Monday, 29 April 2013

The incident that changed Sabah

FMT Staff
| April 28, 2013

Rebel priest, Benjamin Basintal, who stood up for social justice once blogged: 'Let us fix a collapsing Malaysia once and for all and let's begin now.'
KOTA KINABALU: Benjamin Basintal died last month. Few will remember that name unless they happened to live in Sabah in 1990.
It was perhaps typical that the daily newspapers with their jingoisms and fawning, sloppy journalism ignored the death of the former Catholic priest-turned-teacher from organ failure at the age of 59.
A bit odd because Benjamin, then a young priest, was the man at the centre of a curious event that was credited and blamed, depending on which side you are on, for the near landslide victory of the opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah government in the 1990 elections.
This was before the state was perversely opened to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, especially Muslims, who were swiftly granted citizenship in an alleged scheme to re-engineer the Christian-majority state into the Muslim one which it has since become.
On July 16, 1990, a feisty local tabloid, Borneo Mail, published an intriguing report on its front page immortally titled: ‘Priest missing – linked to secession plot?’. It appeared on the morning of the state election.
The paper, quoting reliable sources, reported that the priest was believed to have been detained under the ISA in connection with a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia. It also reported that several other priests were being sought by police for questioning.
Syed Othman Syed Ali, the state police chief at the time, immediately ordered an investigation of the Borneo Mail and its journalists under both the Internal Security Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act for the “inflammatory” nature of the report.
The article was written by then Borneo Mail chief editor Pung Chen Choon. He became the first journalist in the country to be charged under the Printing Presses and Publications Act which carries a penalty of three years jail or a fine of RM20,000 or both.
The case was heard in court over the following two years with several high-profile witnesses called and widely reported by both the local and national media. But then another strange thing happened; it fizzled out and was quietly shelved as though the outcome was too frightening to pursue.
Pung was defended by Chong Kah Kiat who went on to become Sabah chief minister. Chong was assisted by lawyers Richard Barnes, who is now linked to out-going Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, and Gerard Math Lee Min. Current Attorney-General of Malaysia Abdul Gani Patail, then a Senior Federal Counsel, led the prosecution.
KL was paranoid
Some argue that while the Borneo Mail report was speculative it was not far from the truth. Many say that federal authorities were in a heightened state of paranoia about a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia as they are aware that there has always been nationalistic undercurrents in the state in respect to the peninsula.
Benjamin’s family have always maintained that the former priest was indeed hounded and was being sought by the police along with others he associated with. Church authorities later acknowledged he had been forewarned to “go on leave”.
His elder brother Francis said in a recent interview that his brother was known to campaign for justice for the poor and forgotten and this had put him at odds with the authorities.
But what was he to do? He was a priest and he saw many of them (his parishioners) living in hardship and in distressing circumstance in kampungs in the interior of Sabah.
“Many of his parishioners and the people in the kampungs used to warn him that there were certain men in shiny black shoes asking questions about him.
“They were protective of him and told him not to drive his old and battered vehicle as it was well known to the men who came in Proton Iswara’s with Wilayah (peninsula) number plates.
“These people were going in and out of the kampungs and town in Membakut and Kg Bawan, chit chatting with the people and asking about my brother,” said Francis.
How he was allowed to leave Sabah without the authorities knowing, remains a mystery. According to his brother, Benjamin caught a flight to Kuala Lumpur from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport and from there made his way to the United States after being told to take leave by his superiors in the church.
This was a period, it must be remembered, when Sabahans were defiant and proud about their independence and would denounce Malayan politicians as greedy and domineering. They were confident of their harmony and unity and ability to see off any challenge hurled at them.
The report in the Borneo Mail that Benjamin had gone missing relegated the Barisan Nasional to a footnote in the election and the Christian-dominated PBS emerged victorious much to the fury of then PBS-hating prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Umno-led BN coalition government in Kuala Lumpur.
Rare victory
Mahathir had himself only just survived a bitter political battle during the nasty campaign period against his former colleague Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and his Semangat 46 faction of Umno.
Though unsurprising, the slap-down delivered by voters in the state resulted in Mahathir unleashing a series of outrageous, ham-fisted measures that eventually brought Sabahans to their knees and toppled the PBS state government four years later.
But Benjamin’s fight for justice for his people was a rare victory for the opposition in a time known as Mahathir’s era. The people of Sabah along with those in Kelantan had shown that they were unafraid to say “enough” and “no” to bad governance and misrule.
Benjamin, a young man then, influenced by liberation theology and eager to promote equality along with other reform-minded individuals, encouraged his parishioners and others to question both state and national leaders and what they were delivering.
He was then the rector of a church in Beaufort, a quiet provincial town about 90 kilometres south of here. He was not reticent about speaking his mind, much to the discomfort of his superiors in the Catholic church as well as politicians who sought him out.
He continued to speak his mind after he returned from the US with a degree in journalism and political science. He left the priesthood shortly after and devoted himself to teaching till his death on March 3.
In the 2008 general election he stood as an independent candidate against the Barisan Nasional’s Anifah Aman in Kimanis after he saw that the younger brother of the chief minister Musa Aman was ineffectual in improving the quality of life of the people in his constituency. As expected, he lost, polling just 205 votes but still left his mark.
“Anifah was scared of his outspokenness. He felt threatened by Benjamin’s knowledge and grasp of issues. My brother would tell me he had been approached and told by people close to Anifah not to write or say such things,” said Francis.
In several musings made both in the newspapers and in blog postings Benjamin made in 2008, he spoke of the divisiveness and greed within his own community.
The majority of Kadazans, Dusuns, Muruts and Rungus (KDRM), he lamented in one posting, don’t feel they are united as one community. “Brother (is) fighting against brother. They see people who are greedy for positions to a point where they have to fight their own fellow brothers to get the social status and positions. ”
Pairin ‘motivated by greed’
He was also unabashed about criticising the community’s revered Huguan Siou Joseph Pairin Kitingan who he charged was not capable of leading anybody as he was “motivated by greed and positions … instead of being an agent and force of unity of the KDMR he is a destroyer of that unity and force”.
Benjamin urged his parishioners to free themselves and not be mere followers, saying: “Ducks are wonderful birds but I prefer the eagle as a symbol. Ducks are guided by sounds and influenced by immediate noises and tend to be followers most of the time. Be like the eagle. Be independent-minded, fly high and determine your own destiny.”
“If our actions do not promote justice and if we are not involved in changing the unjust system of society our work will be destitute of positive effects, that is, they are in vain and useless.
“This is the age of participation and the highest level of participation in transforming society is that of the promotion of social justice wherein the poor and oppressed are genuinely liberated from the cycle of economic and social poverty.”
The way Benjamin saw it, Sabah with its abundant natural resources on one side and many of its people abjectly poor on the other side was a gapping wound. The state’s wealth that could help lift them out of the poverty trap was instead paying for vanity projects elsewhere in Malaysia and this was an affront to him.
“Let us fix a collapsing Malaysia once and for all and let’s begin now,” he once said in a blog posting.
The first time Benjamin disappeared, he influenced an election. His passing may do just that again if only people pause to remember what he stood for – social justice

