Archive for the ‘State Reform Party (STAR)’ Category


Sabah is currently facing a constitutional crisis, the state now has two chief ministers.

In the May 9th Sabah state polls, Sabah BN won 29 seats while Warisan, which has working ties with Pakatan Harapan, also secured 29 seats. Two other state seats were won by Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku led by Datuk Dr Jeffry Kitingan.

On May 10th, Musa was sworn-in as the chief minister before the TYT after securing a 31-majority following Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku’s decision to form an alliance with Sabah BN.

On May 12th, Shafie was sworn in as the chief minister after six assemblymen from Musa-led government declared their support to the Warisan’s Shafie Apdal to take over the government.

Both Musa and Shafie have introduced their cabinet line-up after being sworn as chief minister.

Today the 17th of May, Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Musa Aman filed a writ of summons in the High Court seeking a declaration that he is and remains the lawful Sabah Chief Minister.

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The writ was filed through Messrs F.T. Ahmad and Co, which is acting for Musa.

Musa named Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin as the first respondent and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as the second respondent.

Lawyer Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, in a statement, said Musa was seeking a declaration, among others, that he is and remains the lawful Chief Minister and that the purported swearing in of Shafie as a second Chief Minister by the state of head was unconstitutional.

“The writ also seeks a declaration that any and all acts by Shafie whilst purporting to be the Chief Minister are also null and void and of no effect.

The court fixed June 19 to hear the suit before Justice Ravinthran Paramaguru.

Now the question is: does the TYT have the power to revoke Chief Minister Musa Aman’s appointment, sworn in lawfully, in the presence of the the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum?

According to retired federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram, the head of state could not revoke Musa’s appointment even if Shafie now showed he had the majority support.

UPDATES – 24th August 2018

Mohd Shafie Apdal today failed in his bid to strike out former Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s originating summons challenging his (Mohd Shafie’s) appointment as the new Chief Minister on May 12.

Justice Yew Jen Kie when delivering her decision through teleconferencing in the Kota Kinabalu High Court , said Musa as the plaintiff in the case, had raised a question of law which rendered the originating summonses unsuitable to be struck out summarily.

“Upon perusal of the affidavits and submission of the parties, I am satisfied that the plaintiff has raised a question of law which requires full consideration which renders the originating summons unsuitable to be struck out summarily.

“As such, I dismiss the striking-out application with costs in the cause,” she said.

In this regard, Yew ordered Musa to file his submission on the originating summons against Mohd Shafie on or before Sept 14, while the Mohd Shafie is file his on or before Sept 24.

Musa is also to file his reply on Oct 5.

Yew set Oct 26 to deliver her decision.

Mohd Shafie was represented by counsel Douglas Lind, while Musa’s counsels were Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad and Suku Vanugopal.

State Attoney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin and Dayangku Fazidah Hatun Pg Bagul represented Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin.

Mohd Shafie filed the application on June 5 to strike out the suit on the grounds that Musa had no valid reason to challenge his appointment on May 12 as the new chief minister.

The following day, Musa filed a fresh suit against the Sabah governor and Shafie, in place of the suit filed on May 17, seeking a declaration that he (Musa) was the rightful chief minister of Sabah.

Musa was sworn in as chief minister on May 10 after securing simple majority in the 14th general election but lost the majority when several assemblymen from his party (Umno) and from a BN component party (Upko) jumped ship to give their support to Parti Warisan Sabah lead by Mohd Shafie.

– Bernama

UPDATES OCTOBER 25, 2018

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 25 — The High Court here will decide on November 7 if the appointment of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as chief minister by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin on May 12 is lawful.

Judge Yew Jen Kie set the date after hearing four and a half hours of submissions in the suit filed by former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, who is seeking to nullify Shafie’s appointment.


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

I’m always reminded of Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman whenever I read this poem entitled “Still I’ll Rise” written by the black poetess, Maya Angelou. Although Angelou wrote this in the context of her protest against White racism, it is almost as if a large portion of this poem was written with Musa Aman in mind. In the recent decade, there has been continuous allegations and abuses hurled at him. No invective has been left unused while abusing him. The Pakatan Rakyat and its major and minor cohorts in the media have carefully indulged in a systematic campaign of Musa’s character assassination. Despite this, their efforts have gone in vain because he’s won election after election with a two-thirds majority. That’s not all. In the ensuing 2013 13th general elections, there’s every indication that he is likely to be the Barisan National Sabah’s Chief Ministerial candidate again.

If that happens and UMNO declares Musa Aman as their Chief Ministerial candidate, let no doubt remain that this poses the biggest danger to Pakatan Rakyat, SAPP and Star Sabah. And it is to prevent this exact situation that the fragmented Sabah opposition is working overtime. The Assembly Elections scheduled from anytime now till May 2013 will witness yet another victorious Musa Aman. It takes 31 seats to capture the 60-member Sabah State Assembly. However, if the Barisan National under Musa Aman manages to garner a tally 35, it will be portrayed as a defeat of Musa Aman. This is why the fragmented Sabah Opposition is willing to stoop down to any level to ensure that the Barisan National bags a figure under 35. The electronic media as usual, has become a willing handmaiden to aid the Pakatan Rakyat, SAPP and Sabah Star in its every nefarious move. However, this time around, many have already begun to shed light on these dirty tricks.

According to a Pakatan Rakyat strategist, PKR has identified two ways to accomplish this. The first is the one it implemented in Selangor and Sabah. In Selangor, the Pakatan Rakyat capitalized on the Umno’s infighting and its in-house traitors thereby wrecking the opposition Barisan National. In Sabah, it has already yoked up the disgruntled Umno elements in the form of Lajim Ukin and Ibrahim Menudin, and has pitted them against Musa Aman. The second way is vile way of direct, open character assassination. But why is the Pakatan Rakyat after Musa Aman with such zeal? What is it about him that’s giving it sleepless nights?

Today, the only state which stands between Anwar Ibrahim and the Prime Minister’s chair is Sabah. Obviously, What is stopping Anwar Ibrahim from becoming Prime Minister is Musa Aman. Anwar Ibrahim needs at least 20 Parliamentary seats out of the 25 Parliamentary seats from Sabah for his dream to become Prime Minister to become a reality. Musa Aman controls the bulk of the Parliamentary seats in Sabah. The argument that Musa Aman allows for corruption is shallow and the opposition front is very aware of this fact. Historically, corruption in Malaysia has always been connected to both government and opposition, who are both equally corrupted, a fact that the opposition front is well-acquainted with. However, they repeatedly uses the corruption card for obvious reasons. In the present day, using the same card to discredit Musa Aman has become over played, and if we allow such divisive politics to succeed, we can only shudder at the future of this nation.

The fact is that despite numerous attempts over the last 10 years, the opposition front has been unable to find even one flaw in Musa Aman. Why?
Well typically, every successful politician or leader or public figure has a team or at least one shrewd adviser who guides and advises the leader on various matters. Tun Mustaffa had a Syed Kecik, Pairin Kitingan had a Dr Jefrey Kitingan before he went under ISA, Dr Mahathir had Daim Zainuddin and Abdullah Badawi aka Pak Lah had son-in-law Khairy Jamaludin, and so on. In present day politics, this applies to a Lim Guan Eng who had Daddy Lim Kit Siang and Uncle Karpal Singh, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who had Anwar Ibrahim, Taib Mahmud who had a Bomoh, Anwar Ibrahim who had Azmin Ali, Najib Tun Razak had Rosmah Mansor. None of these leaders took any decision without first consulting their advisers and every decision once taken, has the imprint of their adviser in some form or the other.

