True multi-racialism must for success: Noor
Kinabalu, Apr 19, 2010: Any party that intends to form the State
Government must truly uphold the multi-racial concept where Sabah is
concerned as the previous so-called multi-racialism practised by Parti
Berjaya and Parti Bersatu Sabah had their flaws.
Giving this advice to the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) at a seminar
organised by the party, Friday, former State Finance Minister, Datuk Mohd
Noor Mansoor said SAPP leaders must learn from history what really caused
the downfall of the Berjaya and PBS governments.
"I don't know if (all those in the former Berjaya) feel the same way
but I think the downfall of Berjaya was because it did not fully respect
the multi-racial concept.
"We gave everything (to the people) but we still lost because we were
merely saying we are a multi-racial party but not in practice," he said in
his talk at the Forum on Current Issues at Winner Hotel.
Mohd Noor who was Berjaya Secretary-General recently joined SAPP as an
ordinary member. During the PBS era, he said its President Datuk Seri
Joseph Pairin Kitingan, perhaps, forgot about the multi-racial concept and
went overboard a little.
"The concept means unity irrespective of religion and race, so if we
dilute the concept, problems will start to crop up," he said at the talk,
which was attended by SAPP President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee and Supreme
Council members as well as members.
"I dare say here that while many people accuse (the late) Tun Mustapha
as being the one responsible for bringing Umno to Sabah this is wrong...it
was due to the multi-racial concept practised by Pairin," he said.
Mohd Noor said everybody is talking about "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay
supremacy) but then "there is no Malay in Sabah".
"We are actually a composite of all races but there is no Malay in
Sabah," he said. According to him, Umno in Sabah is different from that in
"Umno is deeply rooted in Peninsular Malaysia but Umno is only
transplanted in Sabah...go ask the experts (as to) which one is stronger,
the original tree or the transplant.
Don't listen to talk that here is no way to win because Umno is too
strong. Just remember what happened to Berjaya and Usno," he said.
He said SAPP's struggle was to return autonomy to Sabah but this was
also a complicated matter as far as campaigning is concerned.
"For Berjaya previously our struggle was to bring democracy to Sabah
and this was easy for us to explain to the people, including the elderly,
because they could see what we meant.
"Mass arrests of people, the mass conversions into Muslims for
political gain...yes it is true, I dare say this...so people believed
Berjaya because they could see this," he said.
But in today's case, he said it is a bit difficult for SAPP to explain
to the people about autonomy because it is something that cannot be seen,
particularly the kampung folk who might not be able to comprehend its
Towards this end, Mohd Noor said it was most important for the younger
generation in SAPP to do their part and explain to their friends and to
the people in the rural areas what the party's leadership meant by wanting
autonomy to be returned to Sabah.
"If old people like me can work 24 hours a day there is no reason for
the younger people not to work 25 hours a day," he said, adding the task
would not be impossible if they manage to get the message right to the
He also believed the 13th General Election would be the best
opportunity for SAPP to become the State Government.
"If we fail then the repercussions will be deep ... it may take a
longer time before we can ever see the opportunity again," he said....more
by Chris Maskilone (DE)
Sabah reached a breaking point?