Hello world!

Today is the day.  The day that I decided to become a blogger. I know this is not a surprise at all considering the fact that I m actually a regular blog reader for the past two years.  In fact, I ve been asking for assistance to set up my own blog in wordpress but with little success at all.  Well, I couldnt wait any longer. The temptation is so great that to wait a minute longer would deprive me of all the opportunities to share my views on the current issues prevailing in the country.  So, Folks. Hello to the World ! I shall be sharing my views with you as and when the need arises. Tomorrow though, I will touch on the political issues gripping the people of Pensiangan in Sabah. I promise it will be a very interesting post.

Until then, have a nice day and cheers!

STAR press statement by Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Chapter STAR Chairman

PRESS STATEMENT

“STAR: Safeguarding Sabah’s Rights Not Sabah for Sabahans”

“STAR Sabah stands by its position that only local parties that genuinely fight for Sabah’s rights can safeguard Sabah’s rights and not outside parties or local parties or local leaders subservient to outsiders from the Peninsular. STAR is fighting for the Borneo Agenda and NOT for Sabah for Sabahans” replied Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chairman, in reference to the explanation by PKR Sepanggar acting chief, Timothy Thomas Lim.

It has never been the stand of STAR Sabah or the United Borneo Front (UBF) that Sabah should be for Sabahans. That is the old PBS slogan.

All this while the point emphasized is Peninsular parties cannot fight for or protect the best interests of Sabah as their priorities are not our priorities and our interests are not their interests. As Sabahans, we must be united and take responsibility for our own destiny and future and not depend on others to protect Sabah’s interests.

For instance, as demanded by some patriotic Sabahans that Sabah ask for the return of our oil or minimum 95% of the oil revenue from Sabah’s oil and gas, only local parties like STAR Sabah, SAPP and USNO are able to demand for such return or 95%.

In fact, STAR Sabah is asking for a minimum 50% as set out in its Petroleum Masterplan. Can Sabah BN or Sabah Pakatan deny that 50% oil revenue is better for Sabah and Sabahans than the current 5% under the BN government or the 20% proposed by Pakatan?

None of the Peninsular parties like Umno and Pakatan parties would be able to demand for 50% let alone 95% or 100%. Neither can Sabah Umno or Sabah Pakatan or their leaders be in a position to openly voice the demand for 50% oil revenue.

At the most, what Sabah Pakatan leaders can do would only to voice the 50% within their respective parties at national level only and their national level leadership comprising representatives from Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah will have to make a decision. If the decision is no, then the request for 50% lies buried there and there is no further avenue for Sabah Pakatan unless the Sabah Pakatan leaders leave their respective parties.

For Sabah Umno and other Sabah BN components, the scenario is worse than Sabah Pakatan for they would not even have the will and guts to even voice it to their leaders in Umno in the former or to Umno leaders in the latter. This has been proven on numerous occasions on Sabah issues.
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For STAR Sabah and other local non-BN parties, we have the autonomy and unfettered right to demand for Sabah without any obstacles unlike Sabah BN or Sabah Pakatan. Unlike other national parties, STAR Sabah is autonomous within Sabah.

In the present circumstances, it is openly acknowledged by BN and Pakatan that for them to form the federal government and take control of Putrajaya, a certain number of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are needed.

This can be clearly seen from the numerous visits by the PM, DPM, senior ministers as well as the top leaders from Pakatan to Sabah.

If the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) in Sabah including STAR were to control the MP seats in Sabah, would it not be that UBA would be able to leverage and negotiate better terms for Sabah. None of the Sabah leaders of Peninsular based parties would be able to do so.

It has to be remembered that the number of MPs for Sabah and Sarawak is a constitutional safeguard meant to protect the rights of the Borneo States. The safeguard would be meaningless if the MPs are “controlled” by Peninsular parties.

In the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats hold only 57 seats in the 650-seats British Parliament. Yet, they were able to negotiate for the DPM and senior ministers to be appointed from their party and the coalition government adopt some of their policies although they were in conflict with those policies of their coalition partners.

There is no denying that the MP seats from Sabah and Sarawak are required for BN or Pakatan to form the federal government. The situation in Sabah would be similar to the United Kingdom in the forthcoming general elections.

Similarly, if the Sabah state government is dominated by local parties, they would not be subservient to the national parties. Peninsular parties cannot best represent Sabah’s interests and will be in no position to demand the best terms for Sabah which conflict with that of Malaya or of their national parties’ interests.

The time has come for Sabahans to stand united and take responsibility for our rights and autonomy and not depend on outsiders to decide our future and our destiny.

We also wish to highlight that in seeking Sabah’s rights and autonomy, STAR Sabah is not demanding for any additional rights or to take away any rights of any other state but merely seeking to restore the rights and autonomy which belong to Sabah in the first place and which have been lost since 1963.

Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan
Chairman
STAR Sabah
09 March 2012

Is it nearly time already?

The recent double whammy by the Barisan Nasional  Government to retain handsomely Batu Sapi  and wresting the state seat of Galas in Kelantan with such an unprecedented majority speaks volume of the overwhelming confidence of the component parties in BN that perhaps it is nearly time already for BN to go back to the Rakyat to knock off the living daylights of the opposition parties once and for all as they are alleging that it has been for far too long that the latter have been given so wide a platform to exercise their rights so much so that at times, abuses of such freedom did occur when it came to tit for tat kind of verbal confrontation between the parties thereto.

Except for the Prime Minister, I suppose  it is not wrong to say that buoyed by the recent double victories,  everyone else is predicting that the 13th General Election would be called much sooner than later.  So much so that I for one is also tempted to say that the Prime Minister might just be contemplating with such a possibility.

However, there is always two sides  of the same coin which is  getting the transformation process underway and in the process making the people to feel good is a valuable consideration which the Prime Minister had to bargain for.  A half-baked cake may not be the proper treatment for the peoples’ current ailment and to suggest that the BN’s double victories in Batu Sapi and Galas could be a significant reflection of the peoples’ heartbeat in the country right now would not be entirely true.

Be as it may, I am quite sure that after about two years of hard work, it is fair to say that the Prime Minister had achieved quite a lot in bringing back the confidence of the people at large despite hiccups along the way. However, it is also fair to say that the Prime Minister’s success may not be that significant to say the least had it not been for the persistent contributions from members of the opposition parties in making the BN Government to always be on the alert lest they would be mistaken for deadwood.

The question now is whether we are going to face an early general election or not?  My take is that the 13th General Election will not be called as yet until and unless the PM is really satisfied that the component parties in Sarawak are ready and able to win in the impending Sarawak State election which must be called before  July 2011.  If that is the case,  most probable than not the 13th General Election will be held together with the Sarawak State Election sometimes in May 2011 as  I believe the prevailing political climate favours the Prime Minister to seek a fresh mandate by dissolving Parliament since there are so many positive developments around that could give the BN government the edge — the Government Transformation Programme, the National Economic Transformation Programme, the disarray in the opposition and, as Batu Sapi and Galas have shown, an improved support towards BN.

But then again, there will be a catch, would the opposition-held states follow in advising their Malay Rulers and TYT to dissolve their respective state assemblies as there is no provision in their state constitutions to prohibit them from holding a separate  state general elections because as a matter of political strategy,  it will enable the opposition parties to focus and utilise their resources better and therefore, improve their chances of winning.

So I say if it does happen, it will definitely complicate the prevailing political scenario.  In the end, it will not be good for the people at large.  Who is to blame?  I leave it to you Folks to ponder…

Cheers!

of one’s multiple membership

I chuckled upon hearing a declaration made by an up and coming local politician in Sabah recently that to that date,  in Sabah alone, his party has had the largest membership.

I was amused.  I think it would be worthwhile if a thorough investigation  is made to verify the facts that several hundred of these so-called members could have also, at the same time, been legitimate members of other political parties in Sabah.

I remember a time when I was fully active in politics, I had personal knowledge of several close associates of mine who were active members of a political party but without them knowing, I came to know that at some other times, they would also claim to be members of another party and attended its annual general meetings. There was no evidence of them having left the former party to subscribe to the ideology of the latter.

If this is the case then it may not be wrong to say that having a multiple party membership is the game they are playing on the ground so much so that they would be able to enjoy the best of both worlds and as such, I say,  no political party could legitimately claim to have the most number of membership in Sabah especially so amongst the KDM people.

Cheers!

Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Muruts

Rumour has it that the once mighty Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Murut people if the recent spate of declared intentions by some Murut professionals in Tenom and Keningau to form their own ethnic associations are of  any serious indication.

To many, their perception is that the present leadership are merely filling up the seats for their own glory and glamour on the basis that they are doing it by default as the required Annual General Meetings to elect new members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi provided for in its constitution have not been held for many years.  They may have obtained tacit approval from the Registrar of Socities to postpone the holding of the said Annual General Meetings time and again but to the majority of the Murut people, it begs the question of morality on their part as they have long exhausted the mandate given to them in the last election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi.  In fact,  they perceived that the failure of the present leadership to conduct a general meeting is a purported exerise to deny the majority of the members to elect a new and fresh composition of office bearers to rescue the Association from its present predicament. They are saying that the reason of the present leadership as being very busy with their official committment to conduct a general meeting is no longer tenable.

