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Opposition parties form United Sabah Alliance


KOTA KINABALU - A grouping of Sabah-based opposition parties and NGOs have formed the United Sabah Alliance (USA) with former State Finance Minister, Datuk Mohd Noor Mansoor elected as its Chairman on Sunday.



The announcement was made during the Gerakan Perpaduan dan Perubahan Sabah (GPS) or Sabah Reform and Solidarity Movement Roadshow, which was a continuation of United Borneo Front's (UBF) Borneo Tea Party (BTP) programme carried out prior to 13th General Election in Pukak, Kiulu attended by leaders of the organisations under the new grouping and about 200 people from around the area.



The NGOs under it are the Sabah Reform Movement (APS), which is led by Tamparuli Assemblyman Datuk Wilfred Bumburing and United Borneo Alliance (UBS) led by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who is also the Sabah Star Chief as well as Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).



Former Keadilan candidates in the last election Gaibin Ransoi and Sindin Ranggangon, Terrence Sintih as well as Datuk Kalakau Untol and a former candidate for Snap in Bekenu, Thony Badak were also on hand.



"It is an honour for me to be elected and appointed to lead the United Sabah Alliance (USA). This is a very heavy responsibility which needs every support from every leader that is made up of USA.



"I thought I have retired from politics; at my age l should be enjoying life with my grandchildren. I no longer possess the same physical stamina as I used to have in the 1970s.



"But the theme 'Save Sabah and Malaysia' strikes at the core of my inner self because deep inside me, l know Sabah is not safe from irresponsible racist politicians whose struggles threaten the peace, harmony and unity which used to be enjoyed by every Sabahan regardless of race, culture and religion," said Mohd Noor who is now an adviser of SAPP.



He said saving Sabah from this extremism also means saving Malaysia as well.



"From now on, we will move together as a unit, riding on one platform, facing a common front and with the kind of support we are seeing at this stage of our alliance, surely we are ready to face any onslaught BN might throw against us.



"Let us unite for a better Sabah and a better Malaysia," he said.



Bumburing said the APS welcomed the formation of the USA because as opposition leaders they can no longer move individually and separately if they want to unite the people "who are now in disarray due to a weak opposition unity."



"The winds of change have been blowing over the Land Below the Wind before the 13th General Election; the people who wanted change were disappointed because the opposition, especially Sabah-based opposition parties are not united under one common front to face the Barisan Nasional.



"We are happy that today, unity has been formed and both APS and UBF-Star have agreed to elect veteran politician Mohd Noor as the Chairman to lead this alliance.



"I therefore call on all supporters and members of APS, UBF, STAR and SAPP and all individual or groups who share our common struggle to give our full support to Mohd Noor to lead this alliance," he said.



According to him, the main issues that they need to bring into the attention of the Federal government were to review and respect the Malaysia Agreement of 1963; review and honour Sabah's status as an autonomous State within Malaysia, and review and honour the Agreement pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak being equal partners with Malaya.



Dr Jeffrey, meanwhile, said UBF (and Star) agreed to team up with APS to form USA so that they would have a united voice and front to face Kuala Lumpur.



"Our voice as opposition in Sabah has always been ignored by Kuala Lumpur. Our hope and dream to be part of Malaysia has not been respected. We need a united voice, and a united front.



"Don't get us wrong; we are not starting a movement to take Sabah out of Malaysia; we are starting a movement to 'Save Sabah and Malaysia' from being split by these extremists both in BN as well as those who are opposed to BN's policy towards Sabah," he said.



Dr Jeffrey also expressed support to the statement by Kalabakan MP, Datuk Ghapur Salleh that instead of arresting people each time they talked about Sabah's rights, the Federal Government should listen to their problem and address it.



"We have heard time and again certain Umno leaders asking people to get out of the country if they are not happy with BN-Umno. This is very dangerous for Malaysia," he said.



Looking at the last General Election results in Sabah, there were quite a substantial number of voters who "didn't like BN-Umno" and therefore voted for the opposition.



"We therefore need to save Sabah for these people and if we can save Sabah, we can therefore save Malaysia as well.



"The only way we can get rid of extremist politicians is to see to it that local Sabah based parties get to form the State Government come the 14th General Election, that is our objective through United Sabah Alliance," he said.



From: SaSa General FEED

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