KIMANIS: Sabah residents can emerge wealthier and more dignified, as experienced during the glory days of the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno), through the Parti Warisan Sabah government.
Warisan vice-president Datuk Junz Wong said the biggest mistakes in Sabah’s political history were having Usno dissolved and allowing Umno into Sabah.
“There were political, economic and other problems during Usno’s time.
“But the people of Sabah had dignity and they were looked up to as ‘rich people’ by those from the peninsula.
“But ever since Umno arrived, Sabahans were discriminated against and sidelined.
“Our resources were stolen and they (Peninsular Malaysians) are getting richer while we become poorer,” he said during a meeting with fishermen in Kampung Brunei here yesterday.
Usno was founded by third chief minister Tun Datu Mustapha Harun in 1961 and dissolved in 1996 when six of its legislators joined Umno, while the rest became members of Parti Bersatu Sabah.
Wong, who is state agriculture and food industry minister, said the Umno government, through its centralisation approach in controlling the building of fishermen’s jetties, deep-sea fishing and bird’s nest processing, had hampered economic activities among the communities.
“For example, the upgrading of fishermen’s jetties requires approval from the federal government, but we know better where such infrastructure is needed.
“The same goes for the harvesting of bird’s nests.
“Previously, the products were required to be processed and exported from the peninsula.
“But when the state was authorised to do it, the profits increased from RM3,000 to more than tens of thousands,” he said.
Wong said the people should not give another chance to Umno and Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Mohamad Alamin.
Wong said the state’s sole opposition member of parliament, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, rejected the move to restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the Malaysia federation when the Constitution (Amendment) Bill was presented in Parliament last year.
“Those are the basic rights and agenda that the people of Sabah have been fighting for, but Umno and BN denied us that right,” he said.