986 when PBS pulled out of BN. In 1994, BN wrested control of power from PBS when Lajim defected from PBS.
His action opened a floodgate of defections from PBS and saw the collapse of Pairin’s PBS government. Sakaran Dandai became the first Umno chief minister of Sabah in 1994.
In 2003, Musa was appointed chief minister. Immediately on assuming office, Musa faced crisis after crisis.
First, the state treasury was nearly negative; Yayasan Sabah was on the verge of going bust; state agencies were in the red; and the financial situation of the state was in shambles.
Musa prudently turn around the mess he inherited.
In 2004, Musa faced state election and captured more seats than in 1999 and became the chief minister again. He won again in 2008 with a thumping victory, winning 59 out of the 60 state seats.
Musa vs Shafie
Under Musa’s rule, Sabah has registered remarkable progress in the last 10 years.
Sabah has even earned praise from Auditor-General Ambrin Buang for demonstrating sound financial management and for maintaining its record of efficient and prudent handling of its finances over the last 12 years.
One hundred and six departments and agencies were audited last year and each showed that its financial management was at a very good level.
Even Moody International has certified the Sabah government for efficient and proper budget management for three years running and RAM has given it a triple-A rating for its finances.
Sure, Sabah has had problems, but it is progressing.
Shafie, on the other hand, has had billions at his disposal under his ministerial portfolio. He has been Semporna MP since 1995 yet his achievements paled in comparison to Musa.
He has done nothing much to improve the livelihood of the Semporna folks despite having a huge budget at his disposal.
It explains Shafie’s envy.
Meanwhile, word on the ground is that Musa is set to remain chief minister for the next five years. Word is that he will move on to become the federal Finance Minister in 2017.
And when that happens, it will be to Sabah’s loss.
Selvaraja Somiah is a geologist and freelance writer. He blogs at selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Kg Kionsom folks firmly against revival of quarry

Published on: Daily Express Saturday, November 10, 2012
INANAM: Residents of Kg Kionsom here are firmly against a company now seeking approval from the Government to re-develop a quarry in Kiaukad Ulu Kionsom that was ordered to cease operations eight years ago.
The villagers feared that damages, pollution and social problems caused by the previous company would recur if the new company, Goltra Sdn Bhd (GSB), were given a licence to operate the quarry.
The quarry operations eight years ago caused not only landslides but also destroyed rubber and fruits trees in the village.
The mud flood that swept a bridge near the Ulu Kionsom Rural Clinic also caused severe pollution to Sungai Inanam.
Sungai Inanam passes through Kg Kionsom, Dambai, Pomotodon, Sinulihan, Kapa, Inanam Town, Inanam Laut and Kg Likas to the open sea in Likas near Menara Tun Mustapha.
The residents registered their protest in a dialogue between representatives of the company at Mini-Dewan Kionsom that saw senior officials from the State Environmental Protection Department, Federal Mineral and Geoscience Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Land and Survey Department, City Hall and police attending.
The meeting was held following a directive by Inanam Assemblyman Datuk Johnny Goh after the company requested to meet with the villagers with an aim to seek their full support so as to enable them to revive the stone quarry.
Goh was represented by Inanam's People Development Leader, Kalasa Alaska Sahat, who chaired the meeting.
Community Development Officer Sabin Guntaliban was also present.
Villager Jack Ginuhang, when objecting to the re-opening of the quarry, feared a similar disaster would recur if the company were given the approval.
He said this is because the site is very near to a health clinic, a government pre-school and the popular Kionsom Waterfall.
"The waterfall is very popular because it is located within the city.
It is a tourism attraction to both domestic and foreign tourists alike," he said.
Another villager, David Modutin, expressed his fear that if the quarry were revived, it would cause pollution not only to the air and water but also deter tourists to patronise his Mari Mari Kampung Warisan business.
Mari Mari is a popular foreign tourist attraction in Inanam.
"There is also the Nuluhan Villa Retreat and Resort nearby and because of that, blasting at the quarry will be a security problem," he said.
Another resident, Vitalis Gulabok, wanted the authorities concerned to conduct tests to ascertain whether quarrying activities would affect the quality of water in the area.
He said people in Kg Kiaukad depend on water from the area for their daily consumption, adding that the area is also a water catchment site.
Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) Chairman, Pan Su Khiong, said the previous quarrying company had to cease operation after he and the villagers protested against it.
"We never experienced mud floods before until after the quarry was in operation.
"Now we want the authorities not to approve the company's application to operate the quarry," he said.

