KOTA KINABALU: Jun 27, 2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is calling on Umno Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman to lead an independent group of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak.
MPs representing different parties from the two states can move the process of political change forward, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said in a statement.
Yong said that several MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia have deliberated on the current political scenario in recent days.
“This is the window of opportunity that SAPP has relentlessly reminded our leaders and people to not let slip by,” he said.
Yong said that Anifah, who is Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman's brother, was brave and farsighted to have stepped forward to identify himself with Sabah and its people the issues raised by SAPP.
Anifah has come forward at a time when some other Sabah Barisan parties have turned their guns to attack SAPP in the name of the “Barisan Spirit”, instead of fighting for the people and their state.
Yong claimed that Anifah has refused to subscribe to divide-and-rule tactics and has come up with a fresh angle to the current struggle of Sabah to regain the autonomy of the State of Sabah (and Sarawak) by re-examining Article 161E(4) of the Constitution concerning immigration to the State.
Article 161 touches on the “Safeguards for the constitutional position of States of Sabah and Sarawak”, including matters of citizenship, the jurisdiction of the High Court in Borneo, religion, language and native rights arising from the “Twenty Points” leading to the Malaysia Agreement of 1963.
Anifah on Wednesday said that the Chief Minister of Sabah should head a high level task force to tackle the illegal immigrant problem, as under Article 161, matters of immigration came under the chief minister's jurisdiction.
Over the last four decades, this special position and autonomy have been gradually eroded, whereby power is increasingly concentrated in the central government and its leadership, he added.