It is also alleged that quite a number of the present members of the top leadership are acting like elitists.  It is further alleged that when it came to organising the annual Pesta Kalimaran in Tenom recently, the Association was merely piggy riding on the back of the Sabah Cultural Board so much so that it was reduced to only giving speeches rather than contributing to making major decision in the festival deemed as one of the highlights of the state tourism calendar to showcase the beauty and uniqeness of the Murut traditional handicrafts and cultures in Malaysia.

However, as a former secretary general of the Association, it is unpalatable that they are actually true but then again, I have been out of the equation for quite sometimes now and people may have changed over time.

Nonetheless, it is very upsetting to hear from the ordinary Muruts on the street that while they are glad to have their own Association meant to preserve, promote and develop their cultures, they do still perceive that it had failed miserably in its responsibility to pursue many of the objectives laid down in its constitution.

I remember, in the early years when the current president took office,  there was so much hope of a new beginning.  Meetings of the then Ahli Majlis Tertinggi would last for hours to deliberate on many issues pertaining to improving the welfare and interest of the Murut people in Sabah. In fact, there were a lot of activities being organised by the Association to showcase its traditional and cultural uniqeness among the people of Sabah. We had the pleasure of being part of the main organising committee of the state level Pesta Kaamatan for two consecutive years. I am happy to report  the day the Association reached its height was when the whole members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi were  invited to the Istana to witness the posthumous investure of the highest award of the state, the Seri Paduka Darjah Kinabalu (SPDK) to the late Murut warrior, Datuk Seri Panglima Ontoros Antanom and thereinafter, the erection of the Antanom memorial in Tenom by the state government of Sabah.

However, that was it. The journey began to stumble. The many promises to rejuvenate the Murut people by enhancing their participation in commerce and industry through advocacy, networking, information dissemination, mutual support and joint-venture cooperation with other enterpreneurs and businessmen of the other ethnic groups vide a proposed Murut  Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as an Education Trust Foundation for  scholarships to bright but poor Murut students remain elusive. 

As such, I am really saddened but not the least surprise if the intentions to virtually set up the two new Murut associations in Tenom and Keningau recently  are already underway.  The present leadership may have bitten more than they can chew. 

Whatever it is, I am hoping that those people who are currently involved in the proposed set up of the two new Murut Associations in the interior would have come to their senses that there is in fact,  no viable alternative to the present Persatuan Murut Sabah. That any new association would only generate irreparable split and division within the Murut community. I am convinced that the present top leadership in the Association would have taken stock of the turbulence and be prepared to hold a general meeting cum election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi in the very near future.  

Cheers!

It is human nature after all..

Folks, as I was surfing the internet, I came across this story which I thought worthwhile to post it on my blog for you to share and appreciate the moral of the story.

Here it goes…

A farmer and his son wanted to sell their donkey in the market.
So, they walked to the market, pulling the donkey along with them.

They passed by a field and met another farmer who called out to them, “What’s wrong with the both of you? Why are you walking when you have a donkey that you can ride on?”

The farmer looked at his son and told him to ride on the donkey.
The son obliged.

A while later, they met a lady who was on the way back from the market herself.
“Shame on you, young man,” she said. “How can you let your father walk all the way to the market while you are riding on the donkey? Get down this instance and let your father ride the donkey”.

The son, red-faced, got down from the donkey and told his father to ride it instead.

Not too long later, they met a couple of farmers who were working on their fields.
“Look at that,” one of the farmers said to the other. “The father is having a good time riding the donkey, while his son has to suffer the heat and walk.”

The farmer and his son were dumbfounded.
Finally, they decided that they would both ride on the donkey.

The donkey, struggled to walk as the combined weight of the farmer and his son was just too much for him to bear. As it was trying it’s best to put one step after another, another farmer walked pass.

“What are the both of you doing? Are you crazy? Can’t you see that you are too heavy for the donkey? It is the both of you who should be carrying the donkey to the market, not the other way round.”

The farmer and his son then got down of the donkey. After a while, they decided that the donkey is too tired to walk to the market and decided to carry the donkey themselves. They tied the donkey to a stick, upside down, and carried the stick over their shoulders.

The donkey, who had had about enough that day, did not like being upside down. It kicked, and brayed and struggled and managed to get itself free. It then ran away, as fast as it could.

The moral of the story : There is no way one can please everyone.  It is  human nature afterall….

Cheers!! 

The scourge of money politics?

Folks, please don’t get me wrong. I am not here to worship the virtues of money politics but rather to bring this much ostracised subject on the table for further deliberation as to its importance or otherwise in a political organisation and whether or not it is time that Parliament should legislate to partly legitimise to a certain extent the use of political funds as per practiced in America.

