Time for Sabahans to fight for Autonomy

KOTA KINABALU, April 29, 2018: Sabahans have all to gain by backing the local-based Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) that has never wavered in its struggle for what is rightfully due to the state.

That was the message as SAPP, a Gabungan Sabah (GS) component had, as it kicked off its campaign at a ceramah at the Foh Sang commercial area on Saturday.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who is contesting the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat, said among the party’s core mission is to stand and speak for Sabahans no matter how tough the obstacles were for the party.

“We were here five years ago and we are here now and we will continue to fight for Sabah’s rights,” he said to the cheers of hundreds of people at the ceramah where the party also introduced its other candidates.

They include Datuk Richard Yong who is contesting the Likas state seat, Gee Tien Siong in Luyang, Lim Kat Chung in Api Api and Chong Pit Fah in Kapayan under the STAR logo and Noraiza Mohd Noor contesting under the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah symbol.

He said SAPP is proud to be part of GS that comprised four local-based parties and thus belonged to Sabahans.

“We are not answerable to Malaya, only to Sabahans. We will not bow to  Ketuanan Malaya. We are not like those in BN and PH who have to report to their masters in Malaya,” Yong said to the loud applause and cheers from the crowd.

He said SAPP had been speaking out for a decade on regaining Sabah’s rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and this is a “popular” cause taken up by other political parties including BN.

Yong said now SAPP is the only party with vision to speak about how the One Belt One Road initiative concept would benefit Sabah.

“SAPP is also leading the way in asserting that Sabah must regain its ownership of the territorial waters in the South China Sea,” said Yong as he and party members distributed maps of showing the area.

Yong said Sabah’s control of its resource rich territorial waters would mean a prosperous state.

On his candidacy, Yong said his aim is to be a strong voice for Sabahans in Parliament.

“Besides, I’m confident that I’m very conversant in Bahasa Malaysia compared to all the other contenders,” he said to the laughter of the crowd.

Richard acknowledged Kota Kinabalu voters were so united that they elected two DAP YBs - Hiew King Cheu of Luyang and Junz Wong of Likas - who switched parties after winning their seats.

“KK voters know they have been cheated by frog politics and they know who they cannot trust now. However we should maintain this unity to back SAPP that has always been for all Sabahans,” he said.

The Johor-born Gee said his candidacy was proof that folks from the peninsula or Sarawak living in Sabah are not alienated.

However he said Malaysians in Sabah were against Malaya-based political parties that had done nothing as the state’s rights were being eroded.

Gee introduced his 80-year-old father who was among the audience while giving speech on the stage. He added that Sabah is their home and they will fight for the state’s rights.

Lim said it is time for Sabahans to stand together to fight for the state’s autonomy.

He said voters here should also be wary of the concept pushed by Malaya parties that only a two-party system is suitable for Sabah.

“These Malaya parties are promoting this concept for their own advantage knowing Sabahans will continue to lose out without a local voice. Two-party system will bury Sabah rights,” Lim said.

Chong said voters should reject the “sweet promises” by BN candidates who would promise anything just to win.

He said the move for him to use the Star logo was also appropriate as one of his favourite Chinese songs was “The star knows my heart.”

“Whether its SAPP or STAR or GS parties, these are symbols of a new hope for Sabahans,” Chong said.