Friday, January 3, 2014

Autonomy call now part of mainstream politics

KOTA KINABALU, January 3, 2014: The autonomy call has now become part of the mainstream politics in Sabah, said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Thursday.

He said this development seems like a breakthrough as the trend "autonomy" ideals continue to surge in Sabah and Sarawak.

"Every political party and some nongovernmental organisations are forced to trumpet 'autonomy' as their platform.

"Any party that dreams of winning the hearts and minds of Sabahans now must at least promise autonomy to Sabah," he said.

As a result, Yong said no political parties dared to speak against the autonomy, including peninsula parties, at present despite SAPP all this while was championing this cause after it left Barisan Nasional in 2008. He said the situation now is a stark contrast of what it was, five years ago at a time when SAPP began to trump on autonomy.

For doing so, SAPP had been criticised by Umno, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Democratic Action Party, saying the idea was not possible, he added."

Today these realities have been made possible due to the State's political strength that it determines the party that can form the Federal Government.

And for the Prime Minister to declare that the State's autonomy is guaranteed in the spirit of 20 Points and according to the Malaysia Agreement, he explained.

"The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has made this declaration while campaigning in April 2013 in Keningau, where the Malaysia Day Oath Stone is located. The Pakatan leaders too have made similar pledges on autonomy, even if it was only lip-service," he said.

Yong said Sabahans yearn for the reinstatement of autonomy, self-governing; status and being equal to Malaya, as how it was pledged in the spirit of Malaysia Agreement 1963.

"There is a widening polarisation along religious and racial lines in Malaya and failures in the economic management of the country with spiralling prices, education system, immigration with the influx of illegal immigrants and a host of other issues that Malaya lost its moral authority over Sabah and as masters," he said.

Without having self-governing an as long as local leaders continue to be subservient to Kuala Lumpur, he said Sabah has no prospect in finding effective solutions to these long-standing problems.

03/01/2014 Daily Express

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