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Kiram’s Sabah claim rejected

February 28, 2013
The Philippines president has told Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III not to 'hold gun to my head if you wish us to talk'.
MANILA: Malacanang Palace rejected the demand of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III that the government settle the sultanate’s claim over Sabah with Malaysia before his followers would leave the island state, saying they are in no position to set conditions.
“You don’t hold a gun to my head and negotiate. That’s not the way decent people do negotiations. You want us to know your claim, you cooperate,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
“The President has said, ‘Come back home, and we will talk.’ But you’re asking me to talk to you while there are people in Sabah – that there’s a possible outcome of violence. That’s not acceptable to us,” Lacierda said.
The Manila Standard quotes the Palace official as saying the primary concern of the government now is the welfare of 800,000 Filipinos in Malaysia who might be endangered because of the armed incursion of some 180 followers of Kiram, led by his brother Agbimuddin.
“Remember, this is not about Sabah. The President’s concern is about the welfare of the 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday that the Philippines has asked Malaysia for another extension – its fourth such request — to its deadline for the Filipinos to leave the town of Lahad Datu in Sabah.
Del Rosario told the reporters that he already asked Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman to extend again its deadline to Tuesday next week, but had not heard back from him yet.
He described the situation in Lahad Datu as “quiet.”
While the government sought to convince the Filipinos in the town of Lahad Datu in Sabah to return, the police threatened to arrest any of them who came back with illegal firearms.
“Once they cross the boundary into the Philippines and they have illegal firearms, we will arrest them because they will be violating the law,” said Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima.
He added that if Kiram condoned the use by his followers of undocumented firearms, he too would be liable under the law.
“If there is a violation we will file charges against him,” Purisima said.
Also on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II urged Kiram’s followers in Sabah to avoid violence and surrender so as not to damage the country’s relations with Malaysia, which helped broker a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Earlier, Kiram said he has ordered his followers to remain in Sabah, even as he hinted openness to negotiating for a “win-win” solution to the claim and to the sultanate’s lease agreement with Malaysia.
“I have given the order to them that they have to stay put. We will leave as long as there is a (negotiated) arrangement made,” Kiram said in a television interview.
- See more at:

