My Thoughts and Reflections on Everything

Basically just my take on life as I see it :)

Archive for the category “UPKO Watch”

‘Allah’ Ruling Blues

7/1 – ‘Allah’ ruling: Prime Minister Najib says government can’t stop people from holding demonstrations to protest High Court decision./MKINI

5/1 – Home Ministry files application to stay execution of High Court ruling that the word ‘Allah’ can be used by Catholic magazine Herald./MKINI

5/1- “Tetapi dalam agama Kristian terdapat konsep “Trinity” yang mana terdapat “God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost”. Jika dalam bahasa Melayu terdapat dalam kitab Injil atau syarahan berkenaan “Allah sebagai Bapak, Allah sebagai Anak dan Roh yang Suci”, maka tentulah ini akan ditentang oleh orang Islam. Dalam Islam Allah tidak ada bapak, tidak ada anak. Ia tidak dilahirkan dan Ia tidak melahirkan sesiapa. Allah hanya satu. Ia tidak boleh disekutu dengan sesiapa.” Tun Mahathir Mohamad – Kontroversi Kegunaan Kalimah ‘Allah’

5/1 -“The Sabah communities have always used Bahasa Melayu as it is the regional lingua franca and Christianity has been in Sabah since 1881..In the rites where English is used, the term is God while the rites in Bahasa Melayu is Allah and the one in the mother tongue, like Kadazandusun, is ‘Kinoingan’…Making Bahasa Melayu the national language and the medium of instruction in the education system have expanded the language’s influence among the Sabah communities…The generation born after this policy was made are more comfortable using Bahasa Melayu. They are also more comfortable attending religious service in the national language…” -Tan Sri Bernard Dompok – Dompok Says Widespread BM Usage Pushed Christian Use of ‘Allah’

“I think that althought we belong to an established religion, sometimes you have to take your spiritual path in your hand. I’m not talking about new age, new theory, thinking that you can put everything in a basket or choosing that we are going to create our own religion. I’m talking about the importance of being capable of distinguish between things that are really important to us and things that somehow maybe manipulated by our religion.” – Paulo Coelho – Religions


I am not an expert when it comes to religion. Yes I am Roman Catholic and I do go to church on Sundays, whenever I can. I do this because this is the religion that I was born into and that’s all I know. I am sure that it is the same with being born in a Muslim family; that’s all they know.

Whenever I go to mass, whether it’s being conducted in Kadazan, Malay or English I normally started to drift away. Yes I know that it’s a bad habit. But that’s me; as long as I don’t hurt people physically and emotionally  or vice versa I’m okay. I just don’t like it when people start to impose their religious views upon me.

I’m glad that in this country we still have that respect for other religion though at the same time I won’t discount the subtle techniques being used to convert non-Muslims via our education systems.

This topic is indeed controversial. This topic also can bring about bloody wars.

Long ago it was easier to make a stand on religion and people would respect your differences thus maintaining your friendship with them.

Now you make a religious stand, people will go crazy and will try to kill you.

So I wouldn’t want to get caught wearing a Manchester United jersey alone in a pub filled with drunk Liverpool supporters…


Sabah’s 20 Points Agreement – My View

Flags of Sabah, Malaysia and spoiler(?) :D

Flags of Sabah, Malaysia and spoiler(?) 😀 maybe I should Photoshop this otherwise brilliant picture...

I guess I wasn’t the only one who detected 20 Points hint by Bernard Dompok.

Over in Malaysia Today, RPK himself posted his entry entitled ‘20-Point Agreement Between Sabah And Malaya‘, he opens with the below;

‘Now that 16 September, Malaysia Day, has been declared a public holiday from next year, let’s take it the next step and see what the 20-Point Agreement is all about, which has been a sore point for Sabah for a long time now, although Sarawak does not appear to be too flustered about it’s 18-Point Agreement’. Click here for more.

Yes the 20 Points Agreement between Sabah and Malaya was the basis of the formation of Malaysia.  I remember when I was a child, the grown-ups kept talking about it in the 80s at the height of the PBS government.