If this is the case—an age-old precedent—who is this one person who advises and guides Musa Aman?

There’s no answer to this question because Musa Aman is his own King and wise counsel. Historically, the opposition front is known to “book” such advisers and exploit the weakness of the adversary through this key person. However, despite painstaking efforts spanning a decade, the opposition front encountered a solid wall in the case of Musa Aman because—apart from having no adviser, he is clean. Of late, the opposition front has explored the avenue of trying to tarnish him through his family and distance relatives—for example, a distance relative Manuel Amalilo aka Mohammad Suffian Syed who scammed 15,000 Filipinos of 12 billion pesos (RM895 million) in a ponzi scheme in Philippines is purportedly engineered by Musa Aman. However, even this turned out to be a dead end. The handlers and the dirty tricks department of the opposition front apparently found out that Musa Aman isn’t in politics for selfish ends, and was forced to accept the fact that Musa Aman’s interest lay in Sabah’s interest. It’s left to our imagination as to the future of Sabah if a man like this becomes Chief Minister again for the 4th term.

This is the reason Musa Aman has captured the imagination of the Sabah masses.

He comes across as an introvert. It’s hard to predict when he speaks or when he doesn’t. By himself, he’s a great strategist. In the 2008 Sabah assembly polls, he steered the Barisan National to more than two-thirds majority winning 59 of the 60 seats contested, without calling in any central leader from the party to the campaign trail. This is because of the confidence that comes from demonstrating performance and delivering clean governance. Thus, it’s clear that he’s the only leader in Malaysia who can mount an effective opposition to Anwar Ibrahim becoming Prime Minister. One of the easiest slurs to assassinate the character of a person is to brand him corrupt and a womanizer. So the Chinaman Micheal Chia’s story will be recycled over and over again stooping to a new low. And that’s not all—according to Pakatan strategist, the Pakatan Rakyat is pulling no stops. It has created an entire “stop-Musa” machinery by roping in all sorts of activists, media persons, and disgruntled UMNO Sabah elements. Yet, as Maya Angelou says:

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise. You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Let Musa Aman rise, vanquish his opponents and lead Sabah towards progress and prosperity.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENTIf the Government in Putrajaya is truly honest with itself, it will confront the fact that there’s very little sympathy in Sabah and Sarawak on the ground for the security forces apparently battling it out in Lahad Datu. It’s 50 years too late. They might as well pack up and go home and instead recall the Sabah Border Scouts and Sarawak Rangers.

At the same time, the continuing statements from one Jamalul Kiram III, the Manila press, the Philippines Government and Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Sabah and Sarawak are being viewed in the right perspective.

Local political parties in Sabah and Sarawak are convinced, like the descendants of the heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate and Nur Misuari that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is the best venue to settle rival claims to the two Borneo nations. Already, the State Reform Party (Star) led by Jeffrey Kitingan, has reportedly included the ICJ option in their draft Manifesto for the forthcoming 13th General Election.

The ICJ is also the best venue to address the fact that Singapore was expelled in 1965 from the Federation of Malaysia by unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal means. It’s an open secret that then Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had the doors of Parliament locked until the MPs agreed to the expulsion of the city state from the Federation.

The general consensus across both sides of the Sulu Sea is that the Sabah/Sarawak issue will not go away unless there’s a final resolution one way or another. In the absence of a final resolution, the security of both Sabah and Sarawak will continue to be compromised and thereby affect investor and consumer confidence.  

Singapore Application would be a continuation of Pulau Batu Putih case

If Singapore is featured as well at the same time that the cases of Sabah and Sarawak are considered, it would amount to a revisitation of the Pulau Batu Putih hearings which saw the island of a few rocks being awarded to the city state.

The Singapore Application could be made by the Government of that island or vide a Class Action Suit commenced by concerned citizens seeking closure on an issue which has bedevilled relations on both sides of the causeway since 1965.

The descendants of the nine heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate claim that they have private property rights to Sabah or parts of it. They further claim and/or used to claim that sovereignty over Sabah rests with the Philippines Government. This is a grey area since one Sulu Sultan apparently “transferred” his sultanate’s sovereignty over Sabah to the Manila Government by way of a Power of Attorney which has reportedly since expired.

Jamalul Kiram III claims to be Sultan of Sulu.

Sulu claimants, Nur Misuari don’t have a leg to stand on in Sabah, Sarawak

At last count there were some 60 claimants to the Sulu Sultanship, not all being descendants of the nine heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate.

The nine Plaintiffs viz. Dayang Dayang Piandao Kiram, Princess Tarhata Kiram, Princess Sakinur Kiram, Sultan Ismael Kiram, Sultan Punjungan Kiram, Sitti Rada Kiram, Sitti Jahara Kiram, Sitti Mariam Kiram and Mora Napsa were recognised by C. F. Mackasie, Chief Judge of Borneo, on 13 Dec, 1939 in response to Civil Suit No. 169/39.

The Judge ruled that the nine heirs, as the beneficiaries under the will of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram, who died at Jolo on 7 June 1935, are entitled to collect a total of RM 5,300 per annum from Sabah in perpetuity for having foregone in perpetuity the right to collect tolls along the waterways in eastern Sabah. The reference point was the deed of cession made between the Sultan of Sulu and the predecessors of the British North Borneo Chartered Company on Jan 22, 1878, and under a confirmatory deed dated April 22, 1903.

If the descendants of the nine heirs end up at the ICJ in The Hague, there are no prizes for guessing which way the case will go.

The Sulu claimants don’t have a leg to stand on in Sabah.

Nur Misuari ready to do battle with a battery of lawyers

The Sulu Sultans of old were extorting tolls, virtually a criminal activity, from the terrified traffic along the eastern seaboard of Sabah. The Brunei Sultanate meanwhile denies ever handing any part of Sabah, or the right to collect tolls along the waterways, to Sulu.

The British North Borneo Chartered Company had no right whatsoever to enter into negotiations on behalf of the people of Sabah with anyone.

The entire land area of Sabah, by history, Adat and under Native Customary Rights (NCR), belonged to the Orang Asal (Original People) of the Territory.

The sovereignty of Sabah rests with the people of Sabah. This sovereignty was re-affirmed on 31 Aug, 1963 when the state won independence from Britain which had occupied the state after World War II. Therein the matter lies. The sovereignty of Sabah had never been transferred to Brunei, Sulu, the Philippines, Britain or Malaya, masquerading as Malaysia since 16 Sept, 1963.

Likewise, Sarawak’s independence was re-affirmed on 22 July, 1963 when the British left. Sarawak had been an independent country for over 150 years under its own Rajah until World War II intervened and the Japanese occupied the country. The war over, the British coerced the Rajah to hand over his country to the Colonial Office in London because they had plans to form the Federation of Malaysia with Sarawak as one of the constituent elements. British occupation of Sarawak was illegal and an act of piracy.

Nur Misuari claims that Sarawak had belonged to his family, from the time of his great great grandfather. He claims that he has the services of the best lawyers at his disposal to make his case at The Hague.

Cobbold Commission a scam by British and Malayan Governments

The outcome of any hearing at The Hague will be a forgone conclusion: the Sulu and Nur Misuari petitions will be struck out without even a hearing; the Court will rule that the people of Sabah and Sarawak never agreed to be in Malaysia; and Singapore will hear that its expulsion from Malaysia in 1965 was unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal. The people of Sabah and Sarawak must be given the right to intervene in the Applications at the ICJ which will determine their fate. There’s nothing to prevent the people of Sulu and the southern Philippines from throwing in an Application that the Philippines Government has no business to occupy their traditional Muslim homeland.

