SABAHANS will never get to shape their own future as long as the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition rules Sabah, says Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal.
He said BN leaders had pledged their undivided loyalty to top party leaders based in Peninsular Malaysia and, therefore, are unable to take measures they fear would offend their bosses.
“Do you think the Sabah Umno liaison chief Musa Aman, who is also the Sabah chief minister, dares to speak up against Najib Razak, the president of Umno?
“I doubt it. Even the slightest mistake, such as when issuing a statement, could probably get one arrested.
“For that matter, Sabahans will never attain autonomy or total power over the state as these leaders are not in control,” he said during a gathering of 500 former MCA Kepayan members joining Warisan last night.
Shafie then cited the ongoing corruption probe against him and his suspension from Umno as how far the Malay-based party would go to deal with any form of opposition and critics of Najib.
“It was never easy for us Sabahans. One could possibly become a federal minister or the vice-president of Umno, like I once was.
“But sometimes, I feel Peninsular Malaysian leaders think that they are the only ones who can run the country, while Sabahans are incapable of doing anything,” he said.
Shafie said these were the reasons why he left Umno last year. In forming Warisan, he said he was attempting to bring about the return of a Sabah-based party rule, where, like Sarawak, its local affairs are handled by local parties
“No outsider has total control over Sarawak leaders, and its chief minister has the same position as the Umno president,” he said.
Shafie said the slogan “Sabahans for Sabah” was not aimed at inciting hatred among Malaysians, nor was it a call for Sabah to secede from Malaysia.
Instead, the slogan aims to unite those who believe Sabahans must have a say in the affairs of the state.