Star’s manifesto is the best for Sabah because it is comprehensive, innovative, reformist, practical and focused in finding solutions to Sabah’s issues.
Star should get the support of the people because the manifesto focuses in finding solutions to long standing problems including state rights and autonomy, security, economy, land and native customary rights, illegal immigrants, petroleum and oil resources, infrastructure and amenities, rural development and upliftment and social matters.
The most important desire of Sabahans is to get back their rights and to restore autonomy of Sabah as an equal partner to Malaya, the implementation of the 20-points, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report recommendations.
None of the other political parties have addressed this issue as comprehensively as Star who is the only genuine party fighting for the restoration of Sabah’s rights and autonomy as an equal partner.
Star’s manifesto is also brave in bringing forward administrative and institutional reforms with the reinstatement of TYT Yang DiPertua Negara and a proposal to create five internal states that will be equated to the states in the Peninsular so as to restore Sabah’s position as an equal partner to Malaya.
Administratively and politically, Sabah will adopt the 1-Country 2-Systems as basis of federal-state relations which will see the exemption of the burdensome and crippling cabotage policy and the customization of policies according to Sabah’s local conditions.
The creation of the 5 internal provinces based on the old residencies boundaries will enhance and bring up more focused regional planning which will create more administrative, socio-economic and business opportunities and speed up development on the ground and assist the alleviate rural poverty.
The proposed administrative and land and NCR reforms will not only officially recognise and restore customary land rights but also address critical and outstanding land problems and land disputes.
At the same time, it will stop the marginalisation of the natives as practised by the current BN government and prevent the natives being turned into squatters and beggars in their own land. The land and NCR reforms will also see the priority in alienation of state land to Sabahans and not outsiders as well as the extension of land use of NT land from agriculture to include industrial and commercial use.
The land reforms include the establishment of the Land Tribunal, Native Land Foundation and the regionalisation of land administration, processing and approval authority and regional issuance of land titles. The Native Land Foundation will also protect native land rights in the long terms and assist needy natives in developing their idle lands to become productive.
On the economic front, Star proposes to widen the revenue base of the Sabah government through the industrialization of Sabah’s rich resource base, the extension of the railway network from Tenom to Keningau and to the East Coast and Kudat/Kota Belud, the building of an Inland Port in Keningau/Tenom. Star also propose to implement an economic enabling mechanism known as the rural micro-business system which will enhance rural economic activities and alleviate rural poverty and create more business and job opportunities.
To further promote the status of Kota Kinabalu city, Star proposes to build a new mono-rail system linking Kota Kinabalu to 1-Borneo, Karambunai, Donggongon, Putatan, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the Hospitals. The mono-rail will reduce traffic congestion, enhance economic vibrancy, create jobs and business opportunities.
To raise Sabah’s revenue, Star will pursue the 40 percent share of nett revenue collected from Sabah as provided for in the tenth Schedule of the federal constitution and continue to reclaim ownership of Sabah’s oil resources through the Court, in necessary. The people of Sabah have not forgotten that the oil resources were unlawfully vested by the late father of the caretaker and outgoing prime minister to Petronas in 1975.
In terms of security, Star is the only practical party that is taking the bull by the horn by creating the Homeland Security Ministry that will manage immigration and local security matters. Under this Ministry, Star will revive the border scouts to ensure border security and upgrade the current Rela units and voluntary police into Sabah’s own police contingent. The Ministry will also be responsible for foreign workers and the re-issuance of the Sabah identity card.
For the youths and Generation-Y, Star will establish an education fund, agriculture land schemes of at least 5 acres per Gen-Y participants, establish more vocational and technical institutes to enhance skills and create IT-savvy technicians, enhance human capital development and the creation of special “Young Traders Market” for youths to congregate, participate and make money.
Star has also proposed a range of social reforms which includes a minimum floor price and a “buffer stock” mechanism which will increase rural incomes, free medical services for rural areas, free pre-school, primary and secondary education, additional grants for Chinese and mission schools and non-national type and religious schools, RM1,000 for new births of genuine Sabahans, RM1,000 grant for IPTS/IPTA students, RM500 per month for elderly above 65 years regardless of race, religion and political affiliation, RM300 per month for the handicapped, non-working housewives attending to children at home, single mothers with dependents, housing for the poor, residential colleges for rural school children and additional grants for NGOs, cultural associations and religious bodies with periodical review.
Also in the pipeline is a new Amanah Ladang Rakyat Yayasan Sabah whereby 200,000 acres of YS will be converted into plantations and part of the annual profits will be given as grants to needy Sabahans.
GE-13 will be a referendum for the people of Sabah whether to continue to be colonised and controlled by Umno/Malaya or PKR/PR or to choose to be free and determine their own future and destiny.
The ecstatic crowd answered that they will not only choose the latter but will vote to ensure wins for Star candidates in Keningau and the state constituencies.
Selamatkan Sabah tanah airku.
JEFFREY KITINGAN is chairperson of Star Sabah.