Umno members among armed group?

STAR chairman Jeffrey Kitingan says he has also received reports that some of the armed men are holding dubious Malaysian documents.
KOTA KINABALU: The State Reform Party (STAR) wants the government to investigate claims that some of the more than 130 armed men currently surrounded by Malaysian security forces in Tanduo, Lahad Datu, are in fact Umno members.
STAR chairman, Jeffrey Kitingan, said he has received disturbing reports that these men could also be holding dubious Malaysian documents as many of them had been here in the past and had sometimes been living in the east coast of Sabah.
“I have been receiving reports that some of the armed foreign men currently holed up in Lahad Datu could be holding dubious Malaysian documents and, in fact, could be members of Umno or other Malaysian political parties,” Jeffrey said when met by FMT at his residence in Penampang last night.
He said the authorities including Umno must clarify the allegation so as to quash the rumours.
The group landed in Lahad Datu earlier this month and settled in an oil palm plantation near the Felda Sahabat area. A tense stand-off has since ensued between the group and Malaysian police as well as the army.
The group, which claimed to be a detachment of the Royal Sulu Army from the southern Philippines, is said to be armed with weapons that were already in the state, according to one of its leaders.
The police have formed a perimeter around the village and the army is on standby. Malaysian authorities have said they wished to give the “invaders” a chance to withdraw without bloodshed.
The latest deadline was yesterday.
Jeffrey, who has called for decisive action to end the siege in Tanduo, said: “We must instil confidence in public security and [ensure] that this country has not been infiltrated by enemies.”
He said he has also received reports that, besides women, there was also quite a number of old men in the armed group.
He said that members of the group could be holding dual citizenship, which is against the law in both Malaysia and the Philippines.
Jeffrey, who is also chairman of United Borneo Front (UBF), said the indecision by Malaysian authorities was putting the security of Malaysians and bona fide Sabahans at risk.
“Not that we will not defend ourselves but we do not want to go to war with our neighbours,” he said, adding that Sabahans are patriotic and ready to defend the sovereignty of Sabah.
“Sabahans do not accept excuses for letting our state be so vulnerable to rogue foreign incursions, more so by those who claim ownership to Sabah,” he added.
He also said that those who collaborated with the armed group that undermined the safety of the state must be dealt with at the ballot box in the coming general election.
- See more at:

