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Star denies flogging the 'politics of 2nd Chance'

KOTA KINABALU: Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun has denied flogging the "politics of 2nd Chance" as charged by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman during a party function on Thurs at the Umno building in Kota Kinabalu.

He was referring to Musa alleging that opposition leaders had done nothing for the people during their "glory days in power" and were now striving to get a second chance on the comeback trail. Musa had also added, in his caustic remarks, that such leaders would not be able to "make a difference" in future if they couldn't do so in the past.

"The Chief Minister, being among the few credible leaders still left in the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN), should not have belittled us in this manner," said Daniel. "He must remember that we are also struggling like him for the rights of Sabah although we are on opposite sides of the political divide.

Daniel, however, agreed with Musa's observation that many of those now in the politics of the opposition were at one time or other in various component parties of the ruling BN.

He begs to disagree with the Chief Minister that being an ex-BN politician was a political death sentence of sorts, being virtually forced to reckon with "the stigma of being a has-been, a reject, a loser, a non-performer", as implied by him.

"We should not all be tarred with the same brush," cried Daniel. "The opposition cannot be choosy if some sinners, having truly repented for their past misdeeds if any, come forward to participate genuinely in our struggle for Sabah."

The overwhelming majority in the opposition, claimed Daniel, comprised those who felt short-changed by the "so-called" BN Formula, BN Concept, and BN Spirit.

"It cannot be denied that even within the present Sabah BN set-up, there are quite a few component parties and factions unhappy with their position and lot in life," said Daniel.

He described these "BN misfits" as the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp), which quit the coalition on 17 Sept 2008, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), the Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing faction in the United PasokMomogun KadazanDusunMurut Organisation (Upko) and various other factions in Umno.

He noted that the Umno factions were led by heavyweights like Lajim Ukin, Rahim Ismail, and Shafie Apdal among others.

"All those currently unhappy in Sabah BN are experiencing what many of us went through in government before we left," said Daniel. “Only the Parti Bersatu Sabah (BN) seems to be happy with Sabah BN.”

The major problem among Sabah leaders, continued Daniel, was unhappiness with Putrajaya and being dictated to by party leaders headquartered in Peninsular Malaysia.

Star’s real quarrel, he added, was not with the Sabah BN parties but "Putrajaya and the parti parti Malaya eyeing our seats in the state assembly and Parliament".

He urged local Sabah BN component parties to work with Star in persuading the parti parti Malaya in Sabah to incorporate locally and achieve complete autonomy rather than be dictated to by Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

Elsewhere, claimed Daniel, the BN Formula, BN Concept and BN Spirit no longer works in Sabah.

"The BN Spirit means that decisions must be reached by consensus and compromise," said Daniel. "The BN Concept means power must be genuinely shared among all the component parties in BN, both at the state and federal level."

On the BN Formula, Daniel noted, the people no longer accept the elite circumscribing the democratic process by endorsing seat-sharing and thereby denying the grassroots majority meaningful participation in the democratic process and experiment.

Sabah and Sarawak, warned Daniel, are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea under the two-party system being mooted for Parliament by Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the Peninsular Malaysia-based national political opposition, and various NGOs.

"Sabah and S'wak will either be going from the frying pan into the fire or, at best, from the fire into the frying pan, under the two-party system," said Daniel in recalling a consensus among most local analysts.

Some people are saying that better the known devil (BN) than the unknown angel (PR), acknowledged Daniel, "but this is no permanent solution to the myriad problems of Sabah and Sarawak accumulated since 1963".

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