Malaya should be grateful to Sabah, Sarawak: Yong

Kota Kinabalu: DAP’s Ngeh Koo Ham’s assertion in Parliament yesterday that Sabah and Sarawak were “ungrateful” for the money allocated in the 2020 Budget has earned the wrath of several Sabah leaders.

Former Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee (pic) said Ngeh was displaying the typical characteristics of a Peninsular Malaysia politician who feels he has the right to lord over Sabah and Sarawak.

“How dare he say Sabah and Sarawak are ungrateful when it is Malaya that should be very grateful for the resources and revenues that they took from us?” Yong told FMT.

“And now their leaders admit that if they pay the 20pc oil royalties to Sabah and Sarawak, Petronas and Putrajaya will become bankrupt,” said Yong.

He said Putrajaya and Petronas had reaped 95pc of the revenue generated from the oil and gas from both the East Malaysian states.

The Sabah Progressive Party president said “people like Ngeh and those in DAP” should learn to be grateful to Sabah and Sarawak as without the natural resources from these two states, the federal government and the national oil company will collapse.

“I remember that when I first met him (Ngeh) and the then Perak menteri besar (Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin) in late 2008, Ngeh said there were already too many MPs from Sabah and Sarawak and, therefore, there is no reason to add more MPs.

“That conversation with Ngeh, in the presence of the Perak MB, revealed to me that he was not sympathetic to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak.

“He said nothing of the Peninsular Malaysia leaders taking all the MP seats left by Singapore when it left Malaysia in 1965,” said Yong, pointing to the imbalance of power in Parliament.

The suggestion that the number of parliamentary seats in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan FT should be increased to make up one-third of the 222 parliamentary seats is in line with Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.

Before Singapore left Malaysia, the number of MPs for Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah was 55 from 159 seats, which was equivalent to 34.6pc, slightly more than the one-third requirement.

The number has gradually decreased to 25pc now with the total number of MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan combined standing at 57 out of 222 MPs.

Extract from Daily Express 26 October 2019

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