The people of Singapore decided in a Yes or Note Vote in 1962 to the idea of independence through merger with Malaya via the Federation of Malaysia. The inclusion of Orang Asal-majority Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei was to facilitate the merger between Chinese-majority Singapore and non-Malay majority Malaya.

Brunei stayed out of Malaysia at the 11th hour after an armed rebellion in the Sultanate against the idea of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei being in Malaysia.

No Referendum was held in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Malaya on Malaysia. The Kelantan Government even took the matter to Court.

A sampling of community leaders conducted by the Cobbold Commission found that only the Suluk and Bajau community leaders, perhaps sensing some personal benefits for themselves as proxies of Muslim-controlled Kuala Lumpur, agreed with the idea of Malaysia.

Revolution another possibility to finish off Sulu, Nur Misuari, Manila

Orang Asal community leaders wanted a period of independence before looking at the idea of Malaysia again. They asked for further and better particulars on Malaysia to be used as the reference point for a future re-visitation of the Malaysia Concept. They were not provided these further and better particulars.

The Chinese community leaders, keeping the eventual fate of the resources and revenues of the country uppermost in mind, totally rejected the idea of Malaysia. They were not wrong. Putrajaya today carts away all the resources and revenues of Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya and very little of it comes back to the two Borneo.

The Cobbold Commission disingenuously declared that two third of the people in Sabah i.e. Suluk/Bajau + Orang Asal supported Malaysia. The Commission made the same declaration in Sarawak where only the Sarawak Malay community leaders supported the idea of Malaysia for self-serving reasons.

When Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak – the facilitators of the merger between Singapore and Malaya – were not allowed to exit the Federation. This is a crucial point which will feature at the ICJ.

Security became an afterthought. But as the continuing influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah and Sarawak, and the Lahad Datu intrusion, has proven, there has been no security for both Borneo nations in Malaysia. ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) and ESSZONE (Eastern Sabah Safety Zone) comes too little too late, after 50 years.

In the unlikely event that the ICJ rules in favour of the heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate and Nur Misuari, it would be the sacred duty of Sabahans and Sarawakians to launch a Revolution and decapitate all the claimants to their countries from the Philippines.

This would bury the issue once and for all and shut up the Manila press and the Philippines Government.

Singapore’s re-admission to Malaysia, if it materialises, would not persuade Sabah and Sarawak to join the Federation as well. The people would want Malaya even quicker out Sabah and Sarawak. It would be the end of a long drawn out nightmare.

 

Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet.


The coming state assembly elections for Sabah may be a pivotal moment in determining the future trajectory of the state’s political economy and indeed progress, in the near term. Pitted against each other are two contesting visions of Sabah: the incumbent coalition government comprising the Umno-led BN in a coalition with local parties Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasok Momogun Kadazan Organisation (UPKO),Party Bersatu Rayat Sabah (PBRS) and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), are campaigning on a platform of good governance which is supported by the arithmetic of rapid economic growth — approximately 7 per cent on average — in the last ten years of Musa Aman’s government.

On the other side is the Pakatan Rakyat combine shepherded by Anwar Ibrahim and Bumburing’s Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Lajim Ukin’s Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPPS), which still believes that it can acquire power in Kota Kinabalu by manipulating the state’s race and religious arithmetic in its favour. The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Sabah STAR is the third front in this contest — trying to take on the incumbent government on a Borneo agenda-Sabah autonomy, rather than governance plank — but not yet powerful enough to be a credible alternative in government, leaving many to believe that both the SAPP and Star Sabah have been planted by Barisan National to split the opposition votes. After all, President Yong Teck Lee himself will have plenty explaining to do on what he did during his tenure as chief minister when SAPP was in the BN.

It would be in the larger interest of the state of Sabah and its people if this election puts to rest the notion that power can still be captured based on old social divisions and grievances. It is important for Sabah’s political economy to move on to a politics of aspiration, where people vote for a party or coalition that delivers governance. This will force all serious political parties (including the SAPP and Sabah Star if they want to remain relevant) to contest future elections on a forward looking governance plank in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement within the framework of the Federal Constitution, rather than a backward looking social engineering plank. This time round, such reasoning undoubtedly favours the UMNO-PBS combination which is the main pillar of Barisan National Sabah, and a majority of opinion polls, for what they are worth, suggest an easy victory for the Musa Aman-led coalition.

But a political economy which puts governance at its centre may not favour the incumbent government for all times to come, such are the huge challenges facing any government that is elected to power in Sabah. To what extent can Musa Aman’s government claim credit for Sabah’s apparent turnaround, powered by a growth rate higher than Malaysia’s average over the last five years? A dissection of the growth figures shows both the contribution of the government and the challenges that remain. Most of Sabah’s growth these past five years has been powered by agriculture, construction, tourism and services, particularly hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, trade and, to an extent, oil and gas. The impressive growth in these sectors isn’t matched by the lethargic performance in manufacturing — those are challenges that still face the next government.

The state government can claim credit for fuelling the growth in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and construction, since much of this has come through rural development projects, water supply, electrification, bridges and roads funded through the federal and state’s exchequer. In fact, the government’s public spending record has been good, and a massive improvement on the poor spending record of the previous governments before Musa Aman that preceded it. Planned spending was tripled within ten years of the Musa Aman government taking office. This has spillover effects, in a Keynesian “stimulus” sense. Apart from increasing spending, the government has also taken huge strides in improving the law and order situation especially in the east coast of Sabah where bulk of the illegals with fake or questionable Malaysian identity have outnumbered the locals. That has helped boost not just agriculture and the construction activity but has also given a fillip to service industries in the tourism sector like hotels and restaurants which have registered impressive growth.

In short, the government has effected the turnaround in the state’s economic fortunes by simply doing the two things any good government ought to: implementing law and order as well as spending on infrastructure. In doing so, it has reversed the long decline in the state’s fortunes that took place before Musa Aman took over the chief ministers in 2003. It is also important to remember that a lot of this impressive growth in the last five years has plenty to do with Sabah starting from a very low base — and that there is a limit to the sustainability of a growth rate that is powered largely by government spending and a small section of services industries and not forgetting that Sabah is the 2nd largest state in Malaysia with an area of 74,500 sq. km which is 260 times bigger than Penang, which is only 293 sq. km in size even, smaller than Sabah Forest Industries (SFI). Therefore for growth to be sustainable it needs to be more broad-based into manufacturing and agriculture.

Here, the task gets a lot harder, and will involve massive policy reform in land, labour and product markets. What makes Sabah’s task of industrialisation harder than that of some other states is the fact that goods are more expensive in Sabah due to the federal government’s cabotage rules a policy set in the early 1980s, making sure that all the domestic transport of foreign goods could only be done by Malaysian vessels, reducing Sabah’s attractiveness as an investment destination. This protectionist policy has led to excessive shipping costs, importers and exporters in Sabah had to pay more than RM1 billion for shipping services as a result, causing prices everywhere in East Malaysia to go up and ultimately a higher cost of living and higher price of goods as producers hike up prices to compensate the increase in cost of production. Further more, Sabah lost a lion’s share of its industries after Labuan became a Federal Territory.

What may also turn out to be an unforeseen advantage is the rather shambolic state of governance in surrounding states — Sarawak, Brunei, The Sulu States, and even Kalimantan. If Sabah can consistently outperform these states on governance, it could easily become the industrial hub of East Malaysia — a region which still trails Penang and Selangor on most economic parameters by some distance.

