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KDM leaders say illegals threat has united them
Published on: Sunday, May 12, 2019
By: Leonard Alaza

TUARAN: Leaders representing various political parties and native organisations attended the renamed Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah’s Harvest Festival celebration, Saturday.

 All of them were on the same page that “original” Sabahans must be strongly united amid rising concerns about further illegal immigrant proliferation in the state.

The leaders were Huguan Siou (Paramount Leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (Kadazandusun Cultural Association President), Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Sabah Chief Coordinator), Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (Kimanis Member of Parliament), Datuk Ewon Ebin (United Sabah Dusun Association President) and Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (former Putatan Member of Parliament).

Also present was Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Chua Tian Chan, better known as Tian Chua. 

He was said to have traveled by road from Sandakan the night before to attend the event on APS President Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing’s invitation.

Bumburing said the presence of the leaders among nearly 1,000 people at the event, which also coincided with the launch of the NGO’s new name, sent out a strong message out to the public that the “original” Sabahans are determined to protect their homeland from any form of external threats or interference.

“The presence of illegal immigrants in our state has impacted our traditional customs and cultures. And now, we’ve heard how certain groups wanted to also be recognised as natives.

“Our state’s demography has changed because of this situation we’re in. Anifah (former foreign Minister) has said that we may have a country called Malaysia but our children may not have a home,” he said.

APS was formerly known as Angkatan Perubahan Sabah when it was established in 2014.

Bumburing explained that the word “Perubahan” (change) has been changed to “Perpaduan” (unity) in view of the urgent need for the “original” Sabahans to be united in the face of the pressing illegal immigrant issue in the state.

“The original Sabahans are not just the indigenous natives but also the original Chinese,” he said.

He said APS, which has also joined hands with many community-based local organisations, will continue reaching out to grassroots communities by organising forums to raise awareness on current issues and to push its agenda on stronger unity.

“Regardless our political affiliations, under the APS umbrella, we all as the original people of Sabah, must be strongly united than ever before. 

“We accept the fact that we had issues about our unity in the past. But what we’re facing at the present time demands that we must be strong as one unit,” he added.

He said other than forums, APS would be exploring innovative ways on how to build up the economic power of the “original” Sabahans, particularly in the agricultural sector, as most of their traditional lives centred on land.

Bumburing, who is also Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) President, has been one of the native leaders vocal about the illegal immigrant presence in Sabah.

Recently, he said his party concurred with Hajiji’s statement that Sabahans, particularly the indigenous communities, were very worried over how the present Sabah government planned to tackle the illegal immigrant problem in the state.

He also said the burden of proof lies on the government to convince Sabahans that all the allegations and accusations about it assisting illegal immigrants to get documents were untrue.

Meanwhile, Mojigoh, the former Treasurer-General of Upko, lauded APS’ agenda, saying that when communities are united, they become a strong force.

“This is a good thing and the timing is just right,” he said.



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