KOTA KINABALU: The brief standoff when security guards refused entry to opposition Gabungan Sabah leaders into the high court here is a reminder to Sabahans to stand up for their rights, said Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
Yong, a former Sabah Chief Minister, was briefly refused entry into the High Court complex here as he and his group of about 40 Gabungan Sabah leaders and members turned up to attend a court case on the constitutional position of Sabah’s 13 new state seats on Friday (April 20).
Yong, who is the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president, is among the seven people from Gabungan who filed a suit on April 2 to compel the Prime Minister to table the new seats in Parliament.
It is understood that a court official allowed Yong and the group to enter only after they gave assurances that they will be orderly.
Yong said Sabahans would succeed only when they insist on their rights.
“When we insisted on exercising our rights to sue the Prime Minister for not fulfilling his constitutional duty towards Sabah and insisted on entering the court to support our case, we succeeded in getting the gates opened.
“There was a heavy presence of police officers on both sides of the court fence. We had to show that we were not a threat to public order yet firm in exercising our rights,” Yong said in a statement on Saturday.
He said perseverance and resilience would ensure success.
He recalled how SAPP, once a Barisan Nasional component party, broke away from the coalition in 2008 to fight for issues such as Sabah autonomy and the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli had fixed April 23, Monday to decide on whether the Prime Minister should table the Election Commission (EC) report on the new seats in Parliament.
In the summons, the Prime Minister and the EC were named as defendants.
Other plaintiffs in the originating summons are SAPP vice president Datuk Shuaib Mutalib; Gabungan Sabah secretary Edward Dagul; SAPP EC Matters committee chairman Japiril Suhaimin; Parti Solidariti Tanah Air (STAR) deputy president Edward Linggu; Parti Harapan Rakyat youth chief Jovilis Majami; and Parti Perpaduan Sabah (PPRS) executive secretary Anesthicia Usun.
Gabungan is a four-party coalition that includes SAPP led by Yong, Sabah STAR led by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah led by Datuk Lajim Ukin, and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS) led by Mohd Arshad Abdul Maulap.