DAP launches three campaigns – Post-Malaysia Generation Movement, Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign and Mass Signature Campaign to demand immediate publication of Royal Commission of Inquiry Report on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah
DAP launched three campaigns in Keningau yesterday, viz:
*Batu Sumpah Awareness campaign;
*Mass Signature Campaign to demand immediate publication of Royal Commission of Inquiry Report on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah; and
*Post-Malaysia Generation Movement.
1. Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign
Czech writer Milan Kundera’s famous quote “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” is good reason for the DAP launching the Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign.
Seven months before the 13th General Elections in May 2013, I spoke at length during my speech on the 2013 Budget in Parliament on October 4, 2012 on the Keningau Batu Sumpah and the three commitments of “Ugama Bebas Dalam Sabah”, “Tanah Tanah dalam Sabah di kuasai oleh Kerajaan Sabah” and “Adat Istiadat anak rayat Sabah dihormatkan dan dipelihara oleh Kerajaan” engraved on the Keningau Oath Stone.
I called on all Members of Parliament, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia, to support a Royal Commission of Inquiry to assess whether the dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in the past five decades.
Although my call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry stemming from Batu Sumpah Keningau fell on deaf ears in October 2012, as there was no support or response from the Barisan Nasional MPs, whether Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia to examine whether the terms of the oath of loyalty of the Sabahans from the interior five decades ago in exchange for support for the formation of Malaysia, as solemnly carved in perpetuity in Batu Sumpah Keningau, had been honoured, this remains a live issue and with the passage of time, an ever more focussed aspiration of the people of Sabah.
This is the rationale for the launching of a Batu Sumpah Keningau Campaign to canvas for greater awareness of the rights and expectations of the people of Sabah when Malaysia was formed 51 years ago and for support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to assess whether the dreams and aspirations of Sabahans (and Sarawakians) in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in the past five decades.
I have said Sabah students are ignorant of the three most historic events in Sabah in the past five decades as they are not in the school history books, viz:
1.20-Points and Batu Sumpah Keningau;The Batu Sumpah Keningau campaign will be to restore both history and memory to the people of Sabah.
2.The ’666′ tragedy of 1976 which changed the course of history, not only in Sabah but also in Malaysia; and
3.Million illegal immigrants who were unlawfully and unconstitutionally given citizenship/voter status through illegal scams like Project Mahathir, undermining Sabah and Malaysia.
Before the launching of the DAP Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign in Keningau yesterday, there was an earlier programme for the annual ritual ceremony for Batu Sampah scheduled in the Keningau District Office compound which housed the Batu Sumpah.
But the Keningau District Office compound gates were locked, preventing public access to the Batu Sumpah and therefore annual ritual ceremony for the Batu Sumpah from being performed.
This is most unusual as permission had earlier been granted for the annual ritual ceremony for Batu Sumpah to be performed, but this permission was withdrawn when the authorities learned that I would be present.
I am flattered by such attention but regret that I had caused the annual ritual ceremony for Batu Sumpah from being performed in its proper place.
However, there is more than a silver lining for every cloud, for the outrageous lock-up of Batu Sumpah in the Keningau District Office compound inspired a most creative and innovative response from the Orang Asal NGOs slated to organise the annual ritual ceremony.
As a result of discussion and consultation with Orang Asal NGOs and elders of the community, the very creative response to the lock-up of the Batu Sumpah in the Keningau District Office compound was to produce within 24 hours a replica of Batu Sumpah with the three inscriptions so that the ritual ceremony could be performed, just outside the Keningau District Office grounds.
This has given rise to another creative and innovative idea, especially for the Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign – to replicate Batu Sumpah Keningau in every kampung in Sabah, which will be quite a fantastic method to spread the Batu Campaign Awareness Campaign.
If the Batu Sumpah Keningau is replicated in every kampung in Sabah, a great “thank you” is owed to those responsible for the unfair and high-handed decision to lock up the Keningau District Office compound to prevent public access to the Batu Sumpah thinking this could sabotage the holding of the annual ritual ceremony for Batu Sumpah.