But to capitalise on these potential advantages, the Musa Aman government will have to do much more than maintain law and order and actively engage in spending which has been done of late with a huge budget approval of over RM4 billion this year. It will also need to take bold policy steps to liberalise rules that deter investment. In doing so it may have to go further than other states which already have a head start in attracting investment. The government will, for example, need to ease labour laws and better wages, so that Sabahans can be gainfully employed within the state. It will need to take aggressive steps to ease land acquisition so that it can have an advantage over neighbouring Sarawak. If the government fails to do this and more, growth will begin to slow, giving the opposition plenty of ammunition. At any rate, Sabah’s future elections ought to be fought on these issues of the future rather than the outdated legacies of the past. This leaves Musa Aman still the best man for the job.



(Picture taken from Sabahkini.net http://sabahkini.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13401:joe-fernandez-wartawan-kehabisan-modal&catid=37:politik&Itemid=41)

Dear Editor,

Attached a COMMENT piece, Everyone has Right of Reply, no need to run amok!, for your kind attention.

Thanking you
Regards

Joe Fernandez

COMMENT It’s not the done thing for Jeffrey Kitingan’s State Reform Party (Star) to take a leaf from the mosquito political parties in Sabah and run amok, samseng-style, whenever they run into a spell of stormy weather in the media. The verdict from the Barisan Nasional (BN) is that the party (Star) needs a dose of its own medicine after running amok in recent weeks with numerous statements in the media.

Star’s inspiration stems from one particular mosquito party in the opposition – allegedly planning a reverse frogging after the 13th GE — in Sabah which has been known to avoid press interviews like the plague, preferring to hide behind public relations statements structured as “news stories” and written by journalists on the take – “ang pow journalism” — in the local media, and responding to criticisms with venomous personal and offensive attacks against journalists who incur its wrath.

Again, it seems that Star has now adopted the same approach as well.

If it’s a storm in a tea cup, no need to carry on as if one has been hit by a tsunami.

Not the end of the world

Criticisms in the media are not the end of the world. One must think of living to fight another day. There’s no need to get carried away in politics by one’s own bulls..t. We need to know where politics ends and good government begins. The people are watching!

Two recent articles in the alternative media, and they are self-explanatory, has Star up in arms:

https://selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/jeffrey-extends-olive-branch-to-party-rebels/

http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=35608:no-indications-jeffrey-is-a-game-changer&Itemid=2

The piece in selvarajasomiah was also carried in borneoherald.blogspot.com which is run by Dusuns including one who was formerly political secretary to Jeffrey when he was Deputy Federal Minister for Housing and Local Government post-1994.

Star can exercise Right of Reply.

It has waived this right.

Instead, the party’s cybertroopers are now out in full force running amok all over blogosphere and FaceBook, Twitter, Chat and emails, launching downright racist, personal and highly offensive attacks in spin on yours truly. One comment made an unflattering comparison between this writer’s tan and “another Keling but putih” who recently passed away after serving as a press secretary of sorts to former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh.

It’s not known whether Jeffrey is behind these attacks which is very much unlike him but what’s certain is that he’s in the know and apparently making no attempts to stop these attacks.

“Nothing but spin and bullshit”

The cybertroopers attack has been set by the following article originally penned for Sabahkini.net, where it was not greeted enthusiastically, and therefore lifted by a mosquito political party-linked wikiSabah and for good measure posted in Malaysia-today.net where it drew only criticisms against the cybertroopers, among others.

The article – “nothing but spin and bullshit” — is self-explanatory.

http://wikisabah.blogspot.com/2012/07/joe-fernandez-wartawan-kehabisan-modal.html?showComment=1341374898226#c5367884390854390412

Sabahkini.net, malaysiakini.com, freemalaysiatoday.com, selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com, borneoherald.blogspot.com have all been dragged into the debate without the slightest respect for even an ounce of the truth.

The fact is that malaysiakini is yet to settle its legal bill in Kota Kinabalu after being sued by a PKR division chief. The case was struck out by the High Court in the Sabah capital.

To add insult to injury, yours truly has been bombarded with text messages, however not all as virulent as those in blogosphere, and many long telephone calls, some threatening, to put it mildly.

Hit-men from the Philippines

One caller in particular in the dead of night, who sounded as if he had one too many for the road, said that he just has to give the word and his “boss” will finish off yours truly for good. Visions of hit-men from the nearby Philippines came to mind.

Another foul-mouthed caller, liberally spicing his call with various derogatory terms, swore he had a battery of lawyers ready to spring into action on behalf of Star.

The thrust of the matter is Jeffrey Kitingan who has the unenviable reputation of being the King of the Frogs in Sabah. His latest contribution to political theatre in Sabah has been to label all Sabah politicians, including his brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan, as frogs. The Jury is still out on this.

He has yet to convince the voters beyond a shadow of doubt that he has been truly rehabilitated since the dark days of 1994 and that he would not betray the people’s cause in the run-up to the 13th General Election.

Drums of war on Sabah, Sarawak rights

In recent months, the Star Chief has been beating the drums of war on Sabah and Sarawak rights in Malaysia but without producing any concrete evidence that he’s not all just hot air to get the votes.

Jeffrey was in fact accused of betraying Pairin in 1994, albeit through various media statements, and causing the downfall of the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Government. Many believe that then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made many promises to Jeffrey, after allegedly seizing the latter’s international accounts, and which (promises) he had no intention of keeping. Jeffrey had then just been released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after being incarcerated for two two-year terms.

Jeffrey, who has a PhD from Harvard University, has also yet to convince his former colleagues in PBS that he has fully recovered from the PhD – “permanent head damage” – which he reportedly suffered at the Kamunting Detention Centre. PBS loyalists believe that Jeffrey was subject to repeated attacks on the head with telephone directories to “damage his brains and thinking faculties”.

Exercise Right of Reply

The bottomline is that if Jeffrey is on the level, he will exercise his Right of Reply.

He will also say what he means and mean what he says and not go all over the place bogged down by ancient history.

As Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president, his major complaint was that the party did not respect Sabahans and Sarawakians and did not subscribe to their rights in Malaysia.

So, he left in a huff to form his own political party instead of standing firm with the opposition alliance to bring about a much-needed change in Putrajaya.

Now that Jeffrey is on his own, there’s no indication either that he’s serious about Sabah and Sarawak rights beyond generating hot air to provide entertainment of sorts in the rural areas in particular.

Hindraf Makkal Sakthi was serious about assisting Jeffrey & Co to internationalize the plight of Borneo in Malaysia. The Star Chief appears to have spurned the offer, withdrawn on co-operating with the London-based NGO, and tried to squat on anyone in the party thinking of taking the UN route with or without Hindraf.

Meeting Najib the Mother of all Lies

Jeffrey and a girlfriend had all their bags ready to leave for London in early 2010 to address the House of Commons on Borneo. Suddenly, he had cold feet, and withdrew after telling his supporters that Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak wanted to see him to discuss Borneo.

In fact, it turned out to be the Mother of All Lies and Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy was shocked beyond belief.

As a cover-up Jeffrey claimed that it was de facto PKR Chief Anwar Ibrahim who suggested that he try to see Prime Minister on the plight of Borneo in Malaysia.

The latest is that Jeffrey has put the much awaited party manifesto and its vision, mission statement in cold storage although the drafts are ready.
The people are waiting with bated breaths to see how much of the content reflects the plight of Borneo in Malaysia.

