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Youth wings of three BN parties form united front

Published on: Monday, June 23, 2014

Keningau: The Youth wings of three Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties created history here on Saturday when they sealed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a united front.

The three BN parties - United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) - were represented by their respective Youth chiefs at the MoU signing ceremony.

Earlier, PBRS Youth Chief Arthur Joseph Kurup said the MoU was a starting point where the struggles of the youths from the three BN parties will begin to be fought in unison.

"Looking at the origin of the three parties, there is no denying that our struggle is the same, which is to protect the rights as well as achieve excellence for the benefit of the people of Sabah.

"Today we have come to realise that the three parties are also fighting on the same issues. These issues, among others, are oil royalty hike to 20 per cent, Borneanisation related to Article 20 for Sabah and Article 18 for Sarawak, illegal immigrants (Pati), distribution of 35 per cent of seats for Sabah and Sarawak and the race column in official forms.

"We realised that when we move independently, we cannot go far.

But in unison, we become stronger," he said.

In addition, Arther said, the MoU also gives the opportunity to all Youth members of the three parties to get to know each other while opening a separator which has seemed to exist between them all this while.

Upko Youth Chief Arthur Sen said through the MoU the Youth movements from Sabah BN and Sarawak would not feel sidelined any longer.

"Over the years, whenever invited to the Youth General Meeting in the peninsula, we were treated as though we have no important role in the Youth movement and often asked to fill up the empty seats at the back.

"We seem to be called only to complete the quorum," he said.

"With this combination, we want to be seen as a component that has the ability to shake the consciousness of others who will begin to see that our voices need to be heard and given serious consideration.

"We want others to realise that Sabah and Sarawak cannot be counted equally with other states in Malaysia. We want to stand tall with the West and not always at the mercy of them," he said.

Arthur said the combination of the Youth wings would not negate all the developments that had been taken by the past as well as present leaders, but Sabah and Sarawak should get more than what it earns now.

"Our position today is still far from what we should be.

After 51 years of independence, we see illegal immigrants having MyKad (IC). Is this the reward of independence for us?" he asked.

Meanwhile, PBS Youth Chief Datuk Jake Jikulin Nointin said the MoU should be seen as an attempt to complement the efforts made by the present Sabah leaders rather than to challenge their efforts.

"Through this combination, we want to help our leaders and the present BN government to run the country more efficiently and fairly, the results of which can be enjoyed by Malaysians, especially the local people in Sabah and Sarawak.

"We are proud to belong to a coalition whose symbol (Scale) is equality, but often we feel that weight is not even but tilted slightly when referring to Sabah and Sarawak.

"Thus, even if we look to diplomacy as a good method, if we are not aggressive, people will have the perception that we don't really want to claim the things rightly belonged to us," he said.

Jake said it is time for local parties such as Upko, PBS and PBRS to helm the leadership of the State in accordance with the appropriate rights that are owned by the people of the State.

"Not that we want to reject Umno, but now it's time for us to strengthen as well as empower our parties which have a better understanding and care for the fate of the people of Sabah itself," he said.

In the event, also launched was the logo for the combination of the Youth movements of the three parties.

Also present at the ceremony were Sarawak's Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage, Liwan Lagang, PBS Vice President cum Advisory of Exco, Mohd Balbir Arjan, committee members of the Youth movements from the three parties.