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

‘Invaders’ open to peaceful solution

February 27, 2013
Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram insists they would not leave Sabah until the issue has been resolved.
MANILA: The brother of Sultan of Sulu said his group in Lahad Datu town in Sabah was open to negotiate with the Malaysian government just to have a “peaceful” solution to the Sabah standoff.
“…so long as our rights will not be taken away from us,” Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram told Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Wednesday when asked if they were open to negotiations.
“We have to renegotiate in a peaceful way,” said Raja Muda, brother of Jamalul Kiram III.
Raja Muda said the standoff could be resolved peacefully “so long as there is no betrayal, so long as they are sincere with the negotiation.”
His statements came just a day after Sultan Jamalul rejected President Benigno Aquino III’s call to withdraw the armed group in the disputed land or “face the full force of the law.”
Raja Muda said they were ready to listen to the President and accept his views if they think these were right.
Unfortunately, the sultan’s brother did not agree with the President’s claim that they may have violated Philippine laws when they refused to leave the land.
“As President and chief executor of our laws, I have tasked an investigation into possible violations of laws by you, your followers, and collaborators engaged in this foolhardy act,” Aquino said Tuesday.
Raja Muda insisted that they would not leave Sabah until the issue has been resolved.
And if the Malaysian authorities were to use force to disarm his men, Raja Muda said they have no other choice but defend themselves.
Raja Muda said they came to Sabah not to make war especially with fellow Muslims in Malaysia.
“We come here…not to make war against them especially since we belong to the same religion,’ he said when asked what would be his message to the Malaysian government.
And to the residents of Sabah, Raja Muda’s message was: “We did not come here to die here but we come here to live with them, to stay with them to love each other and enjoy the income of Sabah together.”
He then called on their families in the Philippines and all Filipinos not only to extend them any help but also to show “sympathy” for them.
- See more at:

Sulu Sultan: We won’t leave Sabah

February 26, 2013
The Sulu sultan ignores President Beningo Aquino's advice to stand down and says his followers will remain in Sabah.
MANILA: The heirs of the Sultan of Sulu and their followers are not going to leave Sabah despite a stern warning from President Aquino, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Abraham Idjirani, secretary general and spokesperson of the heirs to the sultanate, said Sultan Jamalul Kiram III was willing to be arrested if the Aquino government decides to file a case against the chieftain.
But Idjirani stressed that the “royal forces” of the Kirams did not intend to trigger a war when they started occupying the village of Tanduao in Lahad Datu in Sabah on Feb. 9.
“What we need now is a mutual understanding,” Idjirani said in a press briefing held at Kiram’s house in Taguig City.
“We welcome the statement of the President. It’s a development on the right track,” he added.
He said the decision of Kiram’s followers to stay in Sabah “is not a hardline stance.”
The President on Tuesday called on Kiram III to stand down and order his followers to come home “as soon as possible,” warning of “consequences of your actions” should they continue to refuse to leave Lahad Datu in Sabah.
“We have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are fast approaching that point,” said the President, apparently referring to the 48-hour extended deadline imposed by Malaysian authorities for the group led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of the sultan, to leave the village of Tanduao.
The deadline was to expire Tuesday.
Despite his appeal to the sultan and his followers, Aquino said they could face charges under Philippine laws for choosing to pursue their claim to Sabah using arms.
In fact, the President had already ordered Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to launch an investigation.
- See more at:

