What’s so special about rocket, boat that they can’t be removed
Published on: Sunday, May 09, 2021
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Our Page 3 report on April 29.
I was taken aback and surprised that there was an “outcry” on an  action to move DAP and Warisan replicas (symbols) in Sandakan by the Sandakan Municipal Council. 

Leading this “outcry” was acting Sabah DAP Chairman and Tanjong Papat Assemblyman Datuk Frankie Poon. 

Of all people, surely as a seasoned politician Poon must know that it would have been asking for the moon to leave these election symbols that have been displayed on ballot papers as a continuous memorial  in Sandakan?

Let’s be objective about this. What would and should be regarded as a memorial to the people of Sandakan and to the rest of the people in Sabah ? 

Would it and should it not be in relation to history ? 

I am sure if any political party or NGO had put up a replica of the Batu Sumpah in Sandakan as a continuous  memorial display, no one will ever remove it. 

For that matter, even if a large permanent display of the MA 63 Agreement became a memorial all over Sabah, that too would have been more acceptable and appropriate to everyone. 

There is an existing memorial to Anzac Day already in Sandakan and everybody accepts it. 

Why ? Because it is historical as is the Batu Sumpah and MA 63.  

Such memorials are built as a reminder of the past and it is a reminder for the future generations to come.

But do you really and truly believe that symbols of political parties should be viewed and accepted as memorials to the people of Sabah? 

Come on lah. Get real because if you believe just for one moment that symbols of political parties should become permanent memorials, I have to say that you are and will be living in La La land forever !! 

Can you imaging seeing symbols of BN, PPBM, PBS and a host of other political parties becoming permanent memorial fixtures all over Sabah in the same way you want the DAP rocket and the Warisan boat to remain where it is on a continuous basis ? 

What would be your clear objective for doing such a thing other then to remind voters of your political existence ? Truth be told lah.

When GE 15 comes around, I am sure your symbols will be allowed to be erected again. So why not wait till then instead of making noise now over something that is of no historical value to the people of Sabah ? 

If you say it is historical because you served the people of Sandakan when you were the Government, then what about Parti Berjaya, PBS and the BN when they were the Government ?

Please also bear this in mind as a politician and a political organization - In the Elections Offenses Act 1954, under Enforcement item (8) it says this

“All election material displayed or affixed shall be removed by the candidate or his election agent within fourteen days after polling day and under item (b) of the same.

Enforcement can bring down or cause to be brought down immediately any campaign material in it’s area of control which contravenes or does not comply with any written laws relating to elections”.

Like it or not, the DAP rocket  and Warisan boat are symbols used in an election and represents both political parties. 

You therefore cannot fault Enforcement for doing what they are expected to do in it’s “area of control”

Finally, it is my sincere hope that no matter on which side of the political divide you are, you will remember that it is all important to put the interest of our beloved State first before anything else. Political parties and politicians come and go. Politics therefore can wait.  

The interest of Sabahans must be of paramount importance and should be a priority. And history will almost certainly speak for itself.

Rupert A.

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