Movement launched to save Sabah from extremists

KOTA KINABALU: A new movement, the United Sabah Alliance (USA) has been formed to continue the programs started by United Borneo Front (UBF).

The movement, USA, will be conducting a roadshow called ‘JELAJAH GPS (Gerakan Perpaduan dan Perubahan Sabah), which is a continuation of UBF’s Borneo Tea Party (BTP) Program carried out prior to GE13.

Now renamed JELAJAH GPS; the objective and theme of the roadshow by USA is ‘Save Sabah and Malaysia’ (Selamatkan Sabah dan Malaysia).

The formation of USA was made to counter the efforts of extremists that may pose a threat to Sabah.

“Various NGOs have been formed in Sabah, trying to get the attention of the Federal Government and some of these NGOs are moving towards extremism, which might pose a threat to Sabah as part of Malaysia and therefore indirectly a threat to Malaysia.

“The extremism within Sabah, one way or another, is a reaction to those started by Umno-BN, Therefore, GPS wants to initiate a movement to save Sabah from these extremist elements from both side of the political divide and thus save Malaysia as well,” leaders in USA said.

In a GPS roadshow in Kiulu recently, former Sabah Finance Minister, Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor, was elected chairman of USA.

Mohd Noor said, it was an honour for him to be appointed to lead United Sabah Alliance, and that it was a very heavy responsibility which needs every support from all who make up the movement.

“I thought I have retired from politics. At my age, l should be enjoying life with my grandchildren. I no longer possess the same physical stamina as I used to have in the 1970s. But the theme ‘Save Sabah and Malaysia’ struck a chord in my inner self, because deep inside me, l know Sabah is not safe from irresponsible racist politicians whose struggles threaten the peace, harmony and unity which used to be enjoyed by every Sabahans regardless of race, culture and religion.

“I totally agree that saving Sabah from these extremism also means saving Malaysia as well. From now on, we will move together as a unit, riding on one platform, facing a common front and with the kind of support we are seeing at this stage of our alliance, surely we are ready to face any onslaught BN might throw against us. Let us unite for a better Sabah and a better Malaysia,” he said.

President of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS), Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing, in welcoming Mohd Noor, stressed that as opposition leaders, they can no longer move individually and separately if they want to unite the people who are now in disarray due to a weak opposition unity

“It is my great pleasure to welcome Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor as the chairman of United Sabah Alliance, a grouping of Sabah-based opposition parties and NGOs. The winds of change have been blowing over the Land Below the Wind before GE13 (and) the people who wanted change were disappointed because the opposition, especially Sabah based opposition parties, are not united under one common front to face the Barisan Nasional.

“We are happy that today, a unity have been formed and both APS and UBF-STAR have agreed to elect veteran politician, Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor, as the chairman to lead this alliance. I therefore call upon all supporters and members of APS, UBF, STAR and SAPP, and all individuals or groups who share our common struggle to give our full support to Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor to lead this alliance,” he said.

Bumburing added that the main issues they need to bring into the attention of the Federal Government are, the need to review and respect the Malaysia Agreement of 1963, review and honour Sabah’s status as an Autonomous State within Malaysia, and review and honour the Agreement pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak being equal partners with Malaya.

Meanwhile, UBF chairman and Sabah STAR chief, Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, said that the voices of the opposition in Sabah have always been ignored by Kuala Lumpur.

“Our hopes and dream to be part of Malaysia has not been respected. We need a united voice, and a united front and it is for this reason that we in UBF (and STAR) have teamed up with APS to form the United Sabah Alliance (USA) with SAPP.

“Don’t get us wrong; we are not starting a movement to take Sabah out of Malaysia; we are starting a movement to ‘Save Sabah and Malaysia’ from being split by these extremism, both in BN as well as those who are opposed to BN’s policy towards Sabah.

“I support the statement by Kalabakan member of parliament, Datuk Ghapur Salleh, that instead of arresting people each time they talk about Sabah’s right, the Federal Government should listen to their problem and address it,” he said.

Dr. Jeffrey also was of the opinion that the calls by certain Umno leaders asking people to get out of the country if they are not happy with BN-Umno is very dangerous for Malaysia.

“Looking at the GE13 results in Sabah, there was a substantial number of voters who ‘didn’t like BN-Umno’ and therefore voted for the opposition. We therefore need to save Sabah for these people and if we can save Sabah, we can therefore save Malaysia as well.

“The only way we can get rid of extremist politicians is to see to it that local Sabah based parties get to form the State Government come GE14, that is our objective through United Sabah Alliance,” he said.