Sabahans should stand up for their rights

KOTA KINABALU, April 21, 2018:  The stand off at the gate of the Kota Kinabalu High court complex involving local opposition Gabungan Sabah leaders is a stark reminder to Sabahans that they should always stand up for their rights.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee, who was with the group that was barred from entering the complex on Friday, said Sabahans would succeed when they insist on their rights.

Yong, a lawyer, and the group had arrived at the court complex at about 9 am for the hearing of their originating summons to compel the Prime Minister to table the Election Commission report on the 13 new Sabah state constituencies in Parliament.

Among those accompanying Yong were co-plaintiffs, namely Gabungan Sabah Secretary Edward Dagul, SAPP EC Matters Committee chairman Japiril Suhaiman, Parti Solidariti Tanah Air deputy president Linggu@ Edward Bin Bukut, SAPP Vice-President Dato Shuaib Bin Dato Mutalib, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah Youth leader Jovilis Bin Majami, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah Executive Secretary Anesthica binti Usun and other officials.

Yong appeared to be visibly agitated when police and security guards refused to allow him and the group into the court complex.

He immediately demanded who had issued the order to prevent him and the GS leaders from entering the court area which he said was a public area.

A police sergeant then explained that they were tasked with maintaining public order.
Other GS leaders then demanded the police officers present to explain the rationale of keeping them out of the complex when they were allowed into the courts during the first hearing on April 9.

As the group waited under the hot sun Yong kept insisting that a court official should explain the reason for barring them into the complex.

After 20 minutes a Court official met the group at the gates and after a short conversation, they were allowed in.

“When we insisted on exercising our rights to sue the Prime Minister for not fulfilling his constitutional duty towards Sabah and insisting on entering the court to support our case, we succeeded in getting the gates opened,” he said today.

“Bearing in mind that there was a heavy presence of police officers on both sides of the court fence, we had to show that we were not a threat to public order but yet firm in exercising our rights,” Yong added.

He said perseverance and resilience would ensure success.

“As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. Victory for Sabah is not going to be won in one election,” Yong said.

“We had the courage to withdraw from the Barisan Nasional in 2008 to fight for Sabah autonomy. If we had not stood our ground at Batu Sapi in 2010, there would not have been any awareness about the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he added. “If we had not fought in the 2013 elections, nobody would bother about MA63, Sabah IC and autonomy and Sabah rights”.

Yong said every political struggle and in human history had come with sacrifice. “Now after 10 years, these Sabah issues are now in the mainstream of Sabah’s political arena,” Yong said.

He said there are Malaya parties claiming to fight for Sabah. “But we all know their real intentions are to continue their grip on Sabah. Their control over Sabah leaders will give them the control over Sabahans and reap our resources,” Yong said.