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Silence of KDM giants disappointing

Come Sunday, the full list of candidates for all constituencies in the 13th General Election, will be known. Between nomination day up to voting, more crossovers from opposition parties to BN component parties or vice-versa can be expected starting with the ‘ditching’ of DAP by two Kadazan leaders in Sabah.

The purported reason behind the crossovers was due to KDM’s main leaders launching a so-called ‘Gelombang Tataba” a vision that would bring golden opportunities for the people through the unity of the three KDM BN component parties.
The nature of “Gelombang Tataba’ that is being projected poses a big question as there is no more opportunity, akin to the powers KDM leaders possessed during the PBS era when most of the key posts in the government was controlled by them.

What can be expected for the community remains slim as the leaders had failed to protect their rights and are even now continuing to measure up to the standard of leadership expected of them.

It would be appropriate to mention that the Tataba held by KDM leaders when PBS came to power in 1985 disappeared due to intense infighting among the top leaders and it would be futile to think that such power will ever be acquired, given the norms in the present context of the government where the lion’s share in the administration is controlled by Umno leaders.

The Tataba during the PBS era was also misused by certain government officers empowered to help their people and the result can be reflected in the current situation in the Public Service Commission where KDM officers had been side-lined by non KDM officers even though they are relatively senior and more qualified.

On the Civil Service, the KDM’s are also lamenting over their opportunities as new appointments are actually monopolised by non KDM’s, an issue that had been rightfully exposed by Penampang’s Star Party hopeful Melanie Annol recently.

Monopoly is also evident in the awards of government contracts, scholarships and all other opportunities, favouring the now dominant community and the silence of the three KDM giants had been most disappointing.

In the case of Huguan Siou, Joseph Pairin Kitingan is still holding sufficient power to help his people through his appointment as Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Infrastructure Development. But what has he done?

A lot of deserving officers in Public Works Department and Water Department had been agonising over their failure to be promoted and despite pleas and petitions to Pairin nothing had been done to date. It can even be said that it is impossible to see him on issues affecting the people, as so much protocols had been set by him.

So, the big question of his relevance has to be considered.

In the case of the UPKO president, promises were made to the people in Penampang when he was Chief Minister but sadly the promises remain just that. It is useless to delve into the issues but he should have fulfilled the major ones and not live on excuses that they could not be implemented as the people of Penampang rejected him during the general elections that saw his fall as Sabah’s Chief Minister.

Now the BN’s slogan is “Janji di Tunaikan” or promises fulfilled. But based on the above, has the promises in Penampang been fulfilled? How long more must the people wait for the fulfilment of promises made to them and are BN candidates in the constituency qualified to stand in the constituency on the merit of the slogan?

KDM’s had seen their fortunes waning and with promises made during each general elections remaining  unfulfilled, the community is not turning to other avenues which is the key factor that had spurred some of them to shift their allegiance to the opposition, as noted through the crowd present during opposition ceramahs in Penampang and even in other areas.

How far the support will transform into united votes for change will be proven when the results are announced on Sunday, May 3, and this is where the wisdom of the community must prevail. They must vote with their head and not the heart as sentiments has to be cast for a guarantee into a better future.

The KDM’s should not continue to be at the mercy of other leaders and where they have failed to reach out to their leaders or failed to be protected by them, they should not don their thinking caps and consider their rightful direction.

They must ensure that they are not neglected in terms of appointments or promotions in the Civil Service or government authorities, that they are awarded scholarships based on their educational achievements, awarded contracts based on their capabilities and so on and so forth.

The emergence of new KDM leaders over the past few years had been breath of fresh air but these leaders, instead of being encouraged to prove their leadership, were condemned as people with ulterior motives.

One such leader, the current KDM Malaysia president, had been promoting several campaigns for the benefit of the community but alas he had been condemned by other KDM leaders in the government, leaders who are perhaps too frightened of being eclipsed or even out-stepped into oblivion.

One young leader like Peter Anthony should be encouraged by current leaders, most of all by the three KDM Tan Sri’s, and given more support and roles to bring about better prospects for the community.

Some KDM’s had been more adventurous as seen in their forays into other political parties like Umno as they could not establish themselves into KDM based ones. But it must be said that the prominent or successful people ones in those parties, be they from Umno or the major opposition parties had at times been condemned by fellow KDM leaders in the current government.

So when the Gelombang Tataba quest was launched the big question of sincerity among the three leaders has to be pondered as it could just be an agenda to benefit themselves rather than the community they are supposed to lead.

The biggest disappointment must rest on those making use of the Gelombang Tataba declaration as their reason to ditch their support for opposition parties in favour of the BN component parties, the very parties they had so vociferously condemned during their times in the opposition.

Those aligned to the hopping leaders need to evaluate their struggle as justice would not be served if they followed suit, hook, line and sinker.

KDM’s must grasp the real issues before them and decide for the better so that the future will be assured of their rights within the context of society and progress in the state and in the nation as well.

KDM’s must also unite to ensure that poverty gap among the community is brought to the minimum, or eradicated all together as the state’s resources are now dominated by other tribes, including those who had been accorded special privileges by elements in the administration.

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