KOTA KINABALU: United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) Youth has described the recent statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili as shocking for Sabahans.
Maximus had recently urged the Members of Parliament (MPs) from Sabah and Sarawak to refrain from inciting anti-Putrajaya sentiments.
UPKO Youth Chief Felix Joseph Saang said that Maximus should have instead supported and assisted the MPs from the state in claiming and voicing out the needs of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Maximus should have been in tune with the sentiments of Sabahans instead of taking the ‘bow down to Putrajaya’ approach.
“It has to be understood that we are not anti-Putrajaya but we only want the federal government to give equal treatment, especially in terms of the distribution of development allocations and Sabah’s rights in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“To me, the recent ‘harsh’ statements made by the Sabah and Sarawak MPs did not make them anti-Putrajaya nor that it will make the people hate the federal government. But instead, this was done to show their firmness in taking what rightfully belongs to Sabah and Sarawak,” added Felix.
Felix added that the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Minister should remember that eight of the poorest states in Malaysia are in Sabah.
“He is a minister from Sabah. Doesn’t he know that Sabah is far behind in so many aspects of development? Sabah is still backward and lagging in so many things.
“Why can’t Putrajaya be criticised? Since when is fighting for Sabah’s rights labelled as seditious? This Minister’s statement is very abnormal, absurd, and sad for the people of Sabah,” said Felix.
He also called for more young people in Sabah to stand up and speak up to demand the rights and interests of Sabahans.