KOTA KINABALU, Sept 23 — Sabah has fallen victim to the tussle among West Malaysian leaders in their tussle for power of the nation, said former chief minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
In a video, the former Vatican ambassador said that Malaysia is politically troubled under the administration of a government not elected by the people, who are out to cement its power by winning a Sabah vote base.
“Sabah is a victim of the power play in Kuala Lumpur. We have become the theatre of war in the quest of power to control the country and now we have an election in Sabah,” said the United Progress Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) chairman.
Dompok said that the Putrajaya-aligned Opposition has been intimidating and luring voters by peddling participation and projects using resources from the state.
“The federal government is now threatening the curtailment of development funds if Sabahans have the guts to withstand the onslaught and to support the present state government.
“I feel sad for people of the Sabah if they do not give the chance to this breed of young leaders who have the temerity to ensure that we succeed in this country,” he said.
In the video recorded with former chief justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum in the background, Dompok called for Sabahans to support Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s effort to lead a generation of younger leaders.
“I think it will be a sad day if we succumb to those who come to Sabah from Kuala Lumpur just to prop up a government that is not supported by the people. Be wise and exercise your vote to the government so that Sabah can provide inspiration for a Malaysia that is good for all Malaysians,” he said.
Dompok was a former chief minister from 1998 to 1999 under the rotation system for the Kadazandusun and Murut (LDM) community quota. He was also a federal minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
He has been laying low since the 2013 election, when he lost his parliamentary seat to newcomer Datuk Darell Leiking, then of PKR.
His message now is seen as a rallying call to the KDM community in conjunction with the 16th state poll. Upko is a component of the Warisan Plus government led by Shafie and contesting 12 seats, the most it has ever contested in a state election.
The state’s biggest competitor is the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah Opposition bloc, a hastily put together alliance of some seven parties including four local parties.
Sabah goes to polls on September 26.
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