Gee: Sabah needs bargaining power

KOTA KINABALU: With the registration of Sabah’s first local coalition, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), the region of Sabah should be in a better position to negotiate and bargain power in pursuing our rights as an equal partner of Malaysia, said Gee Tien Siong.

“In order to have this, GRS must have the cooperation and support from the people and electorate to become a political party with autonomy,” he added.

Gee, a vice president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), said if people’s mandate were only given to the political parties where every decision needs the nod from their Malaya bosses, is equivalent to giving up our autonomy and becoming a “puppet government of Malaya”.

“Neither the “big tent concept” promoted by Pakatan Harapan (PH) nor “big brother concept” by Barisan Nasional (BN) which won big in Malacca and Johore state elections, can help in regaining Sabah’s autonomy it once had,” said Gee.

He said the political forces between Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya should be evenly balanced in order to have equal status as enshrined in the MA63. One state should not overpower the others as not to disrupt mutual restraint.

Gee Tien Siong claimed some Sabahan leaders hoping on peninsula parties’ bandwagon to win positions are weakening our bargaining power to Malaya, thus also weakens our neighbouring partner, Sarawak.

“Sarawak people are aware of this and they supported Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), a coalition of Sarawak local parties that gave Sarawak region a strong voice.

On the other hand, Gee said Sabah needs to keep its distance from the spread of poisonous racial polarization by the west in order to preserve the existing racial harmony among Sabahans.

Gee was disappointed that some Sabahan politicians are still chanting slogans such as “Malay should vote Malay-based parties” and “Chinese should vote Chinese-based party” are advocating unhealthy racist political ideologies which are adopted and foreign to our cultures.

“We should reject such injurious cultural invasion and the only way is through the ballot,” he stressed.

Gee hopes Sabahans to clearly observe the current political situation and developments. It is through the people’s conviction to empower our party to achieve the quest for political autonomy.

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