At that time the 20 Points was always the topic being uttered from coffee shops to offices.

Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan

Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan

It was so big an issue, Jeffery Kitingan went to jail because of that. He was being vocal to the point of suggesting secession. With that he was locked up by the ISA. I don’t remember for how long but it seemed quite long. He was also being regarded as a hero for Sabah. To know more of the 20 Points Agreement, click here.

While Jeffery’s approach was more direct (as PKR Vice-President he is still very much vocal) Bernard’s move is more behind the scene. Working from within to create the changes. It has taken him years but eventually the efforts are now in fruition.

Hopefully he would be able to negotiate in his own quiet way, the honoring of the 20-Points Agreement within the Federal Cabinet…

September 16 = checked; 20 Points = ?….

UPKO today wishes to restate that its guiding philosophy is the pursuit of the aspirations upon which this nation was formed. The Malaysia Agreement of 1963 and the consequential Federal Constitution contain the wishes of the people of Sabah expressed through various fora including the Twenty Points.” Tan Sri Bernard G. Dompok on PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Malaysia Day announcement. Click here for more.

After the Prime Minister’s significant announcement yesterday, I noticed in the papers those leaders whom hadn’t dared to stand up and speak out were now singing praises to the PM.

I think everybody knows who started standing up for our rights as Sabahans in the federal cabinet first. Dompok was vilified when he first stood up against Malaysia being an Islamic state.  As per the Malaysian Constitution, he insisted, Malaysia is a secular state. It was understood that he risked everything after making the statement and was prepared to resigned as Upko President. Later on, with Upko, he fought for local Sabahans IC controversies where actual Sabahans were given red ICs; these are ICs given to permanent residents. Not locals.

And now, this announcement by the Prime Minister is a testament to Upko’s (under Dompok’s leadership) struggle.

Okay great, now what?

Well, if you read closely the quote above, you’d noticed something there of the things to come… 🙂

Bernard Dompok is now a blogger!

Upko president Tan Sri Bernard G. Dompok

Upko president Tan Sri Bernard G. Dompok

Welcome aboard!

As it is expected from the federal cabinet minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has finally put up his own blog.

Here, the Plantation, Commodities and Indusries Minister posted his first blog. Seems like a speech though.


We hope to read more of his thoughts and reflections 🙂

The Fall of PBS : My Take

I came across an interesting article in MalaysiaKini that relates the recent Perak Coup with the PBS Fall of 1994. It certainly brought back memories (bitter mostly) about how our version of Camelot collapsed.

I can’t describe the excitement that everyone felt during the time when PBS was at the height of its power. I used to by heart the names and positions of our leaders then. Whenever I saw them in the newspapers I always wondered how would it be like to be where they were: changing the state for the better. 

Anyway as I mentioned in my previous posting, I was inspired in becoming a politician like them most particularly Datuk Pairin, Datuk Bernard, Datuk Yong to name just a few off the top of my head. These 3 were first and foremost in my mind with due respect to the other talented and capable leaders. In my mind these 3 leaders were the ones that matter the most (until today mind you).

They were my heroes and I wasn’t alone by thinking like that.

When PBS fell, it was like someone had just died. Suddenly you got an foreign entity in the form of UMNO ruling the State to this very day.

The 3 heroes that I mentioned began a period of cold war. Dompok and Yong became bitter with Pairin. If I remember correctly Yong was upset about Pairin’s wife meddling in affairs of the state that caused some flip-flops in decision making and Dompok was bitter about Pairin’s denial about his hand in the formation of Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS). Thus Pairin became very upset when the 2 abandoned him. So many events happened ever since. One thing for certain: the bad blood between them never healed to this day.

After the fall, UMNO wasted no time and shifted the balance of power in the state by restructuring the delineation of its constituencies that transformed an normally non-muslim area into a muslim majority. So with this and from the help of the phantom voters, UMNO ruled Sabah until today.