Village chief, Hendry Yaang, said his feeling is similar to that of the people.
"If they objected to the reopening of the quarry, I will also object," he said.
On the other hand, Vitalis Maduyang of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said there is no application for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to redevelop the quarry.
Nevertheless, he said, the views and inputs from the villagers would be taken into consideration when his department scrutinises any application for an EIA from the company.
He pointed out that the dialogue was one of the ways for the department to get views from the people.
When asked about the EIA by the previous quarrying company, Maduyang said he was informed that the Federal Department of Environment approved it.
City Hall officer, Lalitah Jeneh, said it is not aware of the location of the land on which the company wanted to operate the quarry.
She said City Hall would only know after receiving a copy of the EIA report.
Meanwhile, GSB Manager, Simon Wong, told the meeting that his company was seeking co-operation from the villagers so as to enable the company obtain the licence to operate the quarry.
He assured that if the licence is approved, all requirements of the EIA would be adhered to.
He also promised that locals from the village and nearby localities would be given priority when the company hires workers.
Pan, nevertheless, said he would lead the villagers to object to the re-opening of the quarry.
He hoped to get assistance from environmental NGOs such as the Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Penduduk Kionsom kembali resah

by Vitalis G. Bingkasan. Posted on November 8, 2012, Thursday
Dialog antara pendudukan Kampung Kionsom Inanam, jabatan dan agensi kerajaan serta pengusaha kuari sedang berlangsung di Dewan Mini Kionsom kelmarin.
KOTA KINABALU: Penduduk Kg Kionsom Inanam sekali lagi resah dengan usaha membuka semula operasi kuari oleh sebuah syarikat baru di Kg Kiukad di ulu kampung berkenaan.
Beberapa wakil penduduk kampung menyuarakan keresahan mereka semasa sesi dialog bersama pengusaha kuari dan agensi-agensi kerajaan yang berkenaan di Dewan Mini Kionsom kelmarin.
“Kuari itu pernah beroperasi sebelum dibantah penduduk kampung dan ditutup kira-kira lapan tahun lalu. Kami juga telah membantah beberapa aktiviti lain yang melibatkan pengusikan tanah di bahagian ulu kampung ini.
“Pengusikan tanah di bahagian hulu kampung ini telah menyebabkan beberapa bencana termasuk pencemaran sungai, banjir kilat dan banjir lumpur, kejadian yang tidak pernah berlaku sebelum adanya aktiviti mengusik tanah di bahagian ulu.
“Sekarang ini ia adalah pengusaha baru yang ingin membuka semula kuari itu. Kami tidak yakin adanya cara bagi mengelakkan kejadian yang pernah melanda kami dapat dielakkan.
“Sebab itu kami meminta pihak yang terlibat dengan proses meluluskan lesen membuka semula kuari ini benar-benar mengambil kira keresahan kami,” kata salah seorang penduduk ketika ditemui semasa dialog itu.
Turut dibangkitkan semasa dialog adalah kerisauan jalan raya kampung yang juga akan menjadi laluan ke kuari berkenaan akan rosak selain pencemaran alam sekitar jika kuari itu beroperasi.
Beberapa penduduk kampung malahan bertegas dengan pendirian tidak bersetuju pembukaan semula kuari tersebut.
“Setelah apa yang telah berlaku sebelum ini, sebarang aktiviti melibatkan pembukaan tanah apalagi kuari di kawasan ulu itu perlu ditegah.
“Kami akan buat bantahan susulan dengan mengumpul tandatangan penduduk kampung selepas ini,” kata salah seorang lagi penduduk kampung.
Sambil itu, beberapa wakil agensi kerajaan seperti Jabatan Perlindungan Alam Sekitar, Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu dan Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran memberitahu bahawa pihak mereka belum menerima permohonan atau laporan Penilaian Impak Alam Sekitar (EIA) mengenai pembukaan semula kuari itu.
“Pihak pengusaha perlu memenuhi semua syarat termasuk EIA sebelum dibenarkan beroperasi. Keresahan yang disuarakan penduduk kampung memang merupakan antara perkara yang akan diambil kira dalam laopran EIA itu.
“Sebab itu, walaupun apabila mereka telah ada laporan EIA, belum tentu ianya akan diluluskan atau tidak oleh pihak kami,” pegawai Jabatan Perlindungan Alam Sekitar berkenaan.
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK), Pan Su Khiong pula menegaskan agar pandangan penduduk kampung diambil kira sepenuhnya.
“Apa yang kami mahu adalah jaminan bahawa bencana tidak akan berlaku ke atas kami jika kuari ini beroperasi. Kami juga mahu ada yang bertanggungjawab.
“Hanya mengambil tindakan selepas bencana berlaku tidak memadai kerana ketika itu kerosakan sudah berlaku dan biasanya kerosakan itu sama ada harta benda atau alam sekitar sudah tidak boleh diperbaiki semula,” katanya.
Dialog itu dipengerusikan Pemimpin Kemajuan Rakyat (PKR), Kalasa Alaska Sahat yang mewakili Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Inanam, Datuk Johnny Goh.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/11/08/penduduk-kionsom-kembali-resah/#ixzz2Bd0BeNH8

