Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

The North Borneo Herald wishes all its readers a Happy Independence Day. It was on this date in 1963 that Sabah gained its independence from the United Kingdom!

LDP Confronts UMNO!

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has publicly stated that it cannot work with the Sabah chapter of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Its Deputy President Datuk Chin Shu Pin has publicly criticized Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, who is also chief of Sabah UMNO.

Datuk Chin has said that LDP can no longer work with UMNO in Sabah. He has also called for the investigation into several businessmen who may have links with Datuk Musa in some sort of financial scandal which he (Datuk Chin) did not reveal.

LDP's open attack against the state UMNO came after a meeting of the parties within the ruling coalition in which Datuk Musa refused to entertain requests for the resumption of construction of a Chinese Buddhist statue initiated by former LDP president, Datuk Chong Kah Kiat.

No matter what the outcome of this spat between LDP and UMNO, it is hoped that a solution would be forthcoming. If not, LDP might as well leave the ruling coalition.

Friday, August 20, 2010

PBS Also Speaks Up!

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Secretary-General, Datuk Henrynus Amin has also spoken up on the issue of the need to change in the ruling coalition.

Datuk Henrynus says that the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) should lead the way for change. With both PBS and the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun-Murut Organization (UPKO) speaking up it is hoped that UMNO would react positively.

Earlier, even the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had spoken up against certain UMNO people over the sacking of LDP-appointed officers in Kudat. Even the president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Datuk Chua Soi Lek has defended his party's stand for calling on UMNO to rescind the ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christians.

With so many fellow coalition partners speaking up, it is hoped that UMNO would truly listen and change instead of continuing to endear itself to extremist circles.

Monday, August 16, 2010

UPKO Speaks Up!

The Borneo Post and the Daily Express today reports that the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun-Murut Organization (UPKO) has spoken out against many unresolved issues affecting the country. This includes the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah, opposition to Christian use of the term "Allah", the proposed coal power plant in Sabah and the Sabah gas pipeline project to Bintulu in Sarawak.

UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok said that the party was merely voicing out the people's unhappiness and is not giving an ultimatum. Putatan Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Marcus Mojigoh meanwhile slammed those in the United Malays National Organization(UMNO) who demanded to contest the Putatan seat currently being held by UPKO. Datuk Mojigoh had also rapped UMNO for stepping on fellow coalition partners like UPKO. Datuk Mojigoh's courage is lauded and it is hoped that he would not stop here.

It is heartening to note that UPKO is finally speaking up. Meanwhile Penampang division UMNO head, Datuk John Ambrose has termed UPKO's outspokenness as a veiled threat to UMNO. What he failed to understand is that whether or not this is a threat, the issues being raised are genuine and directly affects the people. Datuk Ambrose should know his position in UMNO.

UPKO should continue speaking up. There should be nothing to fear. Even if UPKO is kicked out of the ruling coalition, it can easily win at least 30 state seats including some currently held by UMNO.

Kudos to UPKO!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Borneo Dayak Forum

The North Borneo Herald hails the formation of the Borneo Dayak Forum (BDF). For the first time we have an organization that would represent all Dayaks. The inaugural president of the BDF, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan should be commended for his effort in bringing all the Dayaks together.

This a milestone towards the realization of a Dayak nation and the unification of Borneo. No matter how far in the future this can be realized, the formation of BDF will be a cornerstone. And the North Borneo Herald shall willingly be used as a publicity agent for the BDF.

(Dayaks refer to all the indigenous peoples of Borneo including Iban, Bidayuh, Kadazandusun, Murut, Ngaju among others).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are We Better Than the Penans?

It seems certain people are not sensitive enough to different cultures and lifestyles. A very senior Sarawakian politician has rapped certain NGOs for "wanting the Penans to continue to live like orangutans".

Such a statement is uncalled for. If any government wants to bring progress to nomadic peoples, it should not be by force. The government concerned too should not encroach or allow outsiders to encroach traditional hunting and farming grounds.

Progress will come to the Penans through education. For that to happen, there should be easy access to schools, learning materials and other related infrastructures.

We don't just bulldoze through a forest, tell the people they are backward and then build houses as we like and ask the people to live there and be thankful. What about their age old lifestyles? It should be up to them to change them or transform them to fit into a more modern world.

By indirectly implying that their lifestyle is like orangutans, we are not only insulting them but ourselves too. Are our lifestyles, practices and cultures better than the Penans?

If yes, why are there babies being dumped, people being detained for having different beliefs, atomic bombs being thrown over cities and so on.

Those who look down upon the Penans should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Common Stand With The DAP Not Allowed?

The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) reported the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as saying " I don't understand why the DAP and MCA are taking a common stand on such matters" (August 3, 2010). He was referring to a Malaysiakini report in which the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) called for the Federal Government to rescind the ban on the use of the word "Allah"in Christian publications.

The question we should ask is, is it wrong for the DAP, an opposition party and the MCA, a member of the ruling coalition to take a common stand on issues which concern the rights of citizens?

When Israel raided a Turkish flotilla on May 31st this year, the ruling coalition took a common stand with the DAP and other opposition parties in condemning the attack. Why nobody questioned the ruling coalition for taking a common stand with the DAP then?

Does this mean the MCA and other ruling parties can only take a common stand with the DAP when it comes to speaking up for people in foreign lands, but not for speaking up for Malaysians? This is indeed very bizarre!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Out Of Court Settlement The Best Solution

The Malaysian Insider on August the 1st reports:


Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that his predecessor should not have banned the word “Allah” from being used by the Catholic Church.

The decision, he added, will continue to haunt his ministry “for a very long time.”

“In this ministry, it is a zero-sum game. We are [now] in an uncharted landscape which will haunt us for a very long time.

“We should have let the sleeping dogs lie. It was triggered by those that believed that the word ‘Allah’ should not be used in Sabah and Sarawak.”

This shows the wisdom and maturity of the Home Minister. Datuk Seri Hishamuddin has made a wise reflection. It is a pity that someone smart like him was not appointed as Home Minister earlier. Instead we had a minister who could not decide whether he should or should not ban the word "Allah", which was a non-issue in the first place.

It is hoped that Datuk Seri Hishamuddin's wisdom would outweigh views from narrow-minded politicians like Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Maj-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom who seem to be hell-bent on banning Malay-speaking Christians from using a name they have used for a very long time in worship.

It is therefore hoped that the Home Ministry would do something to allow Malay-speaking Christians to continue using the word "Allah" and at the same time keep the bigots happy. A good way to do this would be to announce an out-of-court settlement with the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church too should refrain from using the word "Allah" in its publication for a certain period until things calm down.

The government need not announce the outcome of the out-of-court settlement decision. This way the rights of Christians would continue to be protected while the wishes of the extremists would seem to be fulfilled.