The Chairman of the DAP Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign is Peter Saili, a former political secretary who has retired from politics for more than ten years, and other officials are Vice Chairman, Nooritha Saul and Secretary, Marius Felix.
Two Keningau Declarations were also issued yesterday – one by by Orang Asal NGOs at the Batu Sumpah ritual ceremony and the other by the DAP Batu Sumpah Awareness Movement.
The Keningau Declaration of Orang Asal NGOs expands the three basic demands in Batu Sumpah to seven, viz: Kelestarian Alam Sekitar, Pemerintahan Yang Baik, Kemajuan Ekonomi and Integriti Pendidikan.
The DAP Keningau Declaration called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to assess whether the dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in the past five decades.
DAP MPs/SAs will articulate and highlight the two Keningau Declarations – of the Orang Asal NGOs and the DAP Batu Sumpah Awareness Movement in the Sabah State Assembly and Parliament to canvass support from all MPs/SAs for justice for Sabah.
2. Mass Signature Campaign for immediate publication of Report of RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah
The campaign for mass signatures for the immediate publication of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah is headed by DAP Sabah State Secretary Dr. Edwin Bosi.
Is there any reason why the Report of the RCI cannot be made public before Malaysia Day on Sept. 16?
The Cobbold Commission on the formation of Malaysia took less than seven months in 1962 to publish its report from its first appointment in January 1962. Why is the RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah taking more than two-and-a-half years from the Cabinet decision in Feb. 2012 for its establishment, and still unable to have the Report made public?
3. Movement of Post-Malaysia Generation to take over political leadership
The third campaign launched yesterday is the Post-Malaysia Generation Movement of DAP Sabah for the young generation of Sabahans born after September 16, 1963 to take over the political leadership.
The participation of the DAP candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election Dyana Sofya in the Keningau programme is symbolic of the new generation of young Malaysians who should be assuming leadership responsibilities in Sabah and Malaysia whether in politics or other spheres of activities.
According to Statistics Department, in 2014, out of a populationn of 3.54 million inn Sabah, 88% or 3.12 million were born after 1963.
This is therefore a great challenge and the chairman of the DAP Sabah Post-Malaysia Generation Movement is outstanding Sabah social activist for over a decade Adrian Lasimbang, who will lead the campaign.
(Media Conference Statement 2 in Kota Kinabalu on Monday, 1st September 2014 at 9.30 am)
They said that the restructuring of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscomm), as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak this morning, was not enough without a solution to the problem of illegal immigrants in the state.
"We want Najib to make known the content of the RCI report to the public. We have been waiting for two months," Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan told The Malaysian Insider.
Kitingan, who is also Sabah Star party chief, said the RCI would be meaningless without action and a solution to the "Project IC" problem.
He said Naib's announcement today to restructure Esscomm would also be futile if the influx of illegals was not addressed.
"In fact, it is the federal government who have made us insecure by helping Muslims in the Southern Philippines with weapons, shelter and Malaysian identity cards in exchange for their votes," he said.
Kitingan added that Putrajaya was only using Sabah as their political playground in order to control the state and its resources.
Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Seri Wilfred M. Bumburing said he would push for the report to be tabled in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly next week.
"The people of Sabah have a right to know about the sudden and dramatic increase in the population and what the government plans to do to resolve this perennial problem," he said.
The Angkatan Perubahan Sabah president said he was aware of security issues which may warrant some facts not to be disclosed in its totality.
"Generally we want to know whether or not the problem of foreigners having been issued with MyKad through questionable methods will be resolved.
"And the problem of state and national security, sovereignty and true independence for Sabahans in the context of Malaysia will be honoured and upheld," he added.
Bumburing, who was Upko deputy president but left the Barisan Nasional component party just before the 13th general election, said he was very certain that the memorandum he had presented to the Home Ministry was true and justified.
The former Tuaran MP had called for the home ministry to nullify all MyKad issued dubiously.
DAP Sabah vice-chairman Chan Foong Hin also urged the prime minister to release the findings of the RCI immediately and table it for debate in the coming parliament session and Sabah state assembly sitting.
Chan said the restructuring of Esscom alone would not guarantee Sabahans their safety.
"Stern action to clean up the problem of illegal immigrants with MyKad is the test for our government to prove its political will," he said.
