SAPP pledges a new beginning for Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) became the first political party to unveil its 13th general election manifesto.

Among the 17 pledges made by the party should it form the government is a Sabah Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants and a Sabah Identity Card (Sabah IC) for Malaysians of Sabah origin.

The manifesto was tabled by Mohd Noor Mansoor who headed the party’s manifesto committee and later approved by delegates during its biennial delegates’ conference on Sunday.

Mohd Noor said that despite the announcement by the prime minister on the setting up of the royal commission of inquiry (RCI), SAPP was not convinced that it would be able to resolve the problem that had been affecting the people of Sabah for so long.

“How can you say you are setting up the RCI but only investigate the illegal immigrants? What about the PATAI or Pendatang Asing Tapi Ada IC (foreigners but with IC)?” he asked.

He said injustices have been done to the bona fide Malaysians by the presence of illegal immigrants who have been sharing their resources and facilities and also threatening their safety and security.

“SAPP will pursue the setting up of a Sabah Commission of Inquiry on the illegal immigrants by invoking the Inquiry Commissions Enactment 1981 so that the sovereignty of the state and the rights of legitimate Sabahans are upheld,” he said.

Mohd Noor also said that the once SAPP formed the state government, it promised to issue Sabah IC to qualified Malaysians in Sabah and a department would be set up for the purpose.

He said this was in order to safeguard the identity rights of genuine Malaysians of Sabah origin and to differentiate from the dubious document holders.

He said this was entirely within the constitutions of Sabah and Malaysia and that the Sabah IC holders will be entitled to land ownership within the state, trading license, state scholarships, social welfare and other benefits from the state government or its agencies.

Borneonisation, judiciary, scholarships

SAPP also pledged to Malaysians with Sabah IC that it would provide assistance directly to the target groups to eliminate hardcore poverty; to the disabled, elderly, single parents and orphans; while Sabah House in Kuala Lumpur would take on the additional responsibility of providing assistance and counseling to Sabahans working or studying or residing in Peninsular Malaysia.

SAPP also proposed the setting up of a peoples’ welfare trust with the name Amanah Progresif Rakyat Sabah (APRS), which source of funding comes from the oil and gas sector and other sources.

He said citizens of Malaysia who have attained 21 years of age, registered voters residing in Sabah and hold “Sabah ICs” are eligible to receive the cash distribution as and when declared by the Board of Trustees.

SAPP promised that the Anti-Hopping Law would be formulated to deter elected members of the legislative assembly and parliament from switching parties after being elected.

The anti-hop principle was that any elected member who changes party shall be required to resign his/her seat.

The member may submit to the electors by re-contesting the seat concerned. This principle will require amendments to both the state and federal constitutions which SAPP shall pursue, he said.

Other promises were on Borneonisation, review of state-federal relationship and laws, the setting up of a Legislation and Judiciary Native Affairs Department, a RM300 million revolving fund for first-time house buyer (with Sabah IC) and grant lower land premium for developers building low-cost houses.

Under the One-Country-Two-System policy, a SAPP government pledges to allow schools in Sabah to choose to adopt the PPSMI (teaching of science and mathematics in English) and to address the problems relating to the service of the temporary teachers and the shortages of teachers in the vernacular schools.

It also pledged to intensify Yayasan Sabah’s effort in bridging the social disparity by extending assistance in the form of providing hostels in the rural areas especially the remote villages.

It further pledged to disburse scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance for deposits offered by the state government and also Yayasan Sabah fairly and justly to all qualified Malaysians with Sabah ICs among others.

Labuan should be returned

SAPP also proposed that Labuan be returned to Sabah and governed as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and to be represented by three elected state assemblymen at the Sabah state legislative assembly to complement the existing member of parliament in the federal legislature.

The international financial hub status of Labuan would be maintained and self-administered to enhance its autonomy as an International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC) while 20% of total oil royalty received by Sabah would be given to Labuan for its self-governance.

He said a SAPP government would also pursue the construction of the Labuan bridge linking Sabah mainland to the island.

Other pledges were on the Social Development, Youth Empowerment, Sabah Heritage, Environment and Sustainability, Sports Development, Women Empowerment, ICT Development and the setting up of a Gaming Commission.

The party also promised that a SAPP government would also push for the setting up of foreign consulates in Sabah such as the Philippine Consulate, the China Consulate and others, he said.

In order to fulfil these promises, he said the Sabah would have to be autonomous through the implementation of a One-Country-Two-Systems rule.- www.freemalaysiatoday.com
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