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

‘Govt failed to protect Orang Asli rights’

By Anisah Shukry of Free Malaysia Today
| November 7, 2012
The public must rise up and pressure the government into solving the woes of the downtrodden Orang Asli, says the Bar Council.

KUALA LUMPUR: The state and federal governments have failed to protect the interests of the Orang Asli in Malaysia, the Bar Council said today.
Bar Council treasurer Steven Thiru said the government had violated the Orang Asli community’s land rights in particular.
“You see exploitation and deprivation of land in both East and West Malaysia.
“Either the authorities – the state government – or private bodies have been grabbing, unlawfully acquiring ancestral land,” said Thiru, who is also co-chairman of the Bar Council committee on Orang Asli rights.
Last month, some 500 Orang Asli had staged a picket outside the office of the Pahang Menteri Besar after having lost their native land to the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) project.
However, two of the protesters were arrested the following day over charges of disturbing ECER’s contract workers.
In September, 30 Orang Asli had also picketed outside the Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA) headquarters to protest against the authority for continuing land alienation despite an earlier promise to stop.
“Aside from picketing, some of the Orang Asli go to court to solve their issues, but they get little compensation and at times even the court’s rulings are ignored,” Thiru told reporters today.
He was referring to the 15-year legal battle among the ageing families of the Temuan tribe, which saw two members pass away before the court ruled in their favour in May this year.
The families obtained RM 6.5 million in compensation for their native customary land, which was seized to build a highway to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
But Thirun said such successes are few and far in between, and more could be done to help the dwindling Orang Asli community.
“I am absolutely disappointed with the government’s performance so far,” he said.
“So much more can be done, and ultimately it is up to the government to protect the Orang Ali’s way of life, and to make sure that their lands and rights are respected,” he added.

