KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – DAP Sabah Secretary Chan Foong Hin feels encouraging with the the formation of electoral pact between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and WARISAN. According to Chan, the local party should ally with national party in order to achieve the “autonomy” that has been fighting for decades.
Meanwhile, the national party must also cooperate with the local party to implement “decentralisation” in line with the spirit of Federalism.
The Policy and Manifesto Director of PH Sabah, said in a statement today that he welcomes the policy speech delivered by the Chairman of WARISAN Sabah, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal at the party congress held on Monday. In fact, many of those policy proposals conveyed in Shafie’s speech are in line with PH manifesto.
“If the two parties have common goals, the electoral pact would continue to work in a long term,” he believed.
Chan commented on Shafie’s policy speech, which have many similarities with PH’s manifesto:
1. Warisan led Sabah government would urge the Federal government to restore the 20-points and Malaysia Agreement 1963, which provides safeguards over Sabah’s and Sarawak’s special rights. New Federal government of PH also stated in the “Buku Harapan” (PH National Manifesto) that within 100 days of governance, “Reviewing and Implementing 1963 Malaysia Agreement Cabinet Special Committee” would be formed;
2. To demand 20% oil royalty. PH’s predecessor Pakatan Rakyat began this appeal since the last election;
3. Review FELDA scheme in Sabah according to it’s original objective for benefits of settlers, as mentioned under PH’s “Sabah New Deal” (PH state manifesto), and,
4. Ensure that the rights of Indigenous People are not deprived of, such as Natives Customary Land Rights, elimination of Communal Title. This is also mentioned in PH’s manifesto.
“PH positions ourselves as the Federal Government in waiting, while WARISAN stands in the position of the alternative state government. There are some policies that advocate similarities but the angle could be different.”
For instance, PH pledged to transfer certain autonomies from the Federal level to the state level. Among them, education and health are the two key subjects. PH advocates for increasing of the oil royalty from 5% to 20%, and 50% reveneu sharing between Federal government and Sabah. By having these, the state government can afford to bare the related expenditure, administrative or developmental, by it’s own.
However, PH’s manifesto did not specify the implementation mechanism of decentralisation in details. In his policy speech, Shafie managed to fill the gap by positioning himself as “Chief Minister in waiting”. He proposed to reorganise current Sabah goverment structure, which are as follows:
5. The State Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology renamed as “State Ministry of Education and Innovation.” It aims to further develop our own education and teaching technology rapidly, allowing more local talents to join the technical field, preparing the Sabahan history syllabus, a compulsory subject for Sabahan.
6. The State Ministry of Social Development and Consumer Affairs renamed as “Health and Welfare Ministry”. This would help to strengthen medical and health service, while providing better consumer services to help the society.
Only a pragmatic approach can lead to the ultimate victory. The PH/WARISAN coalition would not be a disappointment to those Sabahan who hope for change, he concluded.