(Note: bear in mind that the situation in those days was rife with rumours and countless  theories about the causes of the downfall. I am suggesting merely the gist of the whole event. I speak for myself.)

When I look at our world today, the events of 1994 has definitely taken its toll. Money politics is high on the rise, illegal immigrants are rampant and Sabahans are slowly losing their identities through their MyKads. These are just the tip of the iceberg. I always wondered how would it be if the PBS were still in power if they had been a little more humble and tolerant with one another?  I am sure it would have been an amazing era to be in.

Today the world is crueler than ever and on the verge of an economic meltdown. And the 3 heroes that I mentioned earlier are now merely shadows of their former selves. They are aging and weary. I wonder what each of them are hoping to achieve for the people (or we really still on their minds or is it something else)?  Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. 

I am no longer the political romantic of yesteryears.

In fact the whole 1994 episode was far from my mind. Until of course the fall of the PR government in Perak evoked the memories and emotions of which I thought were long gone and forgotten. I might join the political fray one day but that will have to wait. I still got that thing call ‘economic inadequacies’ to look into. 

Below is the article from MalaysiaKini by Joe Fernandez. Enjoy.

Defending Anwar over frog culture
Joe Fernandez | Feb 9, 09 12:00pm
Veteran political activists in Sabah have come to the spirited defence of Anwar Ibrahim in the wake of the “two MBs Syndrome in Perak”.

They point out that the opposition leader, while not strictly against the “frog culture” in politics, draws a line “when legislators, already tainted by corruption charges, go back on their word after resigning their seats and are used by the BN to launch a coup d’état in cahoots with other key players”.

They were dismissing attempts by Parti Bersatu Sabah leaders and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, among others, to see parallels between the downfall of the Joseph Pairin Kitingan Administration in 1994, when Anwar was deputy prime minister, and ongoing attempts to oust the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government in Perak. 

This follows a spate of reports in the local mainstream media virtually labeling Anwar Ibrahim as the “King of Frogs”, advising him to drop his “holier than thou attitude” and stop “the crocodile tears”. 

Generally, Sabah BN leaders think that Anwar “played with fire and got burnt”, PBS vice-president Herbert Timbon Lagadan credits Anwar for starting “the frog culture in politics”, Deputy Sabah Speaker Johnny Mositun sees Perak as déjà vu, and Taib sees the political crisis in Perak as the result of the “hijack politics” practiced by Anwar, a reference to his oft-stated pledge to take over the federal government by Sept 16 last year. “It (hijack attempts) backfired,” said Taib giving some fatherly advice. “Let this be a lesson.”

Taib himself has bitter memories of the “Ming Court Affair” – a reference to a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where a majority of the Sarawak state assemblypersons gathered in 1987 to overthrow his government but made the cardinal mistake of recruiting his maternal uncle and predecessor, Abdul Rahman Yakub, to lead them. Rahman advised the state assemblypersons to gather in Kuala Lumpur for “brainstorming” and in the meantime tipped off his nephew who dissolved the state assembly and called for snap elections.

Heroic and acceptable

PKR vice-president Dr Jeffrey Kitingan opines that “Anwar is not complaining about political frogging, if there’s such a term, but rather the fact that the three errant state assemblypersons in Perak no longer have seats and are being used by Umno to claim the government.”

“I think political frogging in the national or public interest is heroic and acceptable but doing so for personal and narrow political interests is despicable, unacceptable and should be condemned,” said Jeffrey who won on a PBS state ticket in the 1994 state election and defected within a month to the newly-formed PBRS (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) for exactly 24 hours with five other legislators before parking his group for a while with Akar (Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat) which has since merged with Umno.

Jeffrey castigated the three errant Perak state reps as “not motivated by the people’s welfare and therefore should be roundly condemned in no uncertain terms”.

His remarks are echoed by PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) supreme council member, Tedewin Ngumbang Datu, an ex-police officer who has his suspicions about the disappearing act of the errant state assemblypersons before their defection. “It’s for nothing that BN is known as a winners’ club,” said Ngumbang with an eye on history.