Tension is increasing

National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Abdul Rashid Ismail said that tension was increasing among the Orang Asli community due to the amount of land being taken away from them.
“Land is becoming more scarce, and we see urban areas edging ever nearer to Orang Asli settlements. For example, Damansara Perdana used to have an Orang Asli settlement there, but now it’s like a concrete jungle.
“Most of the Orang Asli who originally lived there were either relocated, or were forced to abandon the lifestyle they have known for centuries and purchase houses,” he said.
Rashid said that aside from land rights, the indigenous community was also deprived of the basic right to education.
“According to a Suhakam report in 2010, there were 17,9842 Orang Asli children who were not attending school. This is a significant number considering the population of the indigenous community,” he said.
“The education minister can easily help to achieve 100% school enrolment among the children of the Orang Asli. But that is not happening.
“Education is essential in helping to lift the indigenous community out of the poverty threat. Almost all live below the poverty line,” he added.
Public must pressure government
Meanwhile, Thiru urged the public to play an active role in pressuring the government to fulfil its responsibility towards the Orang Asli.
“Don’t let the Orang Asli become a footnote in our history – just a tiny mention at the bottom of our history books that they went the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.
He said the public could learn more on the issue by attending a seminar jointly organised by the Bar Council and Hakam titled “The Struggles of the Orang Asli and Other Minorities in Malaysia”.
The two-day seminar, which begins at 8.30am on Dec 7, will be held at the Grand Seasons Hotel here. Tickets are priced at RM50 for the public, RM30 for members of the Bar Council and RM15 for students.
He said Orang Asli representatives would be present to share their personal experiences, as well as officers from Suhakam.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

John Ghani may contest and win Kuala Penyu
as published HERE Free Malaysia Today

The fast-changing political scenario in Sabah has rattled the once outwardly steady Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition government of Musa Aman.
With the dust yet to settle from the exit of MPs Wilfred Bumburing (Tuaran) and Lajim Ukin (Beaufort) from the ruling coalition, Sabah Umno is making overtures to bring back into its fold former rebels who have switched sides.
Among them is former Kuala Penyu independent state assembly representative John Ghani.
It was bad news for Sabah’s now dominant political party when the popular Kadazandusun politician was forced to quit Umno after he contested as an independent against a BN candidate in the 2004 election and won convincingly.
Ghani showed that voters in Kuala Penyu, which together with Klias is part of the Beaufort parliamentary constituency, were not automatic Umno or BN supporters as had been assumed.
The defeated BN candidate, senior Upko leader Wences Angang, was no lightweight candidate himself. He was a deputy chief minister, and his defeat shamed Musa, Umno and the coalition who then had Lajim, one of the most influential politicians in the district, on their side.
As it now pans out, Ghani, a former senator, had shown himself to be a counter-balance to Lajim’s well-known influence in the district.
Since Lajim’s squabble with Musa and his divide-and-rule state policies, the expulsion of the former Kuala Penyu assemblyman has come back to haunt the party.
Both Ghani and Lajim have thrown their lot in with Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition with the former in PKR and the Beaufort MP now leading Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS), an opposition friendly political platform.
That’s bad news for Chief Minister Musa who has been busy trying to outflank potential challengers from within his party.

Ghani’s ‘powerful’ in Kuala Penyu

Early indications are that the internal manoeuvring within Umno, while strengthening Musa’s hold on power, has further weakened the party’s tenuous hold on various constituencies in Sabah and Kuala Penyu is among them.
Incumbent assemblyman John Teo of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is already facing a revolt from within his own party with Anggang keen to be nominated to defend the seat.
Ghani, who was narrowly defeated in the 2008 election after again standing as an independent is now with PKR and can count on the active support of Lajim and the tacit support of Angang if the latter is not selected to defend the seat by the BN hierarchy.
As things stand, BN’s chances of retaining the seat are slim and Musa knows this. Umno insiders say the party leader is now making quiet overtures to lure Ghani back into Umno.
The ruling coalition is mindful of the shock result in 2004 when Ghani polled 5,157 votes to Angang’s 3,139 votes. Guandee Kohoi of Setia and independent Saman Ahmad lost their election deposit when they only managed to get 308 and 633 votes, respectively.
Ghani, a Kadazandusun Christian, lost the seat in the 2008 election when he polled 4,159 votes, just 257 votes less than the 4,419 votes garnered by Upko’s Teo while Guandee who contested on a PKR ticket polled 589 votes in the three-corner contest.
Guandee has since left PKR and is now secretary-general of the State Reform Party (STAR), an opposition party headed by maverick Sabah politician Jeffrey Kitingan.
With Angang doing little to hide his friendly ties with Lajim as the BN leadership sorts out its candidates, Lajim has been busy touring his constituency and other areas to drum up support for Pakatan with Ghani.
Others within Upko lobbying for the seat are Linda Antoni, Munih Epin and Lokman Sunggim but a voter in Kuala Penyu said whoever the BN picked would face a difficult fight against Ghani if he was the opposition candidate.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Dompok confirms `pulling out of BN' was discussed.

