Sat, 15 Jun 2024



All should support the Sabah unity govt
Published on: Sunday, December 04, 2022
By: Datuk John Lo
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Anwar’s unity government brings new hope to all Malaysians. Most Malaysians breathe a huge sigh of relief when the Agong announced that Anwar would form the new UNITY government. 

His idea of a unity government is very relevant as our country has suffered physically and financially tremendously from the Pandemic. 

Covid 19 has created economic devastations, the like of which, Malaysia has not experienced before. 

Most Malaysians have suffered untold financial losses, unemployment has spiked. 

Numerous Malaysian families have undergone and are still going through emotional and financial stress. Many have also lost loved ones.

Compounding the already distressing situation, the Russian/Ukraine war created further massive global economic and security uncertainties, shortage of food and basic commodities. 

USA has added more fire to the ongoing problems by rousing up the Taiwan issue.

The whole world is going through a spike of inflation in excess of 10pc. 

Many countries are having it worse. EU countries will face a very bleak winter, the poor unable to afford heating their homes. 

Characteristics of Anwar’s Unity Government.

First: There will be a careful choice of candidates for his cabinet. Expected will be those who are free from corruption and those with the appropriate credential in personal capacity, qualifications and free from corruption cases.

Second: His cabinet will be small in number to save cost and improve efficiency.

Third: Cabinet appointment will NOT be given as rewards to please political warlords.

Fourth: Having secured more than 2/3 majority, Anwar is now giving top priority on seeking solutions for Malaysia’s most urgent economic problem, that is inflation.

He has already chaired a meeting last Sunday on inflation which has inflicted all B40 Malaysian families.

Fifth: Anwar will not prioritise politics. 

For the first time in Malaysia, politics will be relegated to the backburner. Economics will be the forefront.

Sixth: Much less racial and religious bigotries. More in tune with Sabah’s culture of acceptance.

Seventh: Good governance, no more negotiated tenders and increase use of professionals and creditable people for GCs.

Eight: Fair deal for Sabah and Sarawak.

Ninth: No more wastage and extravagance. 

The majority of Malaysians have given their thumb ups for Anwar as he battles with Malaysia’s perennial economic problems, many of which are systemic and have plagued Malaysia for a long time. 

Many of these problems have indeed been entrenched. Many Malaysians have even given up hope and have accepted them as an inevitable part of life.

The political division has been cast; the battleline has been drawn. 

On the government side is Pakatan Harapan and coalition partners for the unity government as decreed by His Majesty, the King. The opposition is PN.

Can Sabah’s unity government give hope to Sabahans?

The above characteristics of Anwar’s unity government are perfect fits for Sabah. Most of them are already in Hajiji’s agenda for the new Sabah he is creating. 

It is Sabah’s golden opportunity to go with the flow initiated by Anwar for his unity government at the federal level. 

Now that Sabah government and Federal Government are completely in alignment, we can even expedite Hajiji’s transformation of Sabah. 

Sabah can gain big if all our leaders know how to collaborate and play the game.

As all the political parties in Sabah are in the unity government either at the federal or Sabah level, Sabah political leaders can fit into Anwar’s unity government scheme quite easily. Shouldn’t be a problem. 

The big question that begs the answer is; can Sabah political leaders work together to produce a genuine, effective unity government in Sabah for the benefits of all Sabahans.

The first major obstacle to overcome is that Sabah has far too many political parties, even more than in West Malaysia. 

For Sabah’s unity government to be given a chance to succeed, individual party and personal ambitions need to be constrained and contained.

If not, the unity government will exist in name only. 

Anwar would not waste time to settle political cantankerous quarrels in Sabah.

The best way to proceed with the Sabah’s unity government is for all the parties to give their pledges in support of the unity government in Sabah in writing. 

Then, they can meet to iron out an agreement on when, what and how they can fight for Sabah rights within the context of Anwar’s unity government. 

This will demand our political leaders to exhibit a high degree of political maturity. 

Being in tune with Anwar’s unity government will not automatically confer or secure the benefits that Sabah is entitled to or would like to have.

All other states are also scrambling for benefits. Sabah must be politically strong and united or be left out like in the last 30 years.

Only a strong unity government can position Sabah to be at par with other states in pressing home our demands for our rights under MA63, economic equity and representation in all the important federal economic institutions/ GLCs/GLICs.

The written pledges should precede the formation of an inter-party panel.

If the political parties can’t even show political maturity on the most basic requirement of signing a letter of undertaking to bind all the political parties to support the Sabah Unity Government, Sabah will be at a serious disadvantage in Anwar’s Unity Government. 

Anwar will not allow Sabah political fractious politics to hamper and interfere with his efforts to sort our Malaysia’s numerous economic problems. 

Nor would he want to waste time to entertain quarrelsome leaders from Sabah. This is the reality. 

Now that Anwar has announced his Cabinet, Sabah must have an effective unity government ASAP for the sake of our future.

- The views expressed here are the views of the writer Datuk John Lo and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]


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