“Anwar Ibrahim had nothing to do with it (1994) and neither did Mahathir initiate anything. Let’s be fair,” said one senior PBS activist who has since gone back to the farm. “I remember Megat Junid (then Home Minister) was involved because certain Special Branch officers were used by a Sarawakian businessman to simply barge into the homes of wavering PBS state assemblymen to encourage them to defect to the BN.”

“Mahathir in fact was very surprised that the PBS Government fell just a month after the state elections. He thought that it would last at least six months or so before a clearer picture emerged. He expected some attempts to form a coalition government with BN.”

Pairin was caught in it

The senior PBS activist and others in the know, across both sides of the political divide in Sabah and elsewhere, swear that the frog culture which brought down the PBS Government in 1994 was in fact initiated by two moneybags, including one from Labuan,  “and surprisingly Pairin was caught up in it”.

Bernard Dompok’s Parti Demokratik Sabah, now known as Upko (United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusunMurut Organisation), according to several ex-PBS veterans, “in fact had the blessings of Pairin who chose the party’s name, logo and colour scheme. Pairin was the king maker in those days and even now.”

“Dompok was subsequently labeled a frog by PBS leaders just to pull the wool over the voters’ eyes in the state and general elections. But no one said anything about Dr Jeffrey being a frog when he initiated the crisis by stating in Kuala Lumpur that his brother was going to step down and take up an ambassadorship,” said a veteran who witnessed the defeat of BN in a 1984 by-election in Tambunan when Pairin’s seat was declared vacant and he had to re-contest his seat. “Pairin did not stop his brother (Jeffrey) either from joining PBRS along with Joseph Kurup and five other state assemblymen. He then advised Bernard on the importance of protecting our people and keeping them together.”

“Pairin’s strategy – as a formidable chess player in Sabah – is to kick out Umno from Sabah once the state is developed.”
“Financers of political party activities play a major role in shifting alliances,” explained another veteran politician. “They see legislators as commodities to be traded and an opportunity to re-coup their investments many times over through government projects. The Sarawakian businessmen managed to get a lot of federal contracts in Sarawak and also Sabah after the BN formed the state government in 1994.”

“Subsequently, he was involved in the de-registration of another political party in Sarawak and the near de-registration of another one. These people are mercenaries who use legislators as errand boys, commission agents and gatherers of commercial intelligence available from the government.”

One Anwar critic who sees no parallel between Sabah in 1994 and Perak in recent days points out that “BN went ahead quietly and did it (luring defectors) while Anwar was just talking about it. The BN had Anwar’s script.”

“I don’t think that he was serious about it,” said the critic from Sarawak who has since retired from the media world and now provides consultancy and advisory services. “In fact, I have stopped caring about Anwar a long time ago. Why should anybody give his strategy – Sept 16 – away. It doesn’t make sense.”

The other side of Sept 16

A fellow retiree from the news world suspects that Sept 16 should not be seen as an invite to BN legislators to defect but rather an elaborate ploy to keep the opposition herd together by dangling the prospect of taking power at the centre. 

“When it doesn’t happen as predicted, Anwar was in a situation to blame the BN by pointing at the Taiwan trip for 50 legislators from Sabah and Sarawak,” said the ex-newsman from Kuala Lumpur who lectures at a government university in Kota Kinabalu. “It’s really comical the way that BN fell for the idea of a People’s Revolution on Sept 16. It was pure entertainment. It was like a guy telling a girl how wonderful it was going to be and then, at the end of it, he simply falls asleep without nothing to match his rhetoric.”

Adds a former Sabah editor: “I remember one PBS federal minister referring to Sept 16 as the Frog Revolution. He was really getting worked up over it considering what happened to his party in 1994. He is in fact a member of the inner circle but keeps up this pretence in public on political frogs. He almost became a frog himself but was asked to stay back in PBS at the very last minute.”

“Anwar gambled and lost and that is among the factors that has made him angry,” thinks Malay Mail assistant editor Zainal Epi. “He’s not against anyone leaving political parties.”

