KOTA KINABALU, Sept 22 — A Parti Warisan leader today criticised Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin for dismissing the Borneo states’ sentiments on their rights within the Malaysian federation.
Warisan vice president Terrence Siambun said that Umno leaders like Khaled did not understand that any “separatist” sentiment from Sabahans particularly the KDM communities arose from the political and socio-economic engineering in Sabah suspected to be by the ruling parties from the peninsula.
“The problem with any Malaya-dominated coalition is that it will always be suspicious with Sabah political leaders, even their own comrades,” he said, pointing out the most recent example of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s attempt to topple the WarisanPlus Government in 2020.
“This is despite both Parti Bersatu Sabah and Warisan not being a threat to BN and PN then,” he said.
The attempt was led by former Umno chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, garnering the support of the former Umno assemblymen, who had by then joined PPBM following the defeat in the last election (GE14).
Siambun said that the mistrust was evident even in 1965 when Sabah’s chief minister then, Tun Fuad Stephens, resigned as the minister of Sabah’s affairs and civil defence as his response to Singapore’s expulsion, and again in 1994 when Umno engineered the collapse of the PBS government.
The former Moyog assemblyman said that continuous political meddling due to national political leaders’ mistrust, the reluctance by “Malaya-dominated coalition” to give due respect to the Malaysian Agreement 1963, unfair distribution of wealth and funds under the annual budget and demographic engineering such as reported granting of citizenships to illegal immigrants and alleged “Islamisation” all caused great frustration within the Sabahans throughout the decades
“Khaled Nordin should have known that if there is a separatist sentiment in the state, then it is due to Malaya-dominated parties own doing and there is no need for a person like Wong Chin Huat to issue a very short Facebook posting to effect such sentiment,” he said in a statement today.
He was referring to news reports of Khaled criticising political scientist Wong for saying that many Sabahans and Sarawakians hoped that peninsular Malaysia would kick their regions out of Malaysia, as Singapore did.
Wong said that Umno could not tolerate Singapore’s People's Action Party (PAP) because they were passionate about how the Federation of Malaysia was run and this was threatening to Umno.
Khaled accused Wong of fanning separatist flames for inciting dissatisfaction against Umno.
Siambun also said that KDM communities were disappointed with state government leaders for the lack of assertiveness on several critical issues that include infrastructures and poverty.
“This is understandable since the coalition itself is being dominated and controlled by two Malaya-based political parties whose immediate priority is to appease the biggest voters block in Malaysia which is the Malay voters,” he said.
As an example, he said that flood victims in Sabah were still waiting for the financial assistance to repair or rebuild their damaged or destroyed houses whereas those affected in the peninsula were back to their normal routines.
He said that national parties liked to tout security, funding or economic development for Sabah during election season but pointed out that these were already enshrined in MA63.
“There is no provision in MA63, for the purposes of security and development, that require Sabah to be governed by the same party or coalition that form the federal government of the day nor there is a need for a ‘political alignment between Sabah and federal’ which the PBBM president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin mischievously said to the Sabahans during the State Election in 2020.
“In fact, MA63 can be seen as a safeguard to prevent political exploitation and manipulation, thus, whether the State is being governed by an opposition party or not, the federal government of the day is obliged to honour or deliver whatever provisions contained therein the agreement whether they like it or not,” he said.