RCI chairman Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, who is a former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak, had said it was up to the government to decide on the report.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
“All I can say is, the public will know when the report is released,” he said after leading the RCI panel on a courtesy call to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Negeri in Kota Kinabalu on May 19.
The Commission which was set up on September 21, 2012, called 211 witnesses in the proceedings which ended on Septemer 20 last year.
Among the notable witnesses were former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former Chief Ministers of Sabah, including Datuk Harris Salleh and Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Najib announced on June 1, 2012, that Putrajaya had agreed to set up the RCI to investigate problems related to illegal immigrants in Sabah, including the issuance of Malaysian documents to Muslim illegal immigrants under a scheme known as Project IC. –TMI
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Independent pollster Merdeka Center For Opinion Research, which surveyed 1,021 voters in Peninsular Malaysia at the end of January, reported today 86 per cent saying they disagreed with the government’s past action that has seen the foreign population boom in the Borneo state and earned it the moniker “Project IC”.
The survey also found 60 per cent of voters saying they believed a large number of foreigners were still getting the blue-coloured identity cards marking their status as citizens.
The longstanding issue of illegal immigrants that has continued unchecked for decades has turned emotive among Sabah natives like the Kadazandusun and Murut communities, many of whom feel that the state has been robbed of its sovereignty through the massive influx of foreigners from neighbouring Philippines and Indonesia.
More than a quarter of Sabah’s population are foreigners, totalling a staggering 889,000 out of the 3.2 million-strong population in Sabah, or about 28 per cent, based on a 2010 census.
Sabah has 926,638 voters, according to a June report in English-language daily The Star.
The large number of foreigners has also worried Sabah natives, who often blame them for the rise in crime and for stealing job opportunities.
More than 100 armed Filipino gunmen intruded into Lahad Datu, claiming ties with a Sulu sultanate that gives them ownership of Sabah on February 9 and have since refused to leave.
Recognising the political significance of Sabah’s illegals problem, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had agreed to form a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to look into it.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister who was in power from 1981 to 2003, has been accused of spearheading the so-called “Project IC”, in which citizenship was allegedly given to immigrants for their votes.
But former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh, who administered the state from 1976 to 1985, has denied at the RCI of the existence of “Project IC”.
Dr Mahathir told a press conference last month that foreigners in Sabah had indeed received citizenship, but stressed that it was “within the law”.
The inquiry before a five-member panel led by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong resumes on March 5.
The January 23 to February 6 survey, which was funded internally by the Merdeka Center, aimed to gauge voters’ perceptions of issues in the run up to the 13th general election due soon. It had a margin error of three per cent.
The research house said the survey took place after the January 12 People’s Uprising rally backed by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders in the national capital here as well as the ongoing media coverage of the Sabah citizenship-for-votes royal inquiry.
It noted that other issues that formed the talking point to its survey included carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan’s and former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s statements controversial statements against the government, and the “Allah” religious dispute.
According to the Chief Minister’s Department’s Settlement Unit head Abdul Jaafar Alip, who was testifying at the first day’s hearing of the RCI, the refugees need not necessarily be Muslims to reside here, but they must be genuine refugees escaping the conflict in the southern Philippines at the time.
“We accept people of any religion to be displaced people,” he told the RCI, according to Malaysiakini today.
He added that five refugee settlements were established since then — the Telipok and Kinarut settlements in Kota Kinabalu, the state’s capital, Kampung Bahagia in Sandakan, Kampung Selamat in Sempoerna and the Hidayah settlement in Tawau.
The Malaysian Insider reported last August that these refugees were later issued the IMM13 documents, a special immigration pass that allows refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) freedom of movement and employment here.
According to Abdul Jaafar, the third witness to testify today, the refugees were also given a special identity card that is not recognised by the National Registration Department (NRD).
But the officer added that the resettlement scheme was suspended in 1985 following the shift in state government from Berjaya to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
Under the PBS administration, Abdul Jaafar said a statewide census was conducted to identify the number of refugees in the settlement who were later issued another document called the “temporary registration card”.
But the document was also not recognised by the NRD as an identity card.
