Ministers  concerned should  show  the proof
Published on: Sunday, September 08, 2019

I REFER to “Was Apology Necessary When PM Clearly Said Sabah Govt” (Forum Aug. 25) and agree with Penampang Voter’s view that both Sabahan federal ministers Datuk Darell Leiking and Datuk VK Liew should have backed up their claims that they did bring up Sabah’s concerns at Cabinet meetings rather than merely say so.

The best proof would have been to get permission to produce the relevant portions of minutes of the Cabinet meetings, as was suggested by “Penampang Voter”. 

To my mind also, the Prime Minister could not have been referring to the Chief Minister or anyone in the State Cabinet because that is why we have representatives in the Federal Cabinet in the first place.

Leiking, Liew and others may have done their part to bring up matters to the Cabinet’s attention but not necessarily the three issues that were mentioned, namely the appointment of the UMS Vice Chancellor, the departure levy and the Jawi issue.

Or they may have referred the matter directly to their colleagues only. The UMS appointment was raised directly with Minister Maszlee. How come?

As for the departure levy, the Tourism Minister at the Federal level is a Sabahan but the State Minister, who is also a Sabahan, was in the dark. How come?

On the Jawi issue, Leiking said he reminded the Cabinet that Sabah and Sarawak might ask for a separate syllabus within its rights and that the same option given to SJKT and SJKC should be extended to Sabah and Sarawak schools.

But his Warisan colleague, who is the State Assistant Minister for Education, Jenifer Lasimbang, announced that it would be introduced in Sabah schools without question next year. How come? 

 Leiking should have insisted at the Cabinet meeting, if he did raise the issue, on requiring our Kadazan, Dusun, Rungus and Murut children learn our respective mother tongues as a weekly Pupils Own Language subject while leaving the option of learning the Jawi script to those who wish. 

Kadazan is now taught in some schools if there are enough students but there is no compulsion.

 Your paper should not have apologised just because the PM did not refer to the Sabahan federal ministers specifically but only said “the Sabah Government.” You should have challenged the two Ministers to sue and chances are they wouldn’t dare knowing fully well the Prime Minister may have to be subpoenaed.

 

Concerned Sabahan

n You are not the only one to suggest that the apology was unnecessary since the ministers themselves are part and parcel of the Sabah Government and that no names were mentioned. – Ed





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