PUTRAJAYA: Parti Bersatu Sabah handed over a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak which expresses the party’s full support for the premier while highlighting several outstanding issues for permanent solutions.
PBS secretary-general Datuk Johnny Mositun said the party pledged its loyalty to Najib as it valued his leadership that had seen Malaysia, and in particular Sabah, achieving enormous progress and development.
“PBS pledges to stand by the Prime Minister’s side as he continue to lead Barisan Nasional as Malaysia,“ Mositun said.
President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, deputy presidents Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai and Senator Datuk Jamilah Sulaiman as well as vice-presidents and supreme council members paid a courtesy call on Najib at Seri Perdana when they handed over the memorandum.
Mositun said the outstanding issues should be addressed with permanent solutions before the next general election, “to ensure the country remains strong and united, as well as to maintain Barisan Nasional’s political supremacy in Sabah.”
The issues include empowerment of Sabah, illegal immigrants (PTI), transparent power sharing formula for Sabah Barisan Nasional, fulfilling election promises, Borneonisation and oil royalty.
Mositun said PBS supports the empowerment of Sabah by giving the state more decision making and planning roles in various matters affecting the state and its people.
"In order to do this, cooperation with as well as financial support from the Federal Government is vital.
"The Federal Government is urged to provide Sabah with more roles in making decisions, planning and administration of the state. PBS stands firm by the 20-point agreement as well as the autonomy and rights of Sabah as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
"Sabah can negotiate with the Federal Government to have more power and towards this, re-look at the state’s power and roles in the concurrent list of the Constitution,” Mositun said.
PBS also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the RCI and RCI technical committee, aside from asking for the beefing up of ESSCOM’s manpower and intelligence to rid the state of kidnappings linked to outsiders.
“PBS also wants the immediate review and withdrawal of dubious Identity Cards given illegally to non-citizens in Sabah. The party has previously submitted a list of names of recipients of dubious ICs and hope that this would be acted upon by the authorities.
“We also express the wishes of all Sabahans for more aggressive and swift actions to arrest and deport illegal immigrants in Sabah as our obligation to the security of the people and sovereignty of the state, ” Mositun said.
Power sharing in Barisan Nasional as an issue of contention among the non-Umno state Barisan Nasional parties was also raised with the Prime Minister.
“This problem is weakening Sabah BN. We want more visible and transparent power sharing formula among Sabah BN component parties because there is still no transparent formula and decisions by the state leadership is ad hoc,” Mositun said.
Mositun said the party explained the scenario in Sabah whereby monopoly by a certain party had caused other component parties to lose support and membership as they appear to the people as being “irrelevant and politically toothless.”
The monopoly, he said, included in political posts in the state administration, government contracts as well as in Government-linked Corporations.
“There should also be fair representation by component parties for political posts such as native chiefs, village security and development committee chairmen and village headmen,” he said.
PBS is also concerned that some promises made during the previous election have yet to be fulfilled. They include those relating to SMK Desa Wawasan in Tambunan, SMK Sains in Keningau, allocation of RM10 mil for the KDM College and yet-to-be implemented coastal highway linking Tuaran, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu and Kudat.
The party also reiterated its call for an upward revision of petroleum royalty for Sabah as, “to- date there is no significant progress to review the existing 5% petroleum royalty despite repeated calls by Sabah and Sarawak”.
“As a start an increase of 5% should be immediately considered, to come from the Federal Government’s 5% share in the production sharing formula. This will make the total royalty to Sabah and Sarawak at 10% each,” said Mositun.
PBS also wants further visible increase in development allocation for roads, electricity, water, health, education and local housing. It suggested that the increased allocation can come from the collection of Good and Sales Tax.
Another issue close to the hearts of Sabahans is “borneonisation”.
PBS conveyed to the Prime Minister its hopes more visible increase in the recruitment and promotion of Sabahans in the Federal civil service in Sabah would take place, especially in senior posts such as directors or agency heads.
“We also wish to see more appointments of Sabahans as heads of Federal GLCs in Sabah as at present it is very low at 30%. This is the current case in GLCs such as Felda, Felcra, Risda, Fama, Mara, government banking institutions and cooperatives,” he said.
Mositun added PBS was pleased with the cordial meeting with the Prime Minister.
“We are confident that the Prime Minister will listen and act on the issues highlighted for the betterment of Barisan Nasional especially in the next general election, as well as for Sabah and Malaysia.
“He has proven that he cares for the people of Sabah, Sarawak and the whole of Malaysia, and will surely work hard to resolve the issues that affect us,” said Mositun