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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Liew: Sabah must move beyond focus on autonomy

Autonomy and beyond means upward social mobility for the people of Sabah and better infrastructure for the state, says the Sabah PKR acting chairperson.
christina-liewKOTA KINABALU: Lawyer Christina Liew, who heads PKR Sabah as acting chairperson, believes that her homeland must look beyond “the principal cause of autonomy alone”, adding Sabahans must achieve social mobility and better infrastructure.
In achieving autonomy, and going beyond, said Liew, there’s a need for justice in how the national economic pie was shared, she said in a Facebook post.
The list must begin with equal employment and education opportunities, she said.
“With autonomy we want a state government that practices good governance. No more corruption.”
The party’s manifesto in Sabah, said Liew, must include all these and more.
“We must set out clear actionable goals and this must be done even before we achieve our objective of regaining autonomy.”
Otherwise, she fears, the party will end up like the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno.
Every policy will be lopsided in that case, said Liew who is also Api Api assemblyperson.
Liew was taking her cue from PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who told a gathering in Kota Kinabalu that Sabahans must consider the importance of having a national link.
If Malaysia is at a crossroads now, continued Liew, it’s because Sabah and Sarawak must pursue the rights and autonomy guaranteed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We must take back our rightful position. We need to think ahead. We need to plan what our next state goverment should do,” she said, adding that the struggle does not end at regaining autonomy.
“We need to put in place policies that are fair and just,” said Liew.
She called for principles to prevail in all key areas from economic and infrastructure development, to education and employment.
Liew became acting chairperson of the Sabah chapter by default when Klias assemblyman Lajim Ukin, appointed by the party headquarters, left to form his own political party.
Many PKR leaders, including longtime Borneo rights advocate Jeffrey Kitingan, had pushed for an autonomous Sabah chapter, and elections to choose its leader, but failed.
Earlier, Wan Azizah acknowledged that Sabah was an important state “because it can (help) bring about change”.
She recalled the number of times that Sabahans had changed the state administration.
“There’s a tradition that what happens in Sabah has an impact on the peninsula and vice versa ” said Wan Azizah. -FMT

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