Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

Yong reveals UMNO's plan to divide and conquer Sabah - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) is "not surprised" that Upko failed to persuade the federal government to scrap the RM3 billion Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline.

yong teck leeSapp’s rationalises that this is due to the imbalanced federal-state power relationship that constantly undermines divided states like Sabah.

"Once again the interests of Sabah have succumbed to the vested interests of federal bodies like Petronas. Once again, our political leadership has failed Sabah,’ Sapp president Yong Teck Lee said in a statement to Malaysiakini last night.

He said it was apparent that if Upko carried out its threat and left BN - as media reported - then Umno and BN will fill their void with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Both Upko and PBS seek to represent the non-Muslim bumiputera communities in Sabah.

"It is not a coincidence that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had chosen to announce the decision to go ahead with the gas pipeline at the PBS Congress in Kota Kinabalu, while at the same time, praising PBS and its leaders.

"This is divide and rule in a glaring public display," argued Yong - a former chief minister who led his party’s exit from BN last September.

merdeka statement launch 020807 bernard dompokConspicuous was the lack of local support for Upko leader and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok’s (left) efforts to hold the Abdullah to his promise to scrap the pipeline on May 31.

Neither the (Upko) State Minister of Industrial Development Ewon Ebin, nor the Federal Deputy Minister of Industry who is also LDP President Liew Vui Keong, spoke out against the pipeline.

Sabah Umno leaders - at state and federal level - were unconcerned that Sabah will suffer serious serious energy shortages in the next few years, Yong said.

He pointed out that Umno run Sabah losing out Petronas’ investments to Umno-free Sarawak is a clear betrayal of Umno’s pledge to lift Sabah.

"This is the sad state that Sabah is in today to the extent that our (state) government now even pretends to be happy that ‘surplus’ gas will be used to build a full fledged oil and gas industry in Sabah.

"How can Sabahans fall to such dismal state that even our government leaders have come to expect the people to believe such nonsense?" implored Yong.

The early bluster from Upko’s leader and youth leader gave false hope to the people, as they eventually relented and now are content "eating humble pie".

The 500km pipeline from Sabah to Sarawak was seen by many as an impediment to the former's energy sufficiency goals. Most leaders in Sabah opposed it as it was feared the state would be shipping out most of its gas away. The federal government for now promises only to pipe-out Sabah’s surplus gas.

Sabah first

peter chin fah kuiThe Sapp chief said Dompok’s announcement that "the federal cabinet has now agreed to create a full-fledged petrochemical industry in Sabah using local oil and gas" sits unwell with Plantation and Commodities Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui (left) statement that "Petronas should look into Sabah’s gas reqirements".

Chin’s statement is vague and non-committal for Yong, as it seems Petronas has no idea about Sabah’s energy needs.

"The gas and oil belongs to Sabah, not anybody else.

oil world market 141008 04"Petronas only has a right to extract the oil and gas. If we cannot use it, then do not exploit it. Leave it there for future generations," exclaimed Yong.

He suggested the state government jettison the pipeline by applying land laws, which is specifically under state prerogative as enshrined in the federal constitution.

‘Until such time that the Sabah’s oil and gas industry has reached a full fledged capacity, and if there is a surplus of gas, then we allow the construction of the pipeline,’ he pointed out.

As a bare minimum the federal government must build a power plant capable of providing sufficient energy to Sabah, before constructing the pipeline.

The Government must explain intelligently with facts and figure to show whether there will be surplus of gas, said Yong -