Kota Kinabalu, Thursday, 20 September, 2018: Politically, the one and only logical extension of the return of equal status for Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya is that political parties from Malaya will eventually have to cease its presence in Sabah.
This is because, once Sabah has reverted to its pre-1976 position as equal in status to Malaya, it automatically follows that the Sabah chapters of parties with headquarters based in KL will also be equal in status with the same parties in Malaya.
For instance, Sabah MCA and Sabah DAP must be equal in status to their parent parties in Malaya. PKR Sabah and PAS Sabah must also be equal in status with their counterparts in Malaya. It is no longer justifiable for these federal parties to appoint Sabah chapters which are treated just like any of their chapters in Perlis or Malacca or other states.
As it is inconceivable that these federal parties will recognise their Sabah chapters to be equal with their parent bodies, it is only a matter of time, sooner rather than later, that these federal parties in Sabah will fall out of favour with Sabahans and Sarawakians. Hence, equal status for Sabah and Sarawak will lead to the eventual closure of parti Malaya in Sabah.
SAPP welcomes and fully supports the announcement of the Prime Minister that Sabah and Sarawak will regain its status equal to Malaya in accordance with the spirit, letter and intent of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), led by none other than the Prime Minister, is showing the way for other federal parties to respect and adhere to MA63 by not branching into Sabah. PPBM is also the only major federal party that has refrained from establishing itself in Sabah.
The way forward for the other federal parties like PKR, MCA, DAP, MIC and UMNO is either to amend their party constitutions to accord equal status for their Sabah and Sarawak chapters or else to dissolve their Sabah and Sarawak chapters. Only then will they be seen to be sincere and respect MA63 and equal status for Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya.
By Yong Teck Lee