By: Wilfred Bumburing
I want to remind the people of Sabah, especially the KDM community that for as long as the BN government dominated by UMNO rule Sabah, we the firstborn communities of Sabah will always be divided. Since 1994, the “divide and rule” tactic started by UMNO by approving many local-based parties, especially those claiming to represent the KDM communities and accepted into the BN fold, had made it easier for UMNO to rule the State at their whims and fancies. We even find in the opposition bloc this “divide and rule” tactic being employed by UMNO by approving many parties claiming to be for the KDM communities and this scenario made it the more easier for UMNO to control our people.
We therefore need to end this “divide and rule” tactic once and for all by joining us in Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) and team up with other like-minded opposition parties whose main objective is to go for total regime change both at State and Federal levels.
Beside the MA63 which everyone seems to be championing, including, lately, among the BN parties, which have not been respected, honored and implemented by the BN government under UMNO, the most pertinent issue affecting the very fabric of Sabahan lives, especially the firstborn, is how the Batu Sumpah Peringatan Malaysia has been totally ignored.
To stress my point here, the first of the three guarantees in the Batu Sumpah that the Malaysian government was supposed to honour and respect was “Ugama Bebasdalam Sabah.” Lately we have UMNO leaders wanting to make Malaysia a Muslim country. Let me stress here that PCS accept and respect that Islam is the religion of Malaysia, however, Malaysia should remain a secular country as envisaged by Malaysia’s founding fathers. There should be no interference by anyone, religious body or otherwise, not even from the government, towards how another religion should conduct their affairs.
I am told that officers from the Home Ministry had entered into the office of a Christian Chruch here in Sabah and they not only inspected denominational books published by the church to be use in their church services, but these officers not only reminded the church officials not to use the four terminologies (Allah, Baitullah, Kaabah and Sholat), they went further to advise them on how to design their book and what font size to use on the cover design. This should never be allowed to happen in Sabah. PCS will oppose any move by any government agencies and other bodies who wants to dictate how a Christian Chruch should conduct their administrative functions. Based on the spirit of the Batu Sumpah, PCS will envisage to ensure that Sabah will continue to enjoy freedom of religion and remain a secular state as provided in the Federal Constitution and MA63. PCS will also strive to have the Teaching of Scripture and Divinity in schools for all non-Muslim students in secondary schools. We also want to ensure that religion should not be stated in the MyKad.
The second guarantee in the Batu Sumpah says: “Tanah-tanah dalam Sabah dikuasai oleh Kerajaan Sabah.” The current state government is not a government under the control of Sabahans. This is because, under UMNO which is controlled by their leaders from Malaya, our rights to self-determination have been usurped by UMNO. The greatest loss by the firstborn communities is the issuance of Community Title without any consideration to the issue relating to Native Customary Rights (NCR). PCS will ensure that the issuance of Community Title will be discontinued and to gazette all NCR lands similar to the status of NCR land in Sarawak. Land application for Native Titles (NT) will be fixed at maximun 25 hectares per application and not more than 500 acres of agricultural land for each application for Country Lease Titles. The terms and conditions in the land titles for a 30% native ownership on land owned by companies and corporations will be maintained and a mechanism will be put in place in order for the natives to get back the 30% ownership on lands currently held by big companies and corporations in Sabah. A Land Commission and Land Tribunal will be established to resolve issues relating to NCR lands and land ownership by the firstborn.
The third guarantee in the Batu Sumpah is that the Adat Istiadat Anak Rakyat Sabah Dihormatkan Dan Dipelihara Oleh Kerajaan. One glaring example where our custom and tradition have been trampled upon is a case involving a member of the KDM community in Keningau who sued an UMNO Divisional leader for allegedly defaming the KDM community through the social media platforms. The case had been postponed several times as a result of gross interference from the said UMNO leader who used the UMNO Divisional letterhead to write to the District Chief at the Keningau Native Court to postpone the hearing which clearly influenced the way the Native Court in Keningau should function.
PCS will ensure that Native Affairs Department will truly be held accountable for all affairs involving the firstborn by having the department revamped and to be headed by someone well-versed and knowledgeable in all matters relating to the adat-istiadat of the firstborn. With the help of the judiciary, we will provide training and certification to all community leaders, from Ketua Kampung to Ketua Daerah before any one them appointed to any of the posts receive their letter of appointments. Every mukim will have a Native Court premise that will function effectively and efficiently.
I therefore urge the KDM communities to join with us in PCS in ensuring the realization of these objectives by going for total regime change come GE14.