Friday, October 07, 2016

Sabahans, beware of Caliph-wannabes

a very confused or fickle-minded  people, Sabahans have had 3 different flags since Merger

above is the current, effective since 16 September 1988 

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 7 — Already a crowded space, Sabah’s Opposition is close to bursting with new and proposed local-based parties about to enter the arena.

They are diverse, but they share — or at least profess to share — two common points: the Sabah for Sabahan platform and a desire to unseat the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

While the first point is essentially freeform, the second is significantly more complex. They will need not only to work with one another — which history has shown to be an elusive goal — but also with the outsider that is Pakatan Harapan.

At the moment, the most established of the homegrown are the United Sabah Alliance (USA) headed by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of Sabah Reform Party, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing of Parti Cinta Sabah, and Datuk Yong Teck Lee of Sabah Progressive Party.

Soon, they will be joined by former Umno president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal who will rebrand a local party, and Datuk Lajim Ukim, formerly of Umno and PKR, who will establish a new one.

All parties have indicated a willingness to work with the others on the “local platform”, with Lajim saying it was easier to negotiate with a Sabah-based party compared to national ones, though the reality of this has still to be tested.

Sabah local parties are said to share two common political objectives, namely: (1) the Sabah for Sabahan platform and (2) a desire to unseat the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Point (2) is normal politics and also pursued by Peninsula-based parties, but in Sabah I sense a rather sinister connotation in Point No 2 because of its related purpose with Point No 1.

In other words, there is no difference between the two points, much as they have been presented as such, because the sole objective boils down to defeating the Peninsula Malaysians.

The call 'Sabah for Sabahan' is very dangerous as we as so-called Malaysian are still very much divided in belonging and thus national spirit. Today that emotional feeling is more acute as younger Sabahans (and Sarawakians) do not want to be Malaysians but rather Sabahans per se (and Sarawakians likewise). I don't want to delve into how many West Malayans had sacrificed their lives for Merger, against Soekarno's hordes while a hostile hungry Philippines had looked on.

The younger Sabahans believe Sabah will be better off going its own way a la Singapore.

There is some truth in their belief because Sabah's development lags far behind Peninsula Malaysia (or Malaya). And you can bet local politicians have been egging the Sabahan people on in that tangential direction, because such parochial agitation towards insular provincialism will benefit local Sabahan politicians like Jeffry Kitingan, Lajim, Apdal, etc as it had in the past benefitted Mustapha Harun and Haris Salleh.

The Muslim winner may believe he can become Caliph of Sabah as Mustapha Harun once wanted to be, while the non-Muslim may reckon he can become President Perpetual of Sabah, wakakaka.

So Sabahan voters, cui bono?

But some of the development problems lie with Sabahans (and Sarawakians) who themselves put obstacles in the way of internal movement within Malaysian. If Sabah doesn't allow Peninsula Malayans to move to Sabah the state's development will be slower, because development depends not just on the federal government but also on the private sectors.

Furthermore, internal movement and migration (which at present is only one way, unrestricted from Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya, but not the other way around because of the two states' restrictions) can help foster national belonging and unity, and most of all, more of being Malaysians and less of state provincialism, which to borrow the thinking of Zaid Ibrahim, will one day be good (ie. state pride) when we are mature in our Malaysian unity and belonging.

Besides, to wake the dreamers up, secession is not permitted under the federal Constitution so why not make the best out of a situation by forgoing silly parochial notions for the present such as 'Sabah for Sabahans' when it will only be to the profit of Sabah's eternal politicians such as Jeffery Kitingan, Lajim, etc who could well be caliph-wannabes or their non-Muslim equivalent, or in a worse case scenario, frogs beneath the wind again, wakakaka..


1 comment:

  1. Sabah is a very sad case. The situation in the interior is desperate.
    The standard of infrastructure, health care and social services in Rural Sabah is that of a 4th World Country.

    Afghans or some sub-Saharan Africans would readily recognise their situation.

    Sabah is resource-rich, but the money has been plundered in a double-barrelled way. Federal Ruling party politicians and officials milk off the maximum they can, and the balance by Sabah Ruling party politicians and officials.
    Ordinary Sabahans get left with very little, and Rural Sabahans none at all.

    The cry "Sabah for Sabahans" is really meant for Sabah politicians to keep all of the Cream for their own pockets.