PENAMPANG: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) leaders had discussed the issue of leaving Barisan Nasional (BN).
According to its president, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the issue had been discussed and deliberated by UPKO’s Supreme Council during its meeting but it was decided that the party would stay in BN.
Dompok said this when asked to comment on the claims by former UPKO leaders Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and Datuk Maijol Mahap that the party was on the verge of quitting BN.
Speaking to reporters after officiating UPKO Penampang and Kota Kinabalu divisions joint delegates convention here yesterday, Dompok when asked to confirm the allegations said: “That is very easy? There have been people who wanted to talk about these things so we put it to the supreme council and it was deliberated.
“The majority voice was for us to go along with BN because of what BN has been doing as far as the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah and all those things.
“So I can confirm that it was discussed but the party decided not to go along these lines,” he said.
When asked if that meant the former UPKO leaders were not being accurate in their statements to the media, the Penampang member of parliament replied: “That cannot be true because there was a party meeting (and) we put it up. There was nothing for us to hide (and) I think everybody knows we had a meeting.”
Last week, former UPKO deputy president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and former party vice president Datuk Maijol Mahap claimed that the party had been on the verge of leaving BN.
Maijol also claimed that the exit did not happen because Prime Minister cum BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak promised to make the announcement on the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the illegal immigrant issue and extraordinary increase in Sabah population.
“For the record, initially UPKO leaders have decided and were prepared to bring UPKO out of BN and join PR. In fact immediately before the function on 29th July 2012, there were suggestions coming from several UPKO leaders requesting Bumburing and his group to postpone their intended date to quit BN-UPKO.
“They eventually agreed to let Bumburing go first while UPKO leaders sort out some technicalities. However, all these notions suddenly changed when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib promised to announce the formation of RCI which would be made on August 11, 2012,” Maijol said.
His statement was refuted by UPKO treasurer general Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh who was of the opinion that Maijol was inventing all kinds of stories to justify their action of leaving BN.
“As an UPKO leader, I never missed any discussion pertaining to party matters and I never heard nor any intention of the party to leave BN. As far as I can remember Maijol himself has never said he will leave BN.
“During one of our supreme council meetings, one of our members did suggest that the party should leave BN not because of RCI but on overall matters. That proposal was debated and was defeated and thrown out,” Marcus claimed.

Friday, 2 November 2012

It was true Upko wanted to pull out from the Government

‘Upko debated ditching BN’

