Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) is "not surprised" that
Upko failed to persuade the federal government to scrap the RM3 billion
rationalises that this is due to the imbalanced federal-state power
relationship that constantly undermines divided states like Sabah.
"Once again the interests of Sabah have succumbed to the vested
interests of federal bodies like Petronas. Once again, our political
leadership has failed Sabah,’ Sapp president Yong Teck Lee said in a
statement to Malaysiakini last night.
He said it was apparent that if Upko carried out its threat and left BN
- as media reported - then Umno and BN will fill their void with Parti
Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
Both Upko and PBS seek to represent the non-Muslim bumiputera
communities in Sabah.
"It is not a coincidence that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had
announce the decision to go ahead with the gas
pipeline at the PBS Congress in Kota Kinabalu, while at the same time,
praising PBS and its leaders.
"This is divide and rule in a glaring public display," argued Yong - a
former chief minister who led his party’s exit from BN last September.
was the lack of local support for Upko leader and Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok’s (left) efforts to hold the
Abdullah to his promise to scrap the pipeline on May 31.
Neither the (Upko) State Minister of Industrial Development Ewon Ebin,
nor the Federal Deputy Minister of Industry who