The RCI hearing will go on until January 18 and resume from January 28 to February 1, February 22 to 27.
The issue of illegal immigrants has long turned emotive among Sabah natives like the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) communities, many of whom feel that the state’s sovereignty has been stolen through the continued influx of foreigners from countries like the Philippines and Indonesia. It is no secret that Sabahans are angry and want these foreigners shipped back to their home countries in one way or another. They also often blame the group for robbing them of job opportunities and for the rise in the state’s social, economic and security problems.
“Understandably, Malaysians living in Sabah feel threatened and insecure as the number of foreigners keeps increasing. Incidents of drug-related crimes, burglaries and robberies are common,” former Sabah state secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun once wrote in his June 18 article on Sabahkini last year.
“Gone are the days when we could leave our houses unlocked. Now they are like prisons. Things can only get worse if the demand for jobs is not met by employment opportunities,” he added.
The anger among Sabahans has festered over the past four decades and channelled towards the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, largely due to allegations that the ruling pact has been discreetly handing out citizenships to these foreigners in exchange for their votes.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s longest-serving prime minister who ruled from 1981 to 2003, has even been repeatedly accused of spearheading the initiative, known as “Projek M” or “Projek IC”.
Sabah has nearly a million registered voters ― 926,638, to be exact, according to a June report in English-language daily The Star.
Recognising the political significance of the problem, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently agreed to form the RCI to solve Sabah’s illegals problem.
On August 11 last year, Najib made a special trip to Sabah and announced that the panel would be given six months to investigate allegations that foreigners have been unlawfully awarded Malaysian identity cards (ICs) and included in the state’s electoral roll.
But according to the eight-point terms of reference, the panel will not identify the culprit behind the allegedly unlawful award of citizenships to foreigners, recommend any punishment or determine the reasons behind the award.
The opposition has also accused the government, largely Dr Mahathir, of arbitrarily distributing Malaysian ICs to foreigners and registering them as voters in the electoral roll, allegedly to help BN stay in power.
The panel’s terms are:
1. To investigate the number of foreigners in Sabah given blue Malaysian ICs or citizenship;
2. To investigate if the award of such ICs or citizenship were according to the law;
3. To investigate if those given blue ICs, temporary identification receipts or citizenship through unlawful means have been registered in Sabah’s electoral roll;
4. To investigate if the authorities have taken any action or made improvements to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods and regulations to prevent any irregularities in accordance with the law;
5. To conduct a deeper probe into the SOPs, methods and regulations on the award of blue ICs or citizenships to foreigners in Sabah by taking into consideration international norms and standards that are applicable to Malaysia, and to recommend amendments or changes to improve current practices;
6. To investigate the reasons behind Sabah’s population growth according to the following categories:
a) Sabah citizens residing in the state, including those given blue ICs or citizenship through birth certificates (late registration);
b) foreign workers (including family members);
c) illegal immigrants (including family members); and
and to study their impact on the number of those registered in the electoral roll;
7. To investigate the social implications on the Sabah community following the award of blue ICs or citizenship to foreigners in the state; and
8) To investigate the number of “stateless” foreigners in Sabah given blue ICs or citizenship.
“Kita rujuk pula kepada kenyataan-kenyataan media dan ucapan Dr Mahathir sekitar tahun 1983 dan 1993, jelas membuktikan bahawa Dr Mahathir adalah penderhaka dan Umno adalah pengkhianat,” kata beliau ketika berucap membahaskan usul pindaan perlembagaan negeri pada sidang khas Dewan Undangan Negeri hari ini.
Kata beliau, media yang dikuasai Umno digunakan untuk memaparkan cerita-cerita yang mengaibkan peribadi Raja-raja Melayu bagi mewujudkan sentimen dan emosi benci rakyat terhadap institusi Raja-raja Melayu.
“Berita Harian pada 19 Januari 1993 menyiarkan kenyataan seorang Ahli Parlimen Umno dari Perak yang mengingatkan Raja-raja supaya mengambil kira suara rakyat jika tidak Raja-raja tidak dapat kekal lama “malah takhta mereka mungkin akan beralih ke muzium . . .,” kata Azmin (gambar) lagi.
