Opposition parties in Sabah to focus on development issues GE15, says Upko

KOTA KINABALU: Opposition parties in Sabah will put their focus on development issues as opposed to race or religion-related matters come GE15, says Datuk Ewon Benedick.

The Upko vice-president said this was because race based politics were no longer relevant in this multicultural and multiracial nation.

He said Malaysians must learn to forgo race and religion-based politics if they wish to see this country prosper harmoniously.

He said over the past years, the prime minister and ruling government had mainly come from race or religion-based parties.

He said for Malaysia to progress, only a multiracial party can deliver for all citizens regardless of their race or religion.

He said this is among the agenda that Upko will be focusing on in their preparations towards the upcoming 15th General Election.

“Other focal points of our political struggle is for the new party leadership to inspire more youth to take up challenges and be part of nation building,” said Ewon.

He said Malaysians, especially the youth, must be aware of the current issues and problems faced in this country, and work towards addressing them to create a better and more progressive nation.

These issues include matters on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), to promote and support good governance by among others, rejecting corruption and going for reform agendas.

“We also hope to see East Malaysia – Sabah and Sarawak – be given extra focus for economic developments,” Ewon said.

He said it was time that Malaysians, especially Sabahans, realise how left behind they are in terms of socio-economic development, and really do something about it.

He said if Sabahans themselves did not have the will to address and fight for rights they deserve in this country, how could they expect the Federal Government to do its job properly?

Ewon said the time to sit back, wait, and brush off whatever injustice for Sabah was no longer an option, but instead, bold steps needed to be taken together to ensure that the federal government acknowledges these problems and starts addressing them quickly.

Sabah DAP secretary general, Phoong Jin Zhe said the party never championed for any single race since it was established in 1978 here.

“Our agenda is always to make people’s livelihood better by creating a fair, equal and just society for all,” he said, adding that these are the key issues they will be focusing on in GE15 apart from MA63.

He said they will also focus on finding alternative solutions to improve the livelihood of the people and address problems like public transportation, infrastructure including stable water and electricity supply.

He said DAP delegates including Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin have submitted a proposal to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and requested the government to reduce tax to ease SMEs in the post-pandemic era while recovering slowly from economic recession.

This includes suggesting that the government allocate RM1bil to attract manufacturing sectors to invest and manufacture in Sabah.

“Another RM1bil is needed to improve Internet connectivity and improve healthcare facilities in Sabah,” he added.

Upko and DAP are component parties of the Pakatan Harapan coalition.