Monday, June 28, 2010

UMNO's Growing Strength

It was reported recently that Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin hoped the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) will be able to contest the Putatan parliamentary constituency in the next parliamentary elections.

All the recent developments, from the request for the Merotai state constituency to be given to UMNO, the sacking of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) community leaders in Kudat, the call for UMNO to increase members in Sepanggar to contest the constituency and the recent expression by Datuk Yahya all seem to suggest one thing; the flexing of UMNO's muscle in Sabah and the gradual loss of influence of other parties within the ruling coalition.

By the the next elections, perhaps less than 5 parliametary seats will be contested by the other coalition members, while less than 15 state seats will be left for them. These seats are probably;

Parliament: Keningau, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu, Penampang

State: Api Api, Bingkor, Kadamaian, Karamunting, Kiulu, Labuk, Luyang, Matunggong, Moyog, Sri Tanjung,Tambunan, Tamparuli, Tandek, Tanjung Papat

This conclusion is based on several calls lately by certain UMNO leaders to contest seats held by other component parties of the coalition. For example, statements made by the UMNO divisions of Kalabakan, Putatan and Sepanggar and the actions by certain UMNO people in Kudat seem to suggest that the other coalition members are not worthy of consideration.

Secondly, the increase in the number of project IC* holders in urban constituencies will help increase support for UMNO. More of these people are now able to purchase houses in new housing estates in urban areas. Most of the project IC holders are UMNO supporters as reflected by the high number of votes gained by UMNO wherever these foreigners constitute a majority.

Thirdly, the increase in the number of Muslim converts in Kadazandusun-Murut majority areas will also increase UMNO's support in these areas. UMNO usually makes its presence felt in Muslim-majority areas. A tour of Muslim-majority villages in Keningau and Ranau will confirm this.

Fourthly, as demonstrated by the cancellation of the rotation system for the Chief Minister's post after the 2004 elections , UMNO is here to make its presence felt and is here to be the boss. This way, no other party can helm the chief ministership. Like the rotation system, there is no guarantee the other component parties' hold on their constituencies will last forever.

The other members in the coalition better voice out their dissatisfaction now or forever hold their peace. Another option would be leaving the coalition like what the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) did. There are already voices of discontent from LDP, but not directly from its president.

There is also a probability that once the Huguan Siou*, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan retires, there will no longer be a Kadazandusun deputy chief minister, at least not a non-Muslim one.

Whether UMNO or whatever party helms the state government should not be a cause of concern to us. However the real worry is the infiltration of illegal immigrants through the project IC into the ranks of UMNO. What if one day these people dominate UMNO in Sabah? Secondly, is the worry that the state's autonomy would be quickly decreased since UMNO is a Malayan-based party.

Already there have been calls to extend the Aboriginal Affairs Department (JHEOA) and the Rural Development Agency (RDA) to Sabah.

These are the real concerns. Members of other component parties in the ruling coalition might as well dissolve their parties and join UMNO en bloc to prevent foreigners and anti-autonomy elements to dominate the party in Sabah.

Project IC: Citizenship cards issued through fraudulent means to foreigners
Huguan Siou: Paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If UMNO Gets Merotai, UPKO Should Get KDM Seats!

On May 21st, the Daily Express published a report saying that the Kalabakan MP, Datuk Ghapur Salleh had said the Merotai seat being held by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) should be returned to the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) since Merotai he claims is a Muslim majority seat.

And on June 16th, the Daily Express reported that Datuk Ghapur claimed that 191 UMNO branches within the Kalabakan division had unanimously supported a motion calling for the Merotai seat to be given back to UMNO.

It is very clear here that Datuk Ghapur's reasoning for wanting UMNO to stand in Merotai is because as he claims, Merotai is a Muslim-majority seat. It seems then that UMNO is a party representing the Muslims of Sabah and that UMNO should contest wherever there is a Muslim majority.

In this sense, why then is UMNO clinging to the Karanaan, Kemabong, Liawan, Pitas and Sugut constituencies. These are Kadazandusun-Murut(KDM)-majority constituencies. If UMNO's representation is based on religion, then the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun-Murut Organization (UPKO) is a party which is based on ethnicity, in this case the KDM ethnic.

So, it would only be fair that UPKO be allowed to stand in these five KDM-majority constituencies. It would be welcoming if UPKO claims these seats from UMNO. In the event that the Merotai seat is given back to LDP, UPKO must have the five KDM-majority seats currently being held by UMNO.