Bisaya Chief Lajim Okin, a former PBS strongman from among the KadazanDusunMurut Muslims, makes no apologies for being a political frog.

“If you ask me, I feel it (political frogging) is a democratic practice. Those who jump do not do it for personal gain. They do it for the interest of the people,” said Lajim, a federal deputy minister, with a straight face and wants Anwar to accept his loss. “When I jumped to Umno, it helped the BN to form the state government, and the result was that Sabah was given the UMS (Universiti Sabah Malaysia).”

Among other benefits in his constituency, Lajim mentioned the asphalt road linking Beaufort to Sipitang on the border with Sarawak, and better medical and health services

Petrochemical Plant- Sabah State Cabinet Agrees

It is interesting to note that after the Minister of the PM Department Bernard Dompok voiced out his discontentment about the pipeline project at the Federal Cabinet Meeting and achieved (in spite of Jeffery Kitingan’s claim) the Federal Cabinet’s agreement in setting up a full-fledge petrochemical plant in Sabah , everybody wants a piece of the action. Who can blame them?

Though I am quite surprise that the entire Sabah State Cabinet sat down when Dompok stood up, alone, to voice out against Pak Lah’s reversal in his decision of scrapping to Federal Cabinet. 

And because of one man’s courage, everybody is suddenly speaking up!

If you can’t call Bernard Dompok a true Sabahan leader then I don’t know what else there is to say…

In line with Sabah’s wishes: CM

Kota Kinabalu: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman hailed the decision of the Federal Government to set up a petrochemical industry in the State, saying it augurs well for the Sabah Development Corridor plan.

“We are happy that the Federal Government has taken into account the views and interests of the people of Sabah by coming up with a plan that meets our aspirations as well,” he said, Saturday.

He said the Sabah Cabinet had also been pursuing other downstream oil and gas related activities.

A study on the viability of these projects was actually supposed to have been completed by December.

“But the fact that the Federal Cabinet had speeded up on making a decision showed that it is responsive to the wishes of Sabah,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin welcomed the Federal Cabinet’s decision to create a petrochemical industry in Sabah, saying it is a privilege the people in Sabah should enjoy given its natural resources.

“The people in Sabah should have the privilege because we in the State also have problems like unemployment and so on,” he said.

“We do not want to just lose out on every natural resource we have in Sabah, without getting a bigger share,” he said, after opening a course on swiftlet breeding at Tang Dynasty Hotel, Saturday.

Yahya who is also Agriculture and Food Industry Minister is confident the oil and gas downstream industries that will come up alongside the petrochemical industry will provide more employment opportunities and income to the people of Sabah.

He refuted claims by certain quarters that the State Government had not been wholeheartedly pursuing the creation of the petrochemical industry, saying State leaders have always tried their best like, for instance, meeting the country’s supreme leaders and presenting views for consideration.

“To me, presenting views or suggestions to our country’s supreme leadership is not only through the media, which may be suitable for certain quarters … we prefer to use the more formal and cordial method like through meetings, discussions and so on,” he said.

PKR’s Displeasure Of Pipeline Project Decision

In my opinion…

The construction of the gas pipeline has already begun even before Pak Lah announced it being scrapped in May. Millions already have been spent. Nobody wanted to lose.

Therefore given the situation, a compromise has been agreed upon. I am sure a carefully laid out plan will be in the pipeline, :), to ensure that Sabah will be assured of her share and control of the petrochemical industry. The export of gas is also another source of revenue by the way. Nobody is stupid enough to give it away for free…

Wait a minute… heh, I nearly forgotten that we’re Sabahans…


Because ultimately, it is all about providing jobs for Sabahans and boosting Sabah’s sources of revenue apart from palm oil and tourism.