Sabah’s Bisaya community on the ropes

Joseph Bingkasan
| February 27, 2013
The mainly Muslim Bisaya community looks to be next on the chopping block due to the tussles in Umno.
KOTA KINABALU: The coming general election and political machinations within the peninsula-based Umno are wreaking havoc on Sabah’s laid-back communities.
After various manoeuvring over the years saw the mainly Christian Kadazandusun and Murut indigenous community splintering into several political parties and factions, the mainly Muslim Bisaya community looks to be next on the chopping block.
The exit of Lajim Ukin, the chieftain of the Bisaya community in Sabah, from Umno last year after a long quarrel with Chief Minister Musa Aman broke into the open, had set the stage to erase whatever influence the powerful Beaufort MP has in his community.
A new man – Isnin Aliasnih – Lajim’s former No 2 is being groomed to take his place and possibly face-off with him for the Beaufort parliamentary constituency in the 13th general election that is around the corner.
Incumbent MP Lajim would be contesting under the PKR banner while Isnin, who took over as Beaufort Umno divisional head after the former’s resignation from the government last year, is expected to be Umno’s candidate.
It would be the second clash between the two after Isnin challenged Lajim for the post of Janang Gayuh (Paramount Leader) of the Bisaya community.
The Bisaya are an indigenous people from the north-west and coastline of Borneo. They are mostly concentrated near the Beaufort district, the river Padas in Sabah and along the Limbang River in Sarawak. The Bisaya living in Sabah are mostly Muslims and those in Sarawak are mainly Christians.
Lajim, the former federal deputy minister of housing and local government, retained his chieftainship which is on par with the Huguan Siou title held by Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association president Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Isnin has already announced that he is prepared to face Lajim as he now also holds the influential post of Beaufort division Barisan Nasional leader which was previously held by the incumbent MP.
Since exiting from the ruling coalition in July last year, Lajim formed his own Sabah Reform Alliance, a pro-opposition body he put together to take on the Umno-led BN.
In the 2008 general election Lajim won the seat for BN polling 14,780 votes against PKR’s Lajim Md Yusof who garnered 3,866 votes. The seat was won unopposed by BN’s Azizah Mohd Dun in the 2004 election who is also a potential candidate for Umno in the constituency.
A hot seat
Beaufort has been considered a hot seat ever since Lajim, a popular figure in the district since his days in the Parti Bersatu Sabah government, resigned from Umno where he was a supreme council member, Beaufort Umno division head and by virtue the chairman of BN. He is considered a formidable opponent by other Umno leaders.
An indication of Lajim’s popularity was when he was challenged by Isnin for the Janang Gayuh position in the community in the 1990s when Lajim was still in PBS, which was then in the opposition at federal level. Despite Umno’s support, Isnin failed to unseat him as president of the Sabah United Bisaya Association.
Lajim claims that he “made” Isnin who he is now in Umno while his former second-in-command has countered by telling his supporters that Lajim had to rely on him when he was in the BN to win the election and get a high position in the government.
Isnin also claims that he gave way to Lajim to contest in the 2004 general election in the Klias constituency and it was he who was the BN candidate.
Hints of how crucial the seat is viewed by Umno came when earlier this month, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak made it a point to visit the district to drum up support for his ruling coalition.
The prime minister even indirectly mocked the Bisaya leader saying that the opposition was “daydreaming” if they thought they could win Beaufort in the coming election.
Analysts however point out that Sabah Umno shot itself in the foot when its chairman, Musa, manoeuvred to sideline the independent-minded Lajim and place someone more to his liking in the district that his family hails from.
Isnin, a senior officer in the Infrastructure Development Ministry, was swiftly appointed by the Umno supreme council as acting chief of the Umno Beaufort division after Lajim quit the division along with 33 other division members.
Lajim himself has been criticised for helping in the fall of the elected PBS government in 1994 when he defected from the party after it won the state election by a razor-thin two-seat margin. His action opened a floodgate of defections from PBS to BN which led to the collapse of the Pairin-led PBS state government.
- See more at:

Tug-of-war for leadership of Sabah NGO

Joseph Bingkasan
| February 20, 2013
The political spin on Sabah's Kadazan Dusun Murut Association Malaysia (KDM Malaysia) is threatening its continuity.
KOTA KINABALU: A tussle for control of an Umno-linked non-governmental organisation said to have been set up to champion the interests of the indigenous Kadazandusun and Murut community is threatening to further divide it.
The prize is the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak-endorsed Kadazan Dusun Murut Association Malaysia (KDM Malaysia).
Businessmen Peter Anthony and John Ambrose are in a tug-of-war over who is its rightful leader.
Anthony has won the first and second rounds of the fight. His latest victory came after the High Court here upheld his appointment as its president following a challenge by Harry Ignatius Beatty, a member of the NGO who filed a suit seeking to declare his (Anthony’s) installation as null and void.
Justice Ravinthran N Paramaguru, in his judgment last month, allowed Anthony’s application to strike out Beatty’s writ of summons and statement of claim dated July 13 last year.
Beatty had argued in his suit that Anthony’s appointment which was made during the KDM Malaysia extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on March 28 last year was unlawful and that Ambrose, the founder of the association, was still the lawful and rightful president.
An earlier attempt to oust Anthony from the post was also thwarted by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) who declared in a letter dated Aug 7 last year that the association’s EGM and Annual General Meeting (AGM) the same year that endorsed Anthony’s leadership were held in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Societies Act.
Now Beatty faces the prospect of a RM1 million defamation suit by Anthony who claimed that the plaintiff’s action had caused him embarrassment and was “aimed at tarnishing his image and ruining his career”.
Meanwhile, Ambrose has not been sitting on his hands in the on-going tussle for the leadership of the NGO.
On Sep 3, last year he filed for a judicial review naming the ROS and Anthony as first and second respondent respectively.