This is because it would be illogical for UMNO to stand in all Muslim-majority seats on the basis of being a Muslim party while at the same time denying a KDM party from standing in all KDM-majority seats!

UMNO as the name itself suggest is a Malay-based party, not a KDM party. Even if all the KDM seats are not given to UPKO, they should be shared between UPKO and parties that are headed by KDM leaders like Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

If we are to go by Datuk Ghapur's logic, then UMNO as a Malay party has no basis to contest for KDM-majority seats.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Uzbeks Are Also Humans!

The recent silence against the massacre of Uzbek civillians, including women and children is indeed strange. This is because when Israel attacked a Turkish aid ship and killed 9 people on board, the entire world seemed to be up in arms.

Malaysia's former Prime Minister, Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad, as usual the most vocal Malaysian to speak against Israel seemed to be not so vocal in the Kyrgyzstan tragedy.

According to the BBC report, on May 31st this year, Israeli troops boarded the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara ship carrying aid for Palestinians. There was resistance from pro-Palestinian activists and at least nine of these activists were killed.

This incident immediately drew angry responses from people all over the world. The Malaysian parliament even passed a resolution condemning the attack on the Turkish ship. On June 4th, thousands of Malaysians led by opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur burning Israeli flags (source:World News Network).

Please also bear in mind that prior to the Israeli raid, the Mavi Marmara was ordered to dock at Ashdod by Israeli authorities, but the aid organizers refused and wanted to proceed to Gaza, prompting the Israelis to make the raid. The Israeli raid cannot be justified however, but then so are the excessive reactions to it when compared to reactions to the Kyrgyz tragedy.

Now let us look at the situation in Kyrgyzstan. The riots in Kyrgyzstan all stemmed from the failure of its president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev to resign when he should have. By the time Bakiyev realized his support was dwindling and things were getting out of control, he decided to resign and leave. But it was too late. Ethnic Kyrgyz rioters went on a rampage, and releasing their fury on the country's ethnic Uzbeks who account for about 15% of the country's population.

CBC News reports that Kyrgyz interim minister, Roza Otunbayeva as saying the death toll from the riots could be as high as 2,000. Those displaced was somewhere around 400,000.

Now, compare this to the nine killed on the Mavi Marmara! Where are the angry responses to these deaths in Kyrgyzstan? Is there anyone running berserk burning Kyrgyz flags?

If we want to show our sympathies, there should not be double standards. The Uzbeks of Kyrgyzstan are humans just like Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Huguan Siou Now a Tan Sri

It is indeed heartening that the Honourable Huguan Siou, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan has been bestowed with the title Tan Sri by the king of Malaysia in conjunction with the latter's official birthday.

The Huguan Siou who is the paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community in Sabah is now Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan. Tan Sri is the second most senior title conferred upon by the Federal king after Tun. The former Huguan Siou, the late Donald Stephens died as a Tun. It is hoped that the current Huguan Siou too would get his Tun in the near future.

Anyway, the awarding of Tan Sri to the Huguan Siou is a great recognition to the Kadazandusun people in Sabah. It is hoped that with this title, the Huguan Siou would continue to fight for the rights of the Kadazandusun people.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fake Citizens Smear Good Name of Sabah

The following title on the front page of the Daily Express on Thursday (June 3rd) was certainly eye-catching:

"Order To Probe 25 Sabahan Snatch Thieves"

THE State Government wants police to conduct a thorough investigation on the 25 snatch thieves believed from Sabah that were caught during TV3 Jom Heboh Carnival in Kangar, Perlis on Sunday.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the Government viewed the matter very seriously and wants the authority concerned to ascertain the true identities of the snatch thieves. This is because in the past, many "Sabahans" caught by the police for committing crimes in West Malaysia have been identified as foreigners holding Malaysian identification documents

Now even the state government is beginning to feel the effects of having foreigners as fake citizens. Certain political parties which in the past may have helped illegal immigrants to acquire citizenship might have felt a sense of triumph then, since these immigrants helped them to win elections.

But when it comes to the time when these ungrateful immigrants smear the good name of Sabah abroad, then perhaps these political parties and their leaders would come to their senses. If they come to their senses!

It is better to win the support of your own people then expecting foreigners to vote for you. Foreigners have their loyalty placed elsewhere.