CONTEMPORARY MALAYSIA

con·tem·po·rar·y - Modern times in its generic sense, living, occurring, or existing, at the same time; often also used as a synonym for "modern" Ma·lay·sia - A country of southeast Asia consisting of the southern Malay Peninsula and the northern part of the island of Borneo.

Kota Kinabalu: The people in Sabah should examine the real motivation for BN component parties from Sabah frantically calling for the ouster of SAPP from the coalition, said its Secretary-General, Datuk Richard Yong.

He said SAPP is of the view that these parties, including PBS and LDP, could not wait for SAPP to be ousted so they will have the government positions vacated by SAPP representatives and dished out to their leaders.

He said SAPP's intention to move a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister was not an isolated move to gain notoriety, but in cognizance with its struggle for the rights of Malaysians in Sabah.

"That the Prime Minister has been ineffective and paying only lip-service to Sabah's interests is known by and acknowledged by all Malaysians, particularly those parties in Sabah," he said in a statement, Tuesday.

According to him, BN leaders, including from Umno, LDP and PBS, have at one time or another gone on record calling on the PM to act more expediently on Sabah issues, including those related to illegal immigrants, regional development imbalances and poverty eradication.

"SAPP expects leaders from Sabah who have been appointed to positions in the Federal Government not to lose sight of their obligations to the Sabah electorate who make their positions possible.

"It is disappointing that leaders like Dr Maximus Ongkili and Datuk VK Liew have become 'federalised' or 'domesticated'Éthey have become apologists for Kuala Lumpur.

"So eager are they willing to please that a learned and supposedly cultured person like Dr Maximus went on record to describe a component party as a member of the canine species," he said.

Yong said SAPP doubted if PBS and LDP still hold to their commitment to fight for Sabah rights and Sabahan interests.

"If indeed they still do, they should find commonality with SAPP's move which is aimed at resolving long standing and grave issues. They would have second thoughts about calling for SAPP's blood.

"Instead, they should acknowledge the fact that (as uttered by PBS Information Chief Johnny Mositun) the parties are pursuing the same objectives through different paths," he said.

Towards this end, he said SAPP concludes that PBS and LDP's intensity in wanting SAPP sacked from BN, or calling for SAPP to quit the coalition, is a simple act of self- preservation.

He cited the resignation of PBS Supreme Council member and a fervent campaigner of the illegal immigrant issue, Dr Chong Eng Leong recently because he was told by the PBS leadership to stop talking.

"PBS elected representatives and other leaders have been conspicuously quiet in recent weeks. One is inclined to conclude that a gag order has been slapped on them even on issues of Sabah rights. Is this not a reflection of the PBS wavering on its commitment? Is it not a clear indication of self preservation?"

He said SAPP also wants to alert the people in Sabah to the fact that the recent promises to inject massive development funds into Sabah may just be "attempts to pull wool over their eyes in this climate in which a government is rapidly losing the people's trust.

"For example, what has become of the RM1 billion promised by the Prime Minister several months ago?

"Is there any truth that the money has mostly been disbursed through the various Umno divisions in a move to pacify these grassroots leaders and to prevent a revolt in view of the Umno elections this December?" he asked.

Yong said the recent announcement by the Minister of Education on the RM700 million for education projects in Sabah seemed a little hard to comprehend in light of recent newspaper reports about children in Kemabong risking their lives crossing a river on bamboo rafts in order to attend school.

"Four consecutive state administrations, including this current one, have failed to give these children the convenience of a suspension bridge costing only tens of thousands of ringgit; and here we have a promise to inject millions into rural schools," he said.