When will Sabah ever come across this opportunity again? From a PKR-led Sabah State Government? I seriously doubt it because Sabah’s Opposition parties are not in tandem with one another. From observing the recent elections, PR Sabah were too busy fighting with each other which had caused them their certain victory. (No,no I haven’t forgotten about the phantom voters and money politics factors)

Finally, I pray that the processes of the petrochemical industry set up shall be done properly and not leaving us open to another rip-off that we are famous of receiving whenever dealing with the Federal Government.

I hope Bernard Dompok won’t waste this golden opportunity and will really bring this development home for Sabah.

PKR claims Dompok achieved nothing

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) does not see any sense in the Federal Government proceeding with the 500km Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline while at the same time wanting to build a full-fledged petrochemical plant in the State.

Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said it should scrap plans for the 500km pipeline and, instead, use the billions of ringgit to set up a real full-fledged petrochemical plant in Kimanis, and not have both.

“How do you know there is an excess of gas? What is the use of a full-fledged petrochemical plant in Kimanis when at the same time you export the same raw material for this plant? It is illogical and a wastage,” he said in a statement, Saturday.

He was commenting on Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s statement that he had now agreed to the 500km gas pipeline project after the Federal Cabinet convinced him that a full-fledged petrochemical plant would also be built in Kimanis, and that only excess gas would be exported to Bintulu.

Jeffrey, who is also PKR State Steering Committee Chairman, said it is unfortunate that Dompok is satisfied so easily and quickly with the new raw deal or promise by the Federal Government.

“While it looks good to say that finally the Federal Government has agreed to build a petrochemical plant in Sabah, it is appalling and raises eyebrows because here at the same time you are killing the plant by building the pipeline to export Sabah’s gas.

“The idea is to scrap the 500km pipeline and build a full-fledged petrochemical plant here. Dompok now allowed the building of the pipeline. Dompok achieved nothing. The full-fledged plant may never take offÉ,” he said.

He also said Sabah leaders must examine why Barisan Nasional MPs like Datuk Ghapur Salleh are sceptical about pledges from the Federal Government to Sabah.

“I still oppose this 500km gas pipeline project. To me it is tantamount to bullying Sabah and sabotaging her economy.

“We want to create downstream industries in Sabah. Why must we export these opportunities to Sarawak, which has its own? Sabah is in dire need of this opportunity as this State is the poorest among the 13 states,” Jeffrey said.

News Source : Daily Express

Full-Fledge Petrochemical Industry For Sabah (Finally!)

After deliberating upon the Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline project, Minister of Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok succeeded in getting the Federal Cabinet’s endorsement of setting up a full-fledge petrochemical industry in Sabah. This means that Sabah can now, along with tourism and palm oil, add oil and gas as one of its main economic sources.
The Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline project will still continue however in this new scenario only Sabah’s excess gas will be channeled to Sarawak.
This will definitely contribute to the economic welfare of Sabah.
Well done Tan Sri!
Other news source;

Dompok: Tide Against The BN In Sabah

I meant to post this earlier however I was caught up in a series of events that I let it slide. Yesterday when I came across this article, I then decide to post this anyway for completion sake. This article is about UPKO’s decision in staying put in Barisan Nasional to act as its conscience. The party head, Bernard Dompok, also made some strong statements about his party’s stand on the illegal immigrants, Borneonisation of the civil service, religious freedom and Petronas’ arrogance plus more. The religious freedom may have struck a cord to some religious sensitives that they are demanding a police investigation on Dompok’s speech. 

After having the read the article, I felt sick in the stomach. For I believe that we shouldn’t forcibly impose our religious beliefs upon an unwilling neighbour, whether it is constitutionally correct or not. To me anything relating to loss or abuse of personal freedom is a sin of the highest degree.

Anyway, that is only my own opinion. You are entitled to yours. 


Sunday, October 12th 2008

Upko president Bernard Giluk Dompok has pledged to remain with the Barisan Nasional as the “the coalition’s conscience” for now, although he warns the tide in Sabah, as elsewhere in Malaysia, is very much against the ruling coalition.

He made the pledge in a 21-page keynote policy address which set the tone for his party’s three-day 12th triennial meeting which ends today.