By Joseph Bingkasan of Free Malaysia Today
Former Upko deputy president Wilfred Bumburing revealed details of secret meetings held with party president Bernard Dompok over Upko's status in BN.
KOTA KINABALU: Senior leaders of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) met early this year to discuss pulling out from Barisan Nasional, a former top party leader said today.
Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing, the party’s former deputy president who resigned recently, disclosed that party leaders discussed the possibility of consenting to the `silent’ wishes of the party’s grassroots members for Upko to leave the ruling coalition government.
Bumburing, who resigned from Upko and as BN head for Tuaran on July 29 and now heads the opposition-friendly Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS), said he had met with Upko president Bernard Dompok at least eight times to discuss the matter.
The Tuaran MP revealed the secret meetings to clear up allegations by certain BN leaders especially those from Upko that he quit the party because he was not going to be fielded to defend his seat in the coming general elections was not true.
“There is no truth in these allegations. In fact prior to July 29, I and a few other Upko leaders officially declared our decision to leave BN,” he said.
He said Dompok, a Minister in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s federal cabinet, was well aware of the widespread dissatisfaction in the party over its position as a prop for the Umno-led coalition government.
“On at least on three of the (eight) occasions, Bernard (Dompok) insisted I stay put in Upko and personally asked me to stand and defend the Tuaran parliamentary seat for BN,” Bumburing said in a statement posted in APS’s facebook page.
“However, by then I have already made the decision to leave Upko and BN,” he pointed out, adding that another allegation making the rounds that he quit because he lost the divisional chairman post in the election of Upko Tuaran divisional committee members was also BN slander.
He disclosed that prior to the divisional meeting in 2011, he was told by the nomination committee that he had won the chairman’s post uncontested but he rejected the nomination and asked the committee to conduct another nomination exercise.
He said he also refused to be nominated as BN candidate for Tuaran constituency.
“The whole issue of me and my colleagues in quitting BN is the failure by the BN federal government to resolve the issues of illegal immigrants and the extraordinary population increase in Sabah over the last two decades,” he said.
No respect for Sabah
But Bumburing, a former deputy chief minister, said the disagreement with the BN federal and state government went beyond that of just the issue of illegal immigrants.
Apart from faulting the BN government for ignoring native customary rights over land with thousands of natives displaced by or trapped in forest reserves that have been placed under the Forest Management Units (FMU) which were threatening their very livelihood, he said the BN government had clearly shown itself to be biased.
The failure of the state government to fairly distribute welfare aid to all deserving such assistance clearly demonstrated this, he said.
Adding to the grievances felt by Sabahans, he said, was the fact that BN leaders at federal level had little respect for the guarantees made in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 when Sabah joined in the formation of Malaysia.
Guarantees that should have protected the rights of the natives of Sabah had almost vanished, he said, adding that while natives in the interior of Sabah were hard pressed to get birth certificates and obtain identity cards for their children, illegal immigrants were easily obtaining citizenship documents.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sabah RCI identifies 48 witnesses

| November 1, 2012
Irrespective of whether or not the elections are called, the RCI on Sabah's population burst will begin in January 2013.
KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sabah’s over three decade old illegal immigrant controversy will start public hearings next year.
With the 13th general election due anytime now and some expecting parliament to be dissolved this month, the five-man panel headed by former chief judge of Borneo Steve Shim Lip Kiong announced Jan 14 as D-Day for Sabahans to hear evidence of what many claim is a massive immigration system fraud.
Shim said the panel had so far identified 48 witnesses to be called for the public hearing which will be held at the Kota Kinabalu High Court.
“We met today to finalise the list of witnesses and (look at) their relevance in our inquiry,” he told reporters after the panel met for their first meeting since their appointment on Sept 21.
Shim disclosed that since their appointment, they had set up an investigative team to identify witnesses for the inquiry into the illegal immigrant problem.
He said the investigative team had done a good job identifying witnesses who will give evidence at the public hearing.
He declined to reveal the witness list but urged “anyone who can give us relevant information” to “come forward to testify.”
Shim also rejected criticism that the RCI panel was dragging its feet on the issue.
“No delay … in fact our team of investigators have covered a substantial part in identifying witnesses.”
Six months target
On the limited time given to complete the inquiry, he said they were not worried as there were provisions for them to request an extension.
“Barring any complications, we hope to complete it within six months. Hopefully, we will be able to solve the problem (of illegal immigrants in the state),” he said
The RCI’s terms of reference empower the panel to determine the number of immigrants in Sabah that have been given Malaysian citizenship and if so whether the issuance of citizenship documents was legal.
The terms of reference stipulate that the panel can investigate the legality of the issuance of citizenship to immigrants in Sabah, verify if they are indeed holding blue identity cards or temporary identification receipts or citizenship documents had been illegally registered into the electoral rolls.
The panel can also investigate the reasons for the abnormal increase in Sabah’s population.
The other members of the panel are former Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice chancellor Kamaruzaman Ampon, former Sabah deputy chief minister and state attorney general Herman Luping, for state secretary KY Mustafa and Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation president Henry Chin.
The secretary of the panel is Saripuddin Kasim, who is also Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry secretary general.
My Say:
Finally, the RCI will begin to sit and all is now waiting for the result of their inquiry in June or July.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