Justeru soal Azmin, siapa yang memansuhkan kuasa Sultan Selangor untuk melantik tiga pegawai selepas mempertimbangkan nasihat menteri besar.
“Pastinya, Umno telah menderhaka kepada Raja-raja Melayu. Sekali gus suara rakyat dinafikan kerana Menteri Besar adalah wakil suara rakyat majoriti yang membentuk kerajaan melalui proses demokrasi,” kata beliau.
Adun Bukit Antarabangsa ini berkata, jika direnung semula Penyata Rasmi Parlimen semasa membahaskan Rang Undang-Undang Perlembagaan (Pindaan) 1993 yang ditaja oleh Dr Mahathir, ramai pemimpin Umno yang mengeluarkan kata-kata kesat dan celupar terhadap institusi Raja-raja Melayu.
“Antaranya, seorang Ahli Parlimen Umno berkata ‘adakah Yang Berhormat hendak menuduh akhbar yang putar belit. Saya tidak. Saya hendak mengatakan raja yang putar belit, sehari bersetuju, dua hari tidak bersetuju. Ini kenyataan yang tepat, yang jelas’,” katanya.
Azmin juga mendakwa krisis Perlembagaan Persekutuan tercetus ekoran tindakan pemimpin Umno yang rakus untuk memansuhkan kekebalan Raja-raja Melayu.
Katanya, ramai sarjana dan pengamal undang-undang mencabar keabsahan pindaan 1993 kerana ia melanggar Perkara 38(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyebut, “tiada apa-apa undang-undang yang menyentuh secara langsung keistimewaan, kedudukan, kemuliaan atau kebesaran Raja-raja boleh diluluskan dengan ketiadaan persetujuan Majlis Raja-raja”.
“Sebenarnya Umno memindahkan kekebalan tersebut kepada Mamak Bendahara dan pihak Eksekutif. Saya tahu bahawa kebimbangan ini ditimbulkan oleh pihak Raja-raja dalam tahun 1993.
“Saya dapat menyelami perasaan Raja-raja Melayu yang luka. Luka yang dalam mungkin telah sembuh, tetapi parutnya tetap ada,” katanya sambil menambah, keprihatinan Raja-raja Melayu disambut dengan rasa tanggungjawab oleh ahli-ahli Parlimen pembangkang pada ketika itu.
Azmin menambah, apa yang disebutkan oleh Ketua Pembangkang Lim Kit Siang pada 18 Januari 1993 adalah semakin jelas hari ini.
Ketika itu Lim dipetik berkata “semasa kita membahaskan soal kekebalan Raja-raja, tentang bagaimana mendemokratikkan sistem Raja Berperlembagaan, untuk memastikan Raja-raja bertanggungjawab dan Demokrasi Berparlimen, kita tidak boleh membenarkan pemimpin-pemimpin kerajaan menikmati kekebalan yang membebaskan mereka dari sebarang akauntabiliti awam sebagaimana yang dipamerkan oleh berbagai skandal yang tidak diselesaikan dalam negara ini.”
Kata Azmin, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang turut menegaskan prinsip yang sama dengan kekebalan tersirat daripada penyalahgunaan kuasa melalui Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri, Akta Rahsia Rasmi dan Perkara 145(3) Perlembagaan kuasa yang diberi kepada Peguam Negara hendaklah dielakkan.
“Kekebalan yang dinikmati oleh pemimpin-pemimpin elit Umno menjadikan Malaysia diperintah oleh diktator selama 23 tahun dengan mengamalkan undang-undang rimba dan menolak negara hukum.
“Dr. Mahathir adalah orang yang bertanggungjawab menjadikan pihak Eksekutif terlalu kebal,” katanya.
Azmin yang juga Ahli Parlimen Gombak berkata Perdana Menteri semasa Datuk Seri Najib Razak hanya meneruskan sistem yang dibina oleh Dr. Mahathir.
“Justeru itu, rasuah dan salah guna kuasa semakin berleluasa dan menjadi budaya dalam pentadbiran Umno,” katanya lagi.
Usul pindaan dibentangkan oleh Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim pagi tadi.
The Malaysian Insider