Former Umno task force

The application was filed to quash the ROS decision, a declaration that no AGM in 2012 was ever conducted and, alternatively even if an AGM was held, the meeting was unlawful, null and void.
Ambrose, who heads the Penampang Umno division, is seeking a declaration that Anthony is not and never was the president of the KDM Malaysia.
He is also seeking for an injunction to restrain Anthony from undertaking any duty or action as president of KDM Malaysia, damages against both respondents, costs, statutory interest and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
The case had been scheduled by the same court to be heard before a different judge on March 5, this year.
KDM Malaysia was initially known as Umno KDM Task Force headed by Ambrose until several KDM leaders within the Barisan Nasional complained of its existence even though Najib had personally endorsed it.
Following the complaints, the NGO was renamed KDM Malaysia and registered with the ROS on Sept 8, 2011.
In a slap in the face for Sabah political parties and the powerful Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association helmed by Deputy Chief Minister and the community’s Huguan Siou (Paramount Chief) Joseph Pairin Kitingan, it’s backers said it was established to help uplift the KDM community irrespective of their religious faith.
The NGO’s declared objectives, among others, is to contribute effectively towards the social transformation in Sabah by focusing on educational programmes to help the rural KDM community and to champion and defend the interests, traditions, culture, establishment and survival of the community.
KDM Malaysia says it accepts membership from members of all political parties and anyone who has at least one grandparent from the KDM community can become a member.
- See more at:

A sash doth not a Huguan Siou make

Joseph Bingkasan
| February 14, 2013
Bumburing defends both Anwar and the integrity of KDM elders.
KOTA KINABALU: A leader of the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) community has called for sobriety in the polemics over a recent reference to Anwar Ibrahim as the “Huguan Siou of Malaysia”.
Tuaran MP Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing, who is a trustee of the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA), said neither had his community made Anwar its new supreme leader nor had the opposition leader usurped the position.
He lamented that the issue had been blown out of proportion.
He told FMT he was at last Sunday’s function where Anwar was decorated with a sash bearing the words “Huguan Siou Malaysia”. The function was organised by PKR’s division in Ranau.
He said there was no ceremony declaring Anwar as the Huguan Siou. If there had been any, he added, it would have amounted to an insult to the KDM community because the title could be bestowed only with the consent of the community’s elders.
But he said the organisers could have used the term “Huguan Siou Malaysia” to refer to someone who is a great leader of Malaysia. “In that sense, it does not relate directly to the KDM community.”
At the Sunday function, which was held in Kampung Paginatan, former KDM native chief Paulus Kimpuang presented a KDM headgear and sash to Anwar.
PKR Ranau chief Jonathan posted on Facebook photographs from the function that carried the caption “Anwar bestowed Huguan Siou in Paginatan”, causing an uproar in the KDM community.
Bumburing agreed with critics of Ranau PKR that the wording on the sash was inappropriate.
“The particular local leader may have been overzealous in showing his support to Anwar, who himself may not even have been aware of the wording on the sash as the inscription was never recited during the function,” he said.
“The local leaders could also have been overwhelmed by excitement, considering no national leader from Kuala Lumpur had ever visited Kampung Paginatan prior to this.”
He said he was confident that the PKR leadership in Ranau would offer its explanation of the controversy.
Meanwhile, a community leader from Penampang, Sylvester Disimon said the term ‘Huguan Siou’ was conceived by earlier community leaders, Michael Milip being one of them.
He was the one who coined the term ‘Huguan Siou’ and conferred that title on former Sabah chief minister Fuad Stephens who was then fighting for justice for the people of Sabah, particularly the KDMs.
“Now we have a person who is fighting for the Malaysians in general and in particular the Sabahans. It is only a word to describe a person who has shown great leadership qualities and capabilities … a leader who deserve to be known as a Paramount Leader in Malaysia, ” he added.
Disimon further pointed out that the words ‘Huguan Siou’ “means a leader who has no fear in leading his people like us Malaysians. Moreover, Paramount Leader or Huguan Siou should not be exclusive to the KDMs. Like ‘Allah’, it should not be exclusive” (to one group of people).
- See more at:

