Bugis, others have right to appoint own leaders: Shafie
Published on: Sunday, February 10, 2019

TAWAU: Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the State Government can review the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance to allow the Bugis and other races have their own customary leaders.

“If the Chinese can appoint someone to be their Kapitan, why can’t the Bugis have their own leader? 

“We know the law. We don’t want to breach the law,” he said during a Chinese New Year open house hosted by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Jimmy Wong.

He said it would be unfair to deny the Bugis their right to appoint someone among them to be their leader.

In relation to this, Shafie said the delay concerning the appointment of their customary leaders and village chiefs must be resolved before the end of this month.

He said he has tasked Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Ebin and Law and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Moktar to resolve the issue by way of consultation.

He called on all the people in the state to maintain unity and avoid racial extremism. He said all leaders in the state represent not just one particular race but all the people they serve.

“We can’t just think about our own race or district.

“If we do this the people won’t vote for us next time,” he said.

He said because Sabah is home to many different races, preserving unity is paramount.

“We need to develop Sabah. Let’s have less coffeeshop talk or talk about projects and positions. If we want to talk about politics, wait for the next election…For now, we must be united in developing the state. I believe all the races have their own respective places,” he added.

Shafie also urged the relevant authorities to begin the demolition of an illegal building in Sabindo area, here. A court order was issued against the developer in 2017 for the illegal building to be brought down.

Shafie urged Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong and President of the Tawau Municipal Council Alijus Sipil to take quick action.

He said the building had been abandoned for a long time and its demolition will allow for development of the area for the benefit of the people.

Jimmy hoped Shafie will give a big “angpow” to the people of Sri Tanjong constituency so that the illegal building can be demolished soon.

He said demolishing the illegal building within the first 100 days of the Pakatan Harapan government coming into power was one of the promises made during the 14th General Election last year.

However, the promise has not been fulfilled despite the new government being in power for almost 300 days already.

The structure was built without an approval in 2006 and after a long legal process, the court issued the demolition order. 

Jimmy was one of the individuals who brought the issue to the court and his outspokenness is said to be one of the reasons he won the Sri Tanjong State seat during the election.

He emerged as the first opposition leader to win from DAP in Sabah in the 2008 General Election after taking on the issue. - Lagatah Toyos


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