Ominous sign

An ominous sign is that his aides have meanwhile dismissed the draft manifesto and the party’s vision, mission – reflecting the plight of Borneo in Malaysia and prepared by party seniors — as just spin and bullshit.

If Jeffrey doesn’t stick with the plight of Borneo in Malaysia, he would have betrayed the cause of the people and betrayed the opposition alliance as well after having found them more than wanting.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

Leaders and members in the State Reform Party (Star), Sabah chapter, are heaving a sigh of relief after chairman Jeffrey Kitingan extended an olive branch to known “rebels” in the party despite being humbled for the first time by them at an emergency meeting this morning (Fri) in Kota Kinabalu.

Falling short of waving the proverbial white flag, Jeffrey for starters reportedly did an about-turn with about 20 party leaders including rebels. He claimed that he had never issued a gag order recently against them. It was stressed that the gag order was a “mistake” on the part of some of his more “over-zealous” aides.

The more vociferous among the leaders gathered begged to disagree on making a complete scapegoat of Jeffrey’s errant aides. However, it appears that they did not protest too much on the gag order “in the interest of party unity” after the party chairman announced that two members, a male and a female, would be appointed as his political secretaries.

Lawyer Moses Iking and Ranau member Juliana Situn, it was agreed, would both be offered the post of political secretary to Jeffrey.

This is the second time that Moses is being offered a party post. He was earlier offered a vice-chairmanship but declined on the grounds that the party took no action against another vice-chairman blacklisted by the Insolvency Department.

“Many of us would have liked the aides to be hauled up for disciplinary action but the matter was not discussed,” said a number of party leaders approached separately after the session. “The appointment of the two political secretaries is expected to cut Jeffrey’s errant aides down to size.”

The party leaders, who requested anonymity for fear of being accused of fishing in troubled waters, fumed that the errant aides had not only acted with or without permission in the chairman’s name but also had been “kurang ajar” (disrespectful) of late to several senior party leaders who tried to tick them off privately.

The meeting generally did not comment or did not disagree too much when Jeffrey proposed that the gist of all press statements prepared by party leaders be first cleared with him, at least by telephone, before being issued. His main concern appeared to be on “not souring relations with other opposition parties” and “not touching on party policies”, the latter being read as euphemism for anything the party chairman didn’t like.

One party leader said he had no objections to seeking clearance from Jeffrey on his press statements “provided the party chairman bothered to answer their telephone calls”. Jeffrey, it appears, has a reputation for not picking up telephone calls, not returning missed calls, and not responding to text messages or emails. It’s even said that he doesn’t read emails except on his Blackberry if it’s not too full.

“The chairman promised to take all calls especially from party leaders,” said one party leader who attended the meeting. “He also promised to be punctual in future for appointments.”

The party chairman allegedly turns up late, anywhere between an hour to three hours, for public gatherings and meetings.

The meeting did not fault Jeffrey for this tardy time management on his part but advised him not to take on too many appointments or simply agree each time to the times set by others. He was further advised to learn to delegate and trust his fellow party leaders.

So far, Star has yet to set up any Bureaus, Committees or Sub-Committees although it claims to have a membership of 200,000, of which 175,000 it was further claimed signed up within the first three months of the party being set up in Sabah recently.

The meeting agreed with Jeffrey that the party needs to hold regular meetings and all its Bureaus, Committees and Sub-Committees need to be set up as soon as possible.

The meeting agreed that the party’s proposed vision and mission statements and manifesto, all bones of contention among the leadership and rank-and-file, need to be dusted off and tabled for discussion.

The party’s vision and mission statements and manifesto, Jeffrey agreed, would not be finalized without input from all stakeholders and unanimously agreed at a series of party meetings called specifically for the purpose.

It was tentatively agreed that the first meeting of the proposed Political Bureau would be held tentatively in the afternoon on Mon to discuss the vision and mission for a start. The discussion on the manifesto would be shelved to a later date. In the morning, on Mon, Star would sign a pact with Transparency-International Malaysia in Kota Kinabalu, the meeting learnt.

The party leaders already have draft copies of the vision and mission and manifesto following input by several Supreme Council members. However, the matter became controversial when Jeffrey’s aides sent several emails to senior party leaders dismissing their input as “just spin and bullshit”.

The offending emails by the errant aides have been cited as the reason for the current tension between the party headquarters in Kota Kinabalu and senior party leaders. It appears that snatches of these emails have found their way into FaceBook, Twitter, Chats and text messages.

Jeffrey reportedly promised that he would brief the Political Bureau on Mon on his meetings earlier this week with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Tian Chua and party Treasurer William Leong.

No details related to Star were disclosed this morning.

Elsewhere, the meeting learnt that de facto PKR Chief Anwar Ibrahim is wary of Sabah Umno veteran Lajim Ukin and Upko deputy president Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing planning to defect to his party.
“It seems that both Lajim and Ukin are not interested in PKR but want to stand under the party symbol provided their respective factions are allotted 20 Muslim and 18 Native (Orang Asal) state seats,” said a Star leader. “Wilfred is willing to concede only one or two Native seats to Star.”

The suspicion is that both men would defect with their factions after the 13th General Election, said the leader. “We think that both Lajim and Wilfred would frog back to the Barisan Nasional (BN) after winning seats under PKR.”

Jeffrey announced in mid-April that Star would contest all 60 state seats at stake in Sabah and 26 parliamentary seats including Labuan in the 13th General Election.

The party is yet to climb down from this extreme position, reportedly a strategic move, but the word along the political grapevine in Sabah is that it would be prepared to retreat to 35 state seats and the related parliamentary seats.

It’s not known whether the 35 state seats include that which would be contested by the pro-tem United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) under the Star symbol. Usno had been reported to be eyeing 18 state seats.


By Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT State Reform Party (Star) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan is once again in the news for the wrong reasons. He has stirred a hornet’s nest in Sabah by claiming that all politicians in Sabah, including his brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan, are frogs.

He thinks that this will explain him being discredited time and again by Sabahans as the King of Frogs. Jeffrey has, by most counts, moved through as many as six political parties but all this is water under the bridge and for the most part irrelevant.

His considered opinion is that other politicians continued their political frogging until they secured a comfort zone for themselves, albeit “at the expense of the people”.

In his case, according to him, he continued frogging until he could find a political vehicle which could accept his “struggle for the people”.

Of course, there’s the little matter of him not finding any political vehicle for his struggle until he set up Star. This begs the question of why he didn’t make such a move earlier.

Jeffrey’s comments on other political frogs have been dismissed by them as completely untrue. They claim to be struggling for the people too – by “bringing development to them” – instead of focusing on whatever Jeffrey is preaching all the time.

So far, it has all been needless indulgence in the politics of distraction and disruption from the real issues of the day. No doubt politicians in Sabah love the sound of their own voices.

The Star chairman obviously feels that “man does not live by bread alone”.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul?” asks Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun rhetorically. “This is the thrust of our struggle.”

Daniel may have a point about struggling for the soul of Sabah — i.e. to save it and obviously from the clutches of Peninsular Malaysia and their local proxies and their stooges — but that’s about as far as it goes.

His boss seems to be squatting so far on the so-called struggle for the people.

He has blown hot and cold on Daniel John and Co internationalizing the struggle for Borneo in Malaysia.

Therein lies an emerging split in Star which will either see Jeffrey being ousted from his own party or many Supreme Council members leaving for the Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) which has been approved in principle in recent weeks. The party is awaiting its registration certificate. PCS plans to join the Star-initiated, formed and led United Borneo Alliance (UBA).

