Unstoppable UPKO:The Party For All Malaysians

As the Sabah state election is fast approaching, l suddenly have the urge to write a few words for my beloved state – Sabah, the Land below the Wind.

I must admit  though that l am not a good writer, but l will try my best to let our voices be heard loud and clear. What l speak represents the cries of the ordinary people of Sabah that the up coming election is crucial to rid Sabah of the politics of “frogs” and  treachery, where the voters’ mandate in GE14 can simply be betrayed or be bought by money .

The people of Sabah yearns for a convincing victory against the corrupt and trecherous elected representstives that unashamedly condones corruption of the highest order.
Let this be fully heeded.

As  a Sabahan, l felt very ashamed  of this political turmoil and despicable episode.

It has been too long since the likes of us keep silent. In the past, many of us have bitched around among our so called leaders about the political situation Sabah is in. Now, l’m  making my stand through UPKO – the very party our great ancestors like Dtk GS Sundang, Tun Fuad Stephens, Dtk Peter Mojuntin and many others who worked for and sacrificed their lives for the people of Sabah.

I recall  that two days ago, there was a statement by TS Harris Salleh in the local media that Sabah presently has 39  registered  political parties. And  he said in zest that all 39 Presidents are seeking to be the next Chief Minister.  “At the end of the day, it maybe that the 39 Presidents will decide to rotate  the Chief Ministership every two years so that all have a chance to be Chief Minister and ensure  a piece of the pie for all,”  he said. 

OMG! Let’s pray that such a rotation system would never again be repeated after what we went through under BN UMNO regime. This will certainly give the prospective candidates a run for their money. At  the same time, it’s going to be a field day and a big headache for the people to choose the most likely candidates to win.

At this point of time, it seems that our people maybe confused which KDM party to vote for. How would they think this problem can be resolved?

Well, all and sundry know that UPKO is the original political party for the KDM in Sabah. All the others like PBS, PBRS, STAR are duplicates or
another breakaway that branched off from PBS. Whereas
PBS was founded in response to Harris Salleh’s tyrannical and anti-KDM rule in Sabah. In its hey day PBS had served its purpose. But it became irrelevant and meaningless  when it joined BN and allowed itself to become  the tools for UMNO hagemony to completely overwhelmed Sabah and Sabahans with the illegal immigrants or PTIs from the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan.

PBRS  and STAR that once fight for Sabah’s rights  are now silent since embracing UMNO/PAS – Ketuanan Melayu.

On the other hand, UPKO, being the oldest party that was formed by our great ancestors  is the root and trunk of the KDM political party. All the others are branches that have betrayed the KDM by supporting UMNO and PAS  unashamedly which exploit  extreme racist and religious ideologies through “Ketuanan Melayu”.

This is the one singular focus that we need to  look at from the perspective of race and religion.

Race  or ethnic politics and religion had both polarized and divided our nation. To continue down this road would be sheer foolishness. This was not politically expedient because these ethnic-based parties needed to hold into their ghetto mentality by providing handouts. We can not continue to do the same thing and expect different results. We have this window of opportunity to make a difference. We need to move away from pitting Malaysians against one another for this will only  foster  prejudice and hurt ourselves.

For this reasons, despite the well- meaning vision and mission, UPKO has seen it right and  fit to take the brave and wise move by rebranding itself from  just being a party exclusively for the KDM to a party for all Malaysians – irrespective of race and religion.

This is a clear and astute political maturity that has been taken to addressed the issues at hand.  However, since UMNO has successfuly made its forray into Sabah, and established its undisputed political hegemony in the state, it had broken every pledge it had made on entry into Sabah.

One classic example was the promise of a “New Sabah” – promising political equality to the major communities in Sabah by rotating the post of Chief Minister among the three major communities.

In the 1994 Sabah state general election, UMNO also spelt out the “highlights” of Sabah Baru as such:

* To reduce the poverty level in Sabah from 33% in 1994 to zero in the year 2000;
* To eliminate illiteracy to zero in year 2000;
* To eradicate corruption in Sabah;
* To give every. Sabahan a house by the year 2000;
* To resolve the problem of illegal immigrants (PTI) in Sabah.

The utter hollowness of the Sabah Baru was sadly illustrated by the rotation of  the post of Chief Minister as such.

When Sabah help formed Malaysia in 1963, the first  Sabah Chief Minister was a KDM – Donald Stephens or  better known as Tun Fuad Stephens. He held the post for a year before being commissioned as Malaysian Ambassador to Australia. He returned briefly to spearhead party BERJAYA and subsequently became Sabah Chief Minister again for only 44 days when tragedy struck on that fateful tragic  tripple “666” helicopter crash on June 6, 1976 which almost wiped out the entire Sabah Cabinet Ministers – Tun Fuad, Peter Mojuntin, Salleh Sulung, Chong Tian Vun, Darius Binion and a few others – and  forever changed the course of Sabah’s history.

It’s not until nine years later that TSJP Kitingan became the KDM Sabah  Chief Minister, who held the post from 1985- 1994 after defeating BERJAYA.

In the 1994 Sabah state general election, after mass defection and political manoeuvering, TSJP Kitingan “surrendered” power to  BN UMNO who promised a “New Sabah” to the people of Sabah. This new deal includes equal political partnership and power- sharing in the state with the rotation of the post of Chief Minister among the three major communities i.e. for Muslim bumiputras, Chinese and KDM. But sadly, contrary to what have been promised and agreed upon, the record of this “equal political partnership and power-sharing” in the past 24 years of BN UMNO rule in Sabah is a disaster for the KDM!

It’s a disaster, because the implementation had been violated – further proof of the political, economic and social marginalization of the KDM community.

The Sabah Chief Minister rotation system had worked unfairly and inequitably against the KDM community – producing four UMNO Chief Minister to represent the Malay community, two Chinese Chief Minister but only “half” Chief Minister for the KDM , when *TSBG Dompok’s tenure was only for ten months!*

Obviously, this is unfair and a grave concern and travesty of the promises made for the KDM community. So, all in all, this works out to the KDM being Sabah Chief Minister for less than eleven years of the 57-year history of Sabah in Malaysia – a poor reflection of the proper place and prominence that should be accorded to the KDM community in Sabah’s politics as it’s the largest ethnic community in 1963.

From this record, if anyone should challenge or doubt this revelations that the KDM community have been marginalized and became a new underclass, the history of Sabah Chief Ministership whether in the past 24 years under BN UMNO rule, or the past 57 years in the history of Sabah in Malaysia would be undisputed.

The gross negligence of the KDM marginalization in Sabah after almost a century of nationhood in Malaysia can be illustrated by the grim reminder of:

1. The  story of a  poor family in Ranau who had a failed crop,  were hungry and unable to get food. The father collected some poisonous toad eggs and fed the entire family in a desperate attempt to stave off hunger,  resulting in the death of three of his offsprings.

2. In Pitas, Kota Marudu, a poor widow    collected and cooked wild tapioca to feed her children and ended in the tragic death of her child.

3. It’s a state and national disgrace in the 21st Century when 11-year-old  Dony John from Kinarut, because of acute and desperate poverty of his family he was driven to commit suicide.

The above cases are just “the tip of the iceberg”, but whenever l see the plight of the poor KDM, my heart  bleeds for my countrymen.

l’m sad that after 57 years in the history of Sabah in Malaysia, the promise of a better life for the KDM, has only been a pipe dream!

How long more do we have to wait and endure?

Now, what have we learned from this humilation, manipulation and degradation?


#KDM Bangkit
#Sabah Memimpin Malaysia

Sindin Ranggangon, Kiulu🙏
8 Sept 2020


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