UNITED Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau has expressed his amusement and concern that political scientist Prof Dr Wong Chin Huat has been accused of “stirring up separatist sentiment” by UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin.
Madius said Sunway University’s Prof Wong is the “last person to qualify as a Sabah or Sarawak separatist” as the latter “does not even support the proposal to give 35% parliamentary seats” to both East Malaysian states.
“Instead, he backs the growing call by me and others that Sabah and Sarawak should first and foremost be given autonomous power on education and health, and a one-third veto power for Sabah and Sarawak in an elected and enhanced Dewan Negara,” he pointed out.
Earlier today (Sept 20) Khaled warned Prof Wong to not “fan separatist flames among Sabahans and Sarawakians following the latter’s claims that many Sabahans and Sarawakians wanted their states “kicked out” of Malaysia.
Khaled said that as a political activist, Prof Wong should not ignite such sentiments, adding that the unity of the Malaysian federation “needs both west and east Malaysians to build a future agenda”.
“Fanning separatist flames and linking the dissatisfaction of the people with UMNO is not a mature or progressive approach,” he said in a Facebook post.
He said “promoting division” was not only “malicious” and “irresponsible” but also “unpatriotic, anti-constitutional and anti-national”.
“Malaysia was founded on the clear and important values of understanding, respect, constitutional spirit and federal relations,” Khaled said.
He pointed out that the issues faced by Sabahans and Sarawakians should be resolved by ensuring the development agendas in all states were equal.
“Stop calling for division and separation. Contribute ideas and values that can make our country and society better,” he added.
“A true Malaysian federalist”
Calling Prof Wong a “true Malaysian federalist”, Madius noted that Prof Wong’s challenge to Sabahans and Sarawakians who want their home regions to leave Malaysia was “cheeky”.
“He wanted them to first advocate for the kind of Malaysia they want to see, with secularism, multiculturalism and decentralisation, and even to Borneonise Malaya,” Madius said.
“Such challenge is simply a clever play of reverse psychology, as he explains in his second posting in response, to push Sabahans and Sarawakians to develop a stronger sense of ownership in Malaysia.”
While he did not agree with many of Prof Wong’s ideas, Madius maintained that he was happy to listen to him.
“I hope Khaled and other leaders from the Peninsular too would listen, to not just him, but also more Sabahans and Sarawakians to understand what Malaysians of various backgrounds want of Malaysia,” he commented.
“Please be open minded and gentle with dissenting voices.” – Sept 20, 2022