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Jeffrey has confined himself thus far in his ceramah to explaining the history of Sabah before and in Malaysia. No one can fault him here since not many people, especially the younger generation, are conversant with the historical facts.

But the movement for Sabah does not seem to be moving from rhetoric to action.

To digress a little, the younger generation doesn’t seem to be too bothered by Sabah’s history in Malaysia.

Instead, they have cut the Gordian knot and are asking why Sabah should be in Malaysia at all.

Their logic is simple: Peninsular Malaysia is so far away, we can’t even breathe without their permission, and “why are we in Federation with them especially since we can be on our own?”

Others ask: “How did we get into this situation and how do we get out?”

Jeffrey has no answers and it would be foolhardy for anyone, judging from his politics since 1984, to look to him.

True, he did lead a rowdy Star crowd to greet Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak on his recent visit to Keningau where he (Najib) announced a quarter billion ringgit loan to Sabah for a water treatment plant.

They had placards reading “Sabah’s independence” and castigating Putrajaya for behaving like an Ah Long (loan shark) with Sabah after seizing almost all its revenue for itself.

This is the first time that Jeffrey has been associated with “Sabah’s independence”. No one is sure what it means. So, the excitement was lacking.

It would have been different had Jeffrey stated in no uncertain terms that Malaysia has ceased to exist following the Federal Government’s non-compliance on the five constitutional documents and/or constitutional conventions on Malaysia i.e. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the Three-Point Oath Stone (Batu Sumpah) witnessed and solemnized by the Federal Government in Keningau, the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.

Non-compliance ipso facto meant that Sabah’s self-determination of 31 Aug 1963 (Sarawak 22 July 1963) remains undiminished.

Jeffrey lost a golden opportunity in Keningau to say what he meant and mean what he said.

In any case, he appears to be no messiah for his flock.

The thrust of his complaints thus far has been that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance on MA63. He wants Putrajaya to set up a compliance mechanism.

This is unlikely to happen as MA63 has ceased to exist by virtue of non-compliance but Jeffrey refuses to accept this and continues to flog the proverbial dead horse on a compliance mechanism.

Not surprising he has been accused by no less than former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh of seriously misleading the people with his propaganda barrage on a compliance mechanism. Harris claims that MA63 – and the four other constitutional documents and/or constitutional conventions – “has been overtaken by events”. This is euphemism for non-compliance. However, Harris dreads and avoids the term non-compliance.

Jeffrey’s politics also glosses over the fact that Sabahans are by no means united on being out of Malaysia or even in Malaysia.

Putrajaya has done a very successful job since 1963 of pitting the people in the state against each other, introducing polarisation a la Peninsular Malaysia, and ensuring proxy control of the politics of the state.

The political situation has been further compounded by the influx of illegal immigrants who have over the years allegedly found their way into the electoral rolls.

These illegals see Putrajaya and Malaysia as the best guarantee of their continued existence in Sabah.

Local Muslims see the illegals as being in the state particularly at their expense, further marginalizing and disenfranchising them as the opportunities that should go to them dwindle even further.

Jeffrey is yet to bridge the non-Muslim-local Muslim disconnect created by Putrajaya over nearly five decades. So far, only some of the Dusuns including Muslims and Muruts are with him. The same goes for the Suluks, Brunei Muslims and Chinese. He has hardly any support among the Bajau and Irranun.

The Chinese appear caught between the Orang Asal (Natives) – the Murut and the Dusuns including the Kadazan or urban Dusun – the local Muslims and the illegals.

Jeffrey will be no game-changer unless he can get his act together and help forge total unity among Sabahans i.e. Orang Asal and the others alike to take on the illegals allegedly on the electoral rolls.

Charity begins at home.

Getting his act together would first mean setting his own house in order.

There are growing complaints that Star is a one-man show with little evidence of democracy in action, unrepresentative, and no empowerment of the leadership and members.

Jeffrey’s aides seem to be more powerful than even the party’s three deputy chairmen. The aides have since prevailed on their boss to issue a gag order on anyone other than Jeffrey issuing press statements. These statements are invariably written by the aides.

The party has also yet to reveal its vision, mission, objectives, goals and activities although there’s a draft prepared by several Supreme Council members. The draft has reportedly been dismissed by Jeffrey’s aides as “spin and bullshit”.

The oft-cited party Manifesto, again provided by several Supreme Council members in draft form, has been allowed to gather dust on the shelf by Jeffrey’s aides on the grounds that it was not written by their boss, “it was just spin and bullshit”, and that “Star (meaning Jeffrey’s aides) has its own way of doing things”.

It appears to be clear to many that if the two respective drafts can be “rejected”, then Jeffrey is clearly no game-changer and can be discounted from the emerging political equation in Sabah and Malaysia.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT It appears that ties between the Sabah chapter of the Borneo-based State Reform Party (Star) and the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) could be “much better” if not for the latter’s insistence on contesting in 40 state seats and almost a third, about five to seven, of the parliamentary seats in Sabah. The party reiterated this stand at its meet on Sun in Kota Kinabalu.

Before the 40/5-7 Sun announcement by Sapp, Star had been publicly toying with the “goodwill gesture” of conceding two state seats — Likas and Luyang — and one (Tawau) of the two parliamentary seats it (Sapp) won in 2008 as a member of the ruling BN. Star itself had announced in mid-April that it would go for all 60 state seats at stake in Sabah and 26 parliamentary seats including Labuan.

Star chairman Jeffrey Kitingan then explained it as his party’s Plan Z after Sapp held secret seat-sharing talks with de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Chief Anwar Ibrahim in Kota Kinabalu. Anwar claimed that he was negotiating on behalf of PR but this was quickly denied by Sabah Dap which wants Star brought into the equation as well. Anwar’s excuse for leaving out Star is that “it’s a new party in Sabah”.

Another major policy difference, reiterated by Sapp President Yong Teck Lee at the Sun meet, is that Sapp, unlike Star, does not want to be the king maker. He would be quite happy with just “killing the King” (Umno) so that “Anwar Ibrahim can be King”.

Yong condescendingly attributes Star’s stand to the 16-year-old party being new in Sabah and “still feeling its way” and this has outraged Star which is taking Sapp’s sanctimonious pontifications on “king killing” as a ploy and with more than a pinch of salt.

Jeffrey, given a history of bitter animosity with the allegedly anti-Christian Anwar, is not happy with the idea of him being “King” as it contradicts his party’s grand “vision of working towards helping empower the people of Sabah and Sarawak to wean them away from the dependency syndrome foisted on them by the BN to hold them to ransom in a climate of fear”.

His party, or at least the young Turks, is pushing for either Lim Guan Eng or Wan Azizah on the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) side vs Tengku Razaleigh on the Barisan Nasional (BN) side. Star disagrees with the Pas notion that the Prime Minister must always be a Muslim from one of the Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia who originated from the Archipelago.

Under Star’s kingmaker policy, it’s a toss between PR and BN but with the right Prime Minister-designate, “and the one favoured most would be the one – not party — who would least disrupt the economy”.

Star feels that Anwar, being a noted rabble-rouser all his life, would be a disruptive element in the economic management of the country. They are not impressed with his pledge to virtually “steal less oil and gas” than BN from Sabah and Sarawak given that the Petroleum Development Act has been found by legal experts to be unconstitutional and the oil agreement null and void.

The bottomline is that Star does not want Sabah and Sarawak in the post-13th GE period to go from the frying pan (BN) into the fire (PR), or at best, from the fire (BN) into the frying pan (PR).