“Without your commitment, we would not have been able to rise against the onslaught of the opposition at an election (the March  national polls) where the tide against the BN was very much evident in Sabah but perhaps not as strong compared to the semenanjung (peninsula) states,” admitted Dompok.

Upko has four MPs, six members in the state legislature and a senator.

The Upko president chartered three salient points to illustrate the party’s role in the wake of the March political tsunami whereby the BN lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament, four states, one Federal Territory and failed to wrest back Kelantan despite all the earlier pre-poll predictions.

First, the results of the March general election changed dramatically the political landscape of the nation, ushering in an emerging trend of a discerning electorate willing to look beyond the comfort of a government that has a proven track record of bringing post-independence development.

Second, the electorate of today seems to say that there are very serious neglects in our national life which growth rates at the national level alone will not be able to address.

Third, for the BN, the time has come to take stock of the situation; to identify these neglects and offer remedies that will rekindle the trust and the high esteem that we were once held in the hearts of those who had given us dizzying majorities in previous elections.

Sabah and Sarawak now vital

However, there was a strong note of disappointment and frustration in Dompok’s address when he pointed out that many issues raised by the party during previous meets remained unresolved at the community level, the state level and the national level although these have been raised through various meetings and dialogues.

 “National issues, those that are directly under the purview of the national government, were the major cause for the big swing towards the opposition as the biggest casualties came from the national parties,” said Dompok.

“Today, the BN would not be able to form the national government without the members of Parliament from Sabah and Sarawak. It is to no one’s surprise therefore that the people of East Malaysia now want the Federal Government to pay serious attention to the many grouses which have been brought to their attention and which so far has received unsatisfactory responses from them.”

Dompok directed much of his party’s wrath at the long festering problem of illegals in Sabah and other issues – including what he said was gross under-representation in the federal cabinet – which has been conveyed to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he took a fact-finding trip to Sabah and Sarawak recently “to ascertain the views and the unhappiness of the two states”.

He reiterated his party’s long-standing call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the state National Registration Department, its complete revamp, and the issuance of ICs in Sabah including to illegal migrants as a result of lax administration.

“We have informed the prime minister that action on the problems faced by Sabah with regards to illegal immigration is long overdue and the government must now muster the political will to finally address this subject,” said Dompok. “Indeed, we are not alone in asking for urgent action. The sentiment is shared by all component parties of the Barisan Nasional.”

Local issues unsolved

Relating his unhappy experience as chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, Dompok again raised the issue of departments under the Home Ministry being directed not to attend his committee’s meetings.

The ministry’s officials admitted during previous meetings that “all was not well at the state NRD and Immigration Departments”, among others.

Elsewhere, Dompok touched on the question of religious freedom, Borneonisation of the civil service, and Petronas’ “arrogance and disrespect” for even the prime minister who had earlier made certain decisions in favour of Sabah despite the national oil corporation ruling against “the interest of the state”.

“On May 13 this year, the prime minister promised before a gathering of BN leaders in Kota Kinabalu that Petronas will stop plans to ship gas from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak,” said Dompok.

“Despite the prime minister’s pledge, Petronas melawan the perdana menteri and is going ahead with its gas shipment plans. It was a big mistake for Sabah to have agreed to yield to Petronas the rights to petroleum in the 70s and to accept in return only five per cent as royalty payment.”

Dompok decried the fact that although Sabah is potentially the biggest supplier of crude oil with known reserves of 2.2 billion barrels out of 5.4 billion barrels and 11.6 tscf gas reserves, “we have nothing to show for it unlike Terengganu, Sarawak, Pahang, Johore, Kedah and Malacca. Labuan has a methanol plant”.

“After more than 30 years, can’t we produce even one Sabahan to occupy even one of the senior positions in Petronas and its subsidiaries?” queried Dompok.

Among his concluding remarks, Dompok pointed out the tussle between the civil and syariah courts in matters involving non-Muslims.