As of now, it is an offence for any election candidate be it in a political party election, a by-election or for that matter the general election as the case may be to use money to canvass for political support. In a party election, it is regulated by the Disciplinary Committee purportedly empowered under its constitution whilst in either a by-election or a general election, it is regulated by the Election Laws specifically under  section 10 (Bribery) and sections 19 (maximum expenditure) and 20 ( certain expenditure to illegal practice) of Election Offences Act, 1954.

In a party election,  a very glaring example of the might of the Disciplinary Committee is the three year suspension of a former vice-president of UMNO, YB Tan Sri Isa Samad of Negri Sembilan who was found guilty of indulging in money politics and the prohibition of an UMNO Vice-President and current Malacca Chief Minister, YB Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam from contesting the UMNO Deputy President post in the last party election. 

However, in both cases, there was no follow-up action taken by the MACC to further investigate and bring these very prominent UMNO politicans to book as it is now said that a political offence i.e  indulging in money politics is merely a technicallity. However, a technical offence or not, the victim of such an offence would be forever traumatised and very often than not, becomes a political liability to his political organisation unless of course, if he is Tan Sri Isa Samad. 

It is of course incumbent upon UMNO to show the good example to its fellow component parties in Barisan Nasional.   And its component members, whether big or small, prominent or negligible, one has to emulate the big brother in so far as taking action against indulgers of money politics in its respective organisation.

However, the perennial question is to what extent the maxim of procedural fairness in bringing the alleged politician to book before the Disciplinary Committee has been adequately complied with?  and whether or not certain aspect of the definition of fair campaigning and the expenditures involved have been adequately addressed by the Committee before a decision is handed down or meted out to the alleged politician? 

In a small component political party in Barisan Nasional for example, the maxim of procedural fairness has to be strictly adhered to especially so when the said party is trying its level best to portray its image as being multi-racial and all.  When I say to adequately adhere the practice of procedural fairness, it means the party has to follow an established practice that is indeed being widely accepted as fair by political parties in the United Kingdom for the greater good of the party concerned.

What is an established practice is not subjective but rather very objective and specific that should be followed barring any political complication on the face of the party concerned. For example, if a party member has lodged a complaint against an aspirant for a political post in a party election to the Disciplinary Committee, it must first take cognisance of the following factors:-

(1)  the time when the complaint is lodged. Is it inordinate?  Meaning has it been lodged after the time provided for lodgment of complaint and therefore, time-barred?;

(2) if the complaint lodged is within the time frame allowed aforesaid, How soon can the Disciplinary Committee convene to deliberate on the complaint  for the purpose of appointment of  its officers to do preliminary investigation;

(3) after preliminary investigation wherein the complainant and relevant witnesses are called to give their statments, the member being complained against must be informed and required to appear before the said Committee to enable it to hear his or her part of the story;

(4) when both parties have been given the opportunity to give statments, the said Committee will have to deliberate the evidences presented before them and if they feel that there is a case for the said member to answer, only then would they have to call him or her to answer the charges; and

(5) In the event that the said member failed to present himself or failed to rebut the charges preferred against him or her by the said Committee, then the proper penalty shall be meted out  after his or her mitigation (if any) has been adequately considered.

All the above must be strictly adhered to lest we will be perceived as being merely witch hunting or arbitrarily taking the law into our own hands.

Cheers!

of fake Ph.Ds and all

There seems to be no end to the subject of fake Ph.Ds and all.  Serious allegations have been thrown at some very prominent Malaysian citizens that they had resorted to buying online Ph.Ds for the sole purpose of proping up their social status.  Is it ethical?  Well. according to Royal Prof. Ungku Aziz, it is very unethical for someone to obtain their Ph.Ds the easy way.  But does anybody care?  To the ” DRs” concerned, definitely NOT.

But the Government?  There is an ongoing effort to curb this social problem from becoming malignant. The call to register genuine Ph.D holders seems to be very practical as a way to filter out those having fake ones. 

Even our local universities are not spared. Just last week there was report of a contract lecturer being expelled for having a fake certificate.  Imagine that folks!  How could a person had the balls to parade around campus knowing fully well that he was not the least qualified even to be a primary school teacher.    

Closer to home, I remember an old acquiantance, a woman whom I knew to have never gone to University but out of the blue, she was flashing her business card showing an LL.B qualification from the UK.  Being a qualified lawyer myself,  I asked her about a subject that all law students should be able to answer in their first year of  law studies. To my surprise, she was just mumbling.  I couldn’t even understand what she was saying as she struggled with her english. Funny world eh!

A couple of years later, I was again taken by surprise that this particular woman had assumed the prefix “DR” in front of her name and was actually involved in one of the natives’ cultural association recently.   Well. I thought this woman  must be one hell of a lady and therefore, I would love to have a very serious academic discussion with her one day.

Well. What say you folks. I leave it to you to judge.

Cheers!


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