The political fallout from Sapp’s insistence on “killing the King” and contesting 40 state seats has surprisingly taken a personal turn and is increasingly souring ties between the two parties.

Sapp activists are claiming during their ceramah that “Star is a useless reject from Sarawak where it failed to make any headway for 16 years, that its agenda is simply a cut-and-paste of Sapp’s original ideas, that it has been planted by BN to split the opposition votes and that Jeffrey himself received RM 50 million from a veteran BN leader in South Africa recently”.

Jeffrey’s international passport, a senior Star leader confided, does not show any trip to South Africa.

He dismissed the other allegations by Sapp as “a pack of lies which only this party of samsengs is capable of cooking up”.

“Samseng” is an image that Sapp finds particularly difficult to shake given the Dap constantly harping on this hypersensitive theme. This has made the soft-spoken Jeffrey more than a little wary of being publicly seen as being too close with Sapp, Yong in particular.

Sapp, in any case, seems bent on demolishing Star’s attempt to stake a claim to all seats at stake under Kingmaker Jeffrey’s Plan Z despite a caveat in some quarters.

In a sign of light at the end of the tunnel, some Sapp leaders are willing to accept just what Star can offer it and go along with Jeffrey’s king maker idea. However, they are coming under intense pressure from hawkish elements in the party who are reportedly linked with political party financers and moneybags working across the political divide and known hoodlums from Sarawak, all Foochows, controlling the Sabah underworld.

The young Turks in Star who originally came up with the party’s 60/26 plan, initially denied by Jeffrey “to please Sapp” and subsequently endorsed after Anwar, think that “Sapp will continue with its annoying mosquito ways despite staying in a glass house”.

They may hit back by probing the known skeletons in Sapp’s cupboard and, where possible, dredge up new information.

One of the skeletons is Jeffrey’s incarceration under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) for two two-year terms for activities undertaken by Sapp leaders when they were with the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

They are puzzled that Jeffrey can be so “forgiving”.

It was Yong, they swear, who prevailed upon PBS President Joseph Pairin Kitingan to pull out his party on the eve of General Election in 1990. Yong was then a PBS Deputy President. Yong did not work alone. He earlier sought the support of PBS Deputy President Bernard Giluk Dompok – now Upko President – after being first rebuffed by Jeffrey who feared being blamed by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The young Turks confide that Star has two options “to put Sapp and PKR as well in their place in Sabah” in the run-up to the forthcoming 13th General Election.

The first was to demolish “the lies being spread by Sapp activists” and the second was to emphasize that “there’s no basis for comparison between Sapp and Star”.

“It was Sapp who ganged up with Umno to overthrow the PBS Government in 1994 through defections,” said a young Turk who remains incognito. “The Natives are mad to this day with Sapp for overthrowing the government of their Huguan Siou (paramount chief) Pairin.”

According to her, this is the most telling point among the Dusuns and Muruts in particular against Sapp; followed by the sneaking suspicion flogged by Dap that Sapp will “frog back into BN after the 13th GE to play the kingmaker role there”.

Elsewhere, Sapp’s track record when Yong was Chief Minister will come under growing scrutiny.

Topping the list is Yong’s allegedly lackluster record in office as Chief Minister; followed by the Likas election petition during which the Court discovered that the electoral rolls had been padded with illegal immigrants and, as a result, over-turned the election result; Yong’s disqualification from contesting for five years; Yong’s inability to explain the crippling losses suffered by state-sponsored Saham Amanah Sabah (SAS) holders who at one time saw the value of their holdings drop to ten sen per unit; and the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of thousands of forest fringe-dwelling Natives left virtually internally-displaced by the Sapp Government approving 100-year leases for so-called Forest Management Units (FMU).

Star, of all the parties in Sabah and Sarawak, fights a lonely battle on internal colonisation, self-determination, the Petroleum Development Act being unconstitutional, and the Federal Government’s non-compliance on the four constitutional documents and/or conventions which formed the basis for Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia viz. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement; the 20/18 Points; the Inter Governmental Committee Report; and the Cobbold Commission Report.

It also has reportedly a different and comprehensive take on the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants. The party’s stand will be unveiled in the security aspects of its Manifesto which is “work in progress”.

Therein lies the difference.


KOTA KINABALU: The manifesto revealed by the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) on Sun in the Sabah capital, to cite an example, leaves a lot to be desired since its conveys the impression that “the party leaders continue to be in a state of denial and are sitting on another planet and making plans for the state”.

This is the dismissive note, albeit reluctantly, from the State Reform Party (Star) on the Sapp Manifesto unveiled amidst much fanfare. The party hopes that others in the opposition will take heed of the lessons and do a better job on their respective manifestos “while Sapp goes back to the drawing board”.

If Sapp leaders deny that they are sitting on another planet, read a press statement from Star, then they certainly are like the proverbial three monkeys i.e. see no evil, hear no evil; and speak no evil and/or alternatively have buried their heads in the sand like the ostrich.

“Opposition parties in Sabah including the parti parti Malaya should not hope to emulate the evil being perpetrated by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) when announcing their respective party manifestos,” said Star vice chairman Dr Felix Chong who until recently was with the Democratic Action Party (Dap). “Enough is enough. Let’s not play the game by the rules that the BN has drawn up.”

Chong was making comparisons between the Sapp Manifesto and the guiding principles driving the proposed Star Manifesto “which will be unveiled at an appropriate time”.

For starters, said Chong, he doesn’t know what is the vision and mission driving the Sapp Manifesto and this is evident in the absence of macro elements despite paying lip service, in passing, to autonomy and the one country, two systems approach.

In contrast, he added, Star has already mapped out its vision, mission, objectives, goals and activities (vimoga) “and all these will be reflected in the content of the party manifesto”. In addition, the Star manifesto will take due recognition of the vimoga of the Borneo Agenda driven-United Borneo Alliance (UBA) of which Star is the founding member and lead partner.

Asked what the fundamental flaw was, if any, in the Sapp Manifesto, Chong said it was “an inability to see the forest for the trees’ and “this is evident in the over-emphasis on micro aspects”.

“It would seem that Sapp leaders, in drawing up their Manifesto, are counting their chickens before they are hatched in putting the cart before the horse,” said Chong. “The Sapp Manifesto was dead even before it hit the water because it’s littered with useless and undemocratic ideas like the anti-hop law which is a non-starter.”

Holding out an olive branch, Chong suggested that all opposition parties in Sabah and Sarawak “including the unwelcome parti parti Malaya” get together and thrash out the macro aspects which should resonate through their respective manifestos and drive it together with their individual vimoga.

Chong said that there must be a consensus among opposition parties in the two Borneo states on three key drivers:

(1) remove the element of fear from politics – “reflected in the dependency syndrome” — and crush it by building strength through unity of the political parties and the people;
(2) take a pledge that Putrajaya should reverse the internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak which, admittedly, “are being facilitated by local traitors who are willing to be proxies and stooges of the ruling party”;
(3) regain/restore the self-determination status of 31 Aug 1963 for Sabah and 22 July 1963 for Sarawak which (the status) became dormant on 16 Sept 1963 after both states were misled by the “cunning” Malayans and “re-colonizing” British into agreeing to help form and participate in the Federation of Malaysia, a bad idea from London.

“These three aspects are absolutely crucial and in fact must drive all local parties – “including the parti parti Malaya since they have local members” — in Sabah and Sarawak across both sides of the political divide,” said Chong. “Hopefully, the parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are not here to emulate the self-serving and evil politics of the proxies and stooges of the ruling Federal party.”

