Did You Know
Did You Know
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has defended the use of the “Sabah for Sabahans” and “Sarawak for Sarawakians” slogans following criticism from the prime minister who recently questioned the effect of such mentalities on national unity.
PBS Youth chief Christopher Mandut rubbished the notion that embracing such slogans signalled a lack of patriotic affection.
“To say that these slogans are un-Malaysian is actually funny,” he told FMT.
“When people embrace these slogans, it’s not because they don’t love Malaysia. On the contrary, they love Malaysia.
“Without Sabah and Sarawak, and Singapore for that matter, Malaysia would not exist.”
Mandut added that the slogans had never been about Malaysia and whether the East Malaysian states wished to secede.
“It’s about our rights, and if the federal government had been paying attention, it would have understood why.”
On Aug 16, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Sabahans and Sarawakians should think as Malaysians and not as people from individual territories.
He also said the “Sabah for Sabahans” and “Sarawak for Sarawakians” mentality was unhealthy.
But Mandut said those in Sabah and Sarawak were only demanding the rights accorded to them under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He gave the upcoming Malaysia Day as an example, saying it was only gazetted by executive order instead of being brought to Parliament and inserted in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.
To this day, he said, the constitution still defines itself according to the Malayan Agreement 1957.
“Our fellow Malaysians in Malaya are too busy talking about race and religion,” he added.
“I sympathise with the challenges faced by the federal government, but the ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ sentiment is not racist.”
Compared to Malaysians in the peninsula, he said, East Malaysians were lagging at least 20 years behind.
He also questioned the federal government’s will to help Sabah and Sarawak, accusing it of only concentrating its efforts in the peninsula.
“The federal government would do well to stop and listen.
“We are looking forward to the prime minister’s announcement on MA63 this coming Malaysia Day. We hope it will not be merely cosmetic.”