Monday, 7 January 2013

UMNO need Sabah and Sarawak to be Federal Government
by Luke Rintod HERE
KOTA KINABALU: UK-based NGO, Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia (BoPiMaFo) believes the only reason Malaya based parties are desperate to retain Sabah and ‘invade’ Sarawak is so that they can continue to decide which Umno leader would become the Prime Minister.
Daniel Jambun, who leads BoPiMaFo, said: “Umno wanted to go to Sarawak but its dream was shattered not because of Sarawak BN parties’ refusal but because of the people.
“If Umno spreads its wings to Sarawak, it would empower Sabah and Sarawak to decide who would be Umno president and eventually Prime Minister as both combined number of delegates from East Malaysia would have been the biggest to Umno’s annual assembly.
“Obviously Malayan parties come to East Malaysian states not to lose power and control. But of course they did not tell you this was the reason.”
Jambun, who is Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) deputy chairman, has consistently said that Sabah and Sarawak are best left to local parties to represent and be part of the Federal Government, something that Malayan leaders did not like as in the various cases.
Jambun was alluding to the encroachment of Malayan based parties on both sides of the divide. The BN coalition has Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC in Sabah while the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition has DAP, PKR and PAS.
Sabah is administered by Umno-led BN in a coalition with local parties PBS, LDP, UPKO and PBRS. Since Umno’s entry, the state has seen a steady decline in its socio-economic status.
Anwar Ibrahim-led Pakatan has also now muscled into Sabah and is seeking to entrench itself here politically.
Both Malaya based parties, claims Jambun have little interest in ensuring the rights and dignity of Sabahans.
‘Control, exploit, hegemonise’
Throwing punches at Pakatan, Jambun described the coalition as “greedy” for wanting to contest all seats in Borneo.
“History has shown us that (the) majority of Sabahans and Sarawakians have actually refused Malaya political parties.
“They believe the leaders from both sides have always wanted to control, exploit and hegemonise Sabahans and Sarawakians. And because of their (Malayan) uncontrolled greed, they will do anything to deny the people their right and will bulldoze their way in.
“Look at Umno, which many of the now opposition PKR leaders were very much part of. Umno even changed the election boundaries to facilitate their control in Sabah.
“To be frank, wasn’t PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim at that time Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s right-hand man? Do you think he has changed?
“If Anwar is a changed man now, why is it he is still copying Umno’s greed, even looking down, if not trying to dictate to fellow state opposition leaders?” asked Jambun.
Jambun was referring to Pakatan’s insistence on contesting in all 25 parliamentary seats in Sabah and 31 in Sarawak.
In July last year BN defectors Lajim Ukin and Wilfred Bumburing added a ‘local flavour’ to Pakatan. Lajim, a former federal level Umno deputy minister is Beaufort MP, while Bumburing is Tuaran MP and ex-deputy president of Sabah BN partner, Upko.
Both have since set up their own political platforms and pledged allegiance to Anwar. Anwar has since assigned Lajim to secure the Muslim votes and Bumburing to look into the native KadazanDusun Murut votes.
Greedy PKR-Pakatan
This has left local opposition STAR and Sabah Progressive People Party (SAPP) in a ‘quandary’.
Jambun said: “A deeper look at things and the finger would point to the Malaya-based political parties that are truly splitting the votes in Sabah and Sarawak as they are greedy and want to wallop even the smallest number of seats in Sabah and Sarawak.
“When Malaysia Federation was formed in 1963, it was an agreement that our seats, both state and parliamentary seats in our own state should be our safeguard and that those representatives elected are to be Sabah and Sarawak’s genuine voices especially in Parliament.
“But what sort of safeguards can Sabah and Sarawak have if even our small number of seats are being taken by parties from outside East Malaysia? It is obvious that these Sabahans reps would listen to their leaders who are from peninsula. Just look at Umno reps from Sabah.
“We want to push away Umno from Sabah but why must these Malayan and their Sabahan proxies and stooges here insist we replace Umno with yet another Malayan political party?
“Are the 165 parliamentary seats (out of 222) lumped together in the whole of Malaya still not good enough for PKR and PR (Pakatan) to contest that they must contest Sabah’s mere 25 and Sarawak’s 31 parliamentary seats ?”
“Do we really want a change that is real here (Sabah)?