Elaborating on the self-determination theme, Chong acknowledged that it could be left on the back-burner “until 2020” if Putrajaya complied with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions which formed the basis for Sabah and Sarawak’s participation in Malaysia viz. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the 20/18 Points (20/18 P); the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR); and the Cobbold omission report (CCR).

“It’s the non-compliance which eventually led to the internal colonization policies being pursued by Putrajaya in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Chong. “The internal colonization can be seen in a host of issues ranged between the ketuanan Melayu concept on one hand and the grinding poverty of our two states on the other hand.”

The Star vice chairman denied that his party and the UBA were biting off more than what they can chew. In a rebuttal, he pointed out that “the purpose of politics was to re-distribute political power and re-distribute resources”.

“If we are going to achieve these twin objectives of politics – power and resources – we need to get our politics and relationships right and not continue be caught in a slave mindset,” said Chong. “Otherwise, we have no business being in politics.”

Asked about the 17 Points in the Sapp Manifesto, Chong said that first things must be done first and, in other things, “we can cross the bridge when we come to it”.

He recalled that Umno, together with the Sapp breakaway from the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), promised a “Sabah Baru within 100 days” back in 1994, and the people were still waiting for it to materialize 18 years later. So, Sapp has a “credibility issue” on its 17 Points, he added.

“The failure of Sabah Baru to materialize eventually forced the United Sabah National Organisation members in Umno to leave the party and they have joined us in UBA,” said Chong. “They will contest under the Star symbol pending the re-registration of their party.”

Daniel John Jambun
Deputy Chairman, State Reform Party (Star)
Contact No: 012-834 0972

Mon 4 June, 2012


KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh has been advised to stand up for Sabah, if not for Sarawak as well, and thereby redeem himself in time finally in the eyes of the people instead of continuing to defend Putrajaya, for no rhyme or reason, “in defiance of the longterm interest of the state”.

This is the best advice that the State Reform Party (Star) can give Harris “who appears determined to commit political suicide a second time, the first being in 1985”.

“If Harris really cares about the future of our children, grandchildren and the generations unborn, he will not continue to support our present status of being virtually enslaved by Putrajaya,” said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun. “If we still have any dignity left at all in us, we would forge our own destiny and be masters of our own house instead of continuing to kowtow to Putrajaya.”

Daniel was responding to a statement by Harris in the local media on Sat and in which he renewed his dare to Star chairman Jeffrey Kitingan to debate him on the allegation that Putrajaya was pursuing internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak.

Daniel said that unless Harris proved locus standi on the issue; the people will still be left with the same impression that they had of him since 1985 i.e. Big Nuisance Value, Small Political Value.

Asked to explain the people’s lingering “perception” of Harris, Daniel said this was related among others to former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the handover of Labuan to Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia), and the signing of the so-called oil agreement when the related Petroleum Development Act was unconstitutional.

“Harris was tainted forever by Mahathir raising his hands in 1985 and declaring that Umno will swim or sink with Berjaya,” said Daniel. “Sabahans knew that day for the first time who was Harris. That was the trigger off point for Sabahans to kick out Berjaya by voting for the Parti Bersatu Sabah.”

The people of Sabah, he stressed, were merely endorsing in their “perception” what Mahathir himself had once said in describing Harris.

Harris, continued Daniel, “had still not learnt the lessons of 1985” and was continuing to root unasked for Putrajaya in Sabah instead of distancing himself from the Federal Government, remaining neutral, holding his peace or at least agreeing to disagree to disagree like a gentleman on the issue of internal colonization.

Harris, reminded Daniel, could not be the honest broker for us with Putrajaya on the internal colonization issue if he at the same continued to remain in a state of denial.

“The evidence of internal colonization is all around us from Putrajaya’s ketuanan Melayu concept to Sabah being the poorest state in Malaysia and many other issues in between,” said Daniel. “Yet Harris remains deaf, dumb and blind to our continued servitude. Why should we be linked with Peninsular Malaysia, across the South China Sea, when we can be on our own like Brunei and Singapore and doing well instead of being dirt poor?”

Touching on Harris’ expressed intention to debate Jeffrey on internal colonization through the media, matching statement for statement, Daniel welcomed the intended move “provided the former Chief Minister could contribute something more than hot air”.

The issues related to internal colonization, according to Daniel, include marginalisation and disenfranchisement of locals through the continuing influx of illegal immigrants; and the illegals entering the electoral rolls after misleading the authorities, and by fraud and deception, obtaining Malaysian personal documents in defiance of the Constitution.

He does not rule out the possibility that National Registration Department (NRD) officials in Putrajaya, as previously alleged numerous times, had either knowingly or unknowingly issued Malaysian personal documents to these illegal immigrants. Those who received Malaysian personal documents from Putrajaya must leave Sabah, he added. “Only those eligible foreigners recommended for Malaysian personal documents by the state government can stay in Sabah.”

The enormous and excessive power of the Federal Government can, must and should be taken away and returned to the states in keeping with the concept of Federation, stressed Daniel, the federal civil service downsized and reined in on administrative law, the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak restored with the Federal Government confining itself to defence, foreign affairs and national economic planning in Borneo; Malaysia brought back as a two-tier Federation; the Federal Government shared equally by Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak; the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers restored; and “fanatics and racists” denied the Prime Minister’s post which should be open to Sabah and Sarawak as well.

Daniel suggested that besides defending Putrajaya against the allegations of pursuing internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak, Harris could also explain the loss of the self-determination that both states obtained on 31 Aug 1963 and subsequently left dormant after the Federal Government pledged to comply with four constitutional documents and/or conventions on Malaysia viz. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the 20/18 Points (20/18 P); the Inter-governmental Committee Report (IGCR); and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

“The non-compliance of these four constitutional documents/conventions not only equates with internal colonization but means that Malaysia did not come into being at all on 16 Sept 1963 and our status of 31 Aug 1963 therefore remains undiminished under international law,” said Daniel. “Harris should keep this in mind when he tries to root for Putrajaya.”

Daniel said that Star and its allies in the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) took the view that Putrajaya would have been in compliance if “local traitors had not been willing to be proxies and stooges for the Federal Government to facilitate internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak”.
“It’s these traitors who had emboldened Putrajaya to embark on colonial divide-and-rule tactics like pitting the Muslims and non-Muslims against each to create racial polarisation a la Peninsular Malaysia,” said Daniel. “Borneonisation, which is being observed more often than not in the breach, is one example being used by Putrajaya to pit the people against each other.”

Daniel, in summing up, said that Putrajaya had no option but reverse its internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak and comply with the four constitutional documents/conventions or accept the reality that Malaysia does not exist in the two Borneo states whose self-determination of 31 Aug 1963 remains undiminished by 16 Sept 1963 i.e. the latter date being a nullity in international law and the Constitution.

“In short, Sabah and Sarawak are independent countries and have been so since 31 Aug 1963 and are not members of the so-called Malaysian Federation,” said Daniel. “That’s the position that a UBA-led state government would take in Sabah and Sarawak and advise the United Nations Security Council accordingly if there’s continued non-compliance.”

The Star Sabah and Sarawak initiated, formed and led UBA includes the Sarawak National Party (Snap); the Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), the Borneo Forum (BF), the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA), KoKaKoBa, an NGO in Penampang, other NGOS still in the process of signing up, and the proposed Star chapter in Peninsular Malaysia to help build a Borneo-based and led 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament.

Daniel John Jambun
Deputy Chairman, State Reform Party (Star)
Contact: 012-834 0972

Sat 2 June, 2012