“Natives of Sabah who have Muslim-sounding names and ascribed a religion (wrongfully in their IC) can have a hard time making the necessary correction. Some have been advised to go to the Syariah Court to clear their religious status. How can someone who has never been a Muslim be subjected to the Syariah?” asked Dompok.

In concluding, Dompok thanked Abdullah who is on his way out for his services to the nation and warned that while “we can work for BN even in the most difficult circumstances, we are prepared to lose elections in protecting something right. We cannot go against our conscience or become apologists for other people”.

Sabah PAS Seeks Action Against UPKO Head

Sabah police have been urged to study portions of the wide-ranging speech delivered by Bernard Giluk Dompok at United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusunMurut’s 12th triennial congress in Kota Kinabalu last week.

Two PAS Sabah leaders have taken issue with his remarks, alleging that these were “not sensitive to the Islamic 
ummah (faithful) in the nation in general and in Sabah in particular”.

Over the weekend, Sabah PAS deputy commissioner (1) Hamzah Abdullah lodged a report at the district police headquarters in Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu.

Utusan Borneo quoted Hamzah as describing portions of the speech by Dompok as “simply too much, irresponsible and carrying elements of agitation against Islam which is the official religion of Malaysia and Sabah”. 

Article 3 of the federal constitution states that ‘Islam is the religion of the federation but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation’.

“The Upko president’s speech can disrupt peace, security and public order in the state and the nation,” claimed Hamzah. 

“We made a police repor

t to enable the police to carry out investigations and take appropriate action against … Dompok under the laws of this nation which have been breached.”

Hamzah labelled several portions of the speech as “offensive to Muslims, Islam, the (Agong) and the (Sabah) governor who are heads of the religion”.

This was an apparent reference to 10 paragraphs of the 21-page speech delivered at the meeting held from Oct 12-14. 

Making special reference to the situation in Sabah, Dompok mainly touched on the fear that freedom of religion is being eroded; issues linked to conversion to Islam; the predicament of those wishing to leave the religion; and the question of jurisdiction over cases taken to court.

“Converts of the 60s and 70s (in Sabah) who have not realised the seriousness of conversion and continued to lead their old life,” reads paragraph 7 of  the speech.

“The children… may feel that they have never been Muslims but their identity cards show otherwise. When they marry either under customary law or civil law, they encounter problems in registering the births of their children.”

Natives of Sabah who have Muslim-sounding names and who are ascribed a religion can have a hard time making the necessary correction, said Dompok, who is also a federal minister. 

“Some have been advised to go to the Syariah Court to clear their religion. How can someone who has never been a Muslim be subjected to Syariah (law)?”

“We plead to the authority for understanding on the predicaments of the local bumiputeras and to allow them to decide on their religion. I feel that Indonesia, a predominantly and easily the most populous Muslim country provides the best example for Malaysia in as far as religious practices are concerned.”

Reasons for complaint

In their police report, the two complainants pointed out that apostasy is not allowed by Islam and “is the very antithesis of the religion”.

“By raising the prospect of allowing murtad (apostasy), Dompok clearly has bad intentions,” said Sabah PAS Youth acting deputy chief Lahirul Latigu.

“This can create a tense situation among the people in the state and disrupt the racial harmony which has long prevailed (here).”

Both contended that Dompok has ignored advice by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, not to dispute or raise sensitive issues which touch on “Islam, Malay Rulers and the rights of the Malays”.

Dompok also pointed out in his remarks that he had raised “some of the prime concerns of a multiracial Malaysia in his speech at the Upko convention last year” which the premier had attended.

“These concerns were also in the memorandum that was sent to the prime minister (in January 2006) by nine (of the 10 non-Muslim) ministers. I was a signatory to this memorandum. Sadly, those who signed it were later asked to withdraw it,” added Dompok.

“I did not withdraw my signature because I felt that there was nothing improper in the memorandum. Indeed, the contents were very much consonant with the effort by the government to strive for a Malaysia that recognises the (special) position of Islam within the federation and the rights of others to practise the religion of their choice”.

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