BN members still fighting over SAPP seats

| October 30, 2012
The Sepanggar parliamentary seat which BN component parties are tussling over will be an easy win as there are 3,000 registered postal voters.
KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional coalition members are scrambling to claim constituencies won by their former colleague Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) in the last general election.
Leaders of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasok Mompogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and BN’s backbone Umno have all thrown their hats in the ring for their members to contest the MP seats of Sepanggar, Tawau and the state seats of Likas and Luyang.
SAPP, now in the opposition holds the two parliamentary seats through party deputy president Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) and vice president Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) while Liew Teck Chan and Melanie Chia are the state assembly representatives for Likas and Luyang.
All four had won the seats on BN ticket but the party led by former chief minister Yong Teck Lee quit the coalition on Sept 7, 2008.
PBS president Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan has announced that his party has applied to BN chairman, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, to register the mixed constituency of Sepanggar seat under PBS.
Pairin is basing the party’s claim ahead of other BN coalition aspirants on the shaky premise that PBS enjoys huge support in the constituency.
SAPP proved their contention a fallacy in the Nov 9, 1999 election. The constituency was then known as Gaya. Yong defeated PBS candidate Johnny Goh Chin Lok, now the Inanam assemblyman, 15,315 votes to 11,198 votes. Third candidate Hamzah Abdullah of PAS only managed 729 votes.
However, PBS is this time also in a skirmish with Upko head Bernard Dompok, Pairin’s archival for the Kadazandusun political crown.
Dompok who is the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister announced the party’s claim to the Sepanggar also on the basis of enjoying huge support in the constituency.
The last time Upko’s strength was tested was in the March, 1999 election where its candidate Christine Van Houten, a former civil servant, was defeated in the state constituency of Inanam. The constituency together with Karambunai is within the Sepanggar parliamentary constituency.
BN minnows, PBRS, headed by Joseph Kurup and LDP whose president Liew Vui Kiong is Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department have also established bases in Sepanggar but unlike PBS, Upko and Umno, they are not active in the area.
Easier seat for BN
Umno, the main party in the the Sabah BN coalition, can be said to have the upper hand in any tussle among coalition members to contest Sepanggar.
Its divisional head Jumat Idris, is seen as a close aide of Chief Minister Musa Aman, the Sabah BN chief. Idris is also the BN chairman for the constituency.
Incumbent Majimbun is rumoured to be all set to move into state politics by contesting in his home constituency of Inanam.
Majimbun, who is SAPP deputy president, however also disclosed that his party would nevertheless field a candidate to defend Sepanggar.
The Sepanggar MP seat is said to be one of the easier seats for the BN to wrest from the opposition irrespective of who in the BN coalition gets the nod to be the candidate.
Political pundits say the electoral balance is tipped against the opposition here given that there are about 3,000 postal votes registered in Sepanggar.
According to them, based on past election results, postal voters by and large have always proved to be ‘government supporters’.
This is more so in Sepanggar where there is a naval base as it has also been seen in the past that constituencies with a large military presence have always elected a BN candidate.
In the last general election, BN contested in all the 25 MP and 60 state seats. It was a landslide victory for the coalition who only lost the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary and Sri Tanjong state seat to DAP.
However a series of subsequent defections right up to a month ago has allowed the opposition to make further in-roads in the BN’s ‘fixed-deposit’ state.
Meanwhile, apart from the seats now held by SAPP, seat allocation for the Sabah BN members has almost been settled, according to Dompok.
Opening Upko Beaufort division delegate conference over the weekend, he said there was no more problem in seats allocation as all the component parties had been informed of the seats they will be contesting in the elections.