Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pakatan unveils unique manifesto for Sabah | Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan unveils unique manifesto for Sabah

Queville To | March 24, 2013
A higher learning institution to be known as Universiti Kinabalu as well as a new independent television station called TV Sabah is also promised in the manifesto.
KOTA KINABALU: Pakatan Rakyat coalition members in Sabah have sidestepped the delicate matter of who will be their candidate for the Chief Minister’s post should Pakatan unseat the Barisan Nasional government in the coming state elections.

“It’s too early to decide right now … we will decide after the outcome of the elections. This matter is not really important at all, the most important is asking the people to give us a chance to govern for one term,” Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong said Saturday.

Speaking at a news conference held here in conjunction with the unveiling of Pakatan manifesto for Sabah, he said that the coalition members had identified their candidates for the 60 state and 25

parliamentary constituencies but would not announce them immediately.

Wong downplayed a separate manifesto by its partner Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPPS) saying it had been incorporated in the ‘People Manifesto: Pakatan Harapan Rakyat Sabah’.

The opposition coalition’s manifesto contains policies that focus on Sabah and its people and was presented by PKR Sabah chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini, Angkatan Perubahan Sabah leader Wilfred Bumburing, PPPS leader Lajim Ukin.

Among others it touches on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, Borneanisation, Sabah sovereignty, a more comprehensive inquiry on illegal immigrants, Native Courts and the status of the natives, as
well as concrete ways of protecting the environment.

The protection of the native customary rights, improvement of infrastructure, upgrading and enhanced social welfare is also given priority including affordable housing and aid for pensioners.

Pakatan has also pledged to “recognise, respect and safeguard the native customary rights for land and would withdraw all cases that have been brought by the current government to court and set up a Land Tribunal to review the status of native lands that were given to government-linked agencies and private companies.

The manifesto also promises an immediate end to the practice of issuing Communal Titles and replacing it with individual Native Titles.

Yayasan Sabah which has also fallen from its glory days in the 1970s and 80s is also not spared and its role will be reexamined. Pakatan also promises to reintroduce the Amanah Rakyat Negeri Sabah and build 50,000 affordable homes within the first term of taking power.

The opposition coalition also promises to enforce an increase of oil royalty payment from Petronas from the current 5% to 20% and the national oil company would be answerable to parliament unlike now.

Petronas will also be asked to appoint at least one board of director from Sabah who would oversee the state’s interests. Pakatan also promises to submit a motion at the State Assembly to claim the
petroleum revenue from Blok L and Blok M which was given away by the federal government without the consent of people of Sabah, and to have civil action taken against those involved.

Additionally, Pakatan wants to start a state-owned oil and gas company with a start-up capital of RM1 billion from the oil royalty payable to Sabah to ensure the state, as major oil and gas producer, can compete internationally in this industry and create more opportunities for its own people.

Other highlights are the abolishment of the Cabotage Policy, review the Forest Management Unit and Felda agreements in the state and reinstating the Sabah Padi Board in place of national padi authority, Bernas’, monopoly.

A higher learning institution to be known as Universiti Kinabalu as well as a new independent television station called TV Sabah is also promised in the manifesto.

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