Upko surprised not in MA63 panel
Published on: Saturday, October 20, 2018

Penampang: United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) has expressed surprise at being excluded from the newly-formed committee to study the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), despite Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir earlier having agreed. However, its President Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, said what matters is that "the recommendations we have submitted are taken into account".

"If the new committee needs it we will submit another updated version," he said, after chairing the first Supreme Council meeting since its recent Triennial Delegates Conference at the party's headquarters in Donggongon, Friday.

On whether Upko would appeal to be included in the committee, Tangau said they are much comfortable where they are now.

"Maybe it will be easier for us to voice out what the people want than being in the committee but nothing happens. To us, Upko will not stop whether we are outside or inside the committee, from telling what are supposed to be taken into account by the Government," he said.

Tangau said when they looked at the list it was not based on representation.

"Because there are many from Malaya compared to from Sabah. And that is why the Sarawak Government do not want to become a member in the committee," he said.

Tangau also said when they recently met Dr Mahathir, they handed to him a simple memorandum. "We will send again another more comprehensive memorandum specifically for a review on the MA63 to the committee".

"So that's why we cannot accept the statistics and because of that when mentioned about what had been given, especially to the people of Sabah, it was hard for us to accept that (statistics data on the Sabah population) must be corrected," he said.

"During our meet with the PM, Upko has informed him that the party has spent nearly half a million ringgit to do a comprehensive study at all settlements throughout Sabah previously, before the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrant Problems In Sabah was started.

"Our finding showed about 80 per cent of those who obtained IC has managed to get it through bribery, by bribing officials to get their IC."

"And the rest 20 per cent others did not apply for IC and just stayed at home, but there are individuals came to ask for their document and later on the same individuals came back to give IC to them.

The party welcomed the motions and emphasis proposed in the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (!!MP) (2016-2020), especially on the power distribution between executives, judiciary and legislative.

"We also welcome the new priorities and emphasis given to the indigenous people of Sabah, Sarawak and in the Peninsula, especially on their participation in entrepreneurship and economy," he told reporters

Tangau hoped it will not be like the 8MP where there was also mentioned of specific attention to the indigenous people of Sabah, Sarawak and the Peninsula, and in the end it was not implemented properly.

"We requested that this time the priorities and emphasises need to be monitored so they are truly being implemented. One way for this can be properly implemented is through giving an autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak.

"Because if the autonomy is not given to Sabah and Sarawak, if there is no devolution of power to the states, we will not be able to ensure the assistance being provided to reach the target groups," he said. If the decision-making is still in Putrajaya, and not at the State Government-level, there would be failures in reaching the target.

He said Upko is also suspicious about data on Sabah's population. Because of this Upko is continuing "our demand, that Identity Cards in Sabah be recalled and reissued...we keep on repeating this and will not stop until the integrity of the statistics data on Sabah population is corrected," he said.

He said in the population census for Sabah for the year 1960, and those of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010, which showed extraordinary growth in the State population which when compared this to births in Sabah, the difference was very huge.

"If we look at the statistics on births in Sabah, we find there is nothing unusual but still a very extraordinary growth in the Sabah population. There is a possibility that the Sabah population data hac been manipulated and they are not the accurate ones...but the statistics on actual births in Sabah is accurate.

"We have informed the PM about this matter. We did not mentioned any names or the process involved but that was how they (the 20 per cent) get their IC. So because of the study done, to Upko there is no other ways but the ICs in Sabah need to be recalled and reissued... that is our stand and we will continue with that stand."

On another matter, Tangau said Upko welcomes the new emphasis and priorities for the next two years.

On the PM's announcement that the term of office of the Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Chief Minister would be limited to two terms only as an immediate measure to reform the political system, Tangau said it is very good.

"We have seen when someone stays in that position for too long it tends to be abused. This is what we have seen in the past, both at the National and State levels…two terms is good enough for a particular leader to implement his mission and vision."

On claims including by Upko members that Parti Warisan Sabah has been monopolising the appointments of the Community Development Leaders (PPM), Tangau said there has been a lot of unhappiness not only among Upko members but also other parties under the Pakatan Sabah. Government

"To Upko, what we cannot accept is that there are grassroots leaders from the other parties who said Upko is an opposition and not part of the government. We have kept on reminding our friends in the other parties that we have formed the Pakatan Sabah Government together and we did not join this government.

"And because we formed the Government, the least we can say to our friends is that we also have positions in the Government. Therefore, in spite of the many reminders by the Chief Minister, we keep on reminding all party leaders that we should share power and no one should monopolise.

"There are still some issues for Upko to keep on talking to the Chief Minister and, hopefully, eventually these issues will be resolved," he said.

The meeting also saw the appointment of Sugut Assemblyman Datuk James Ratib as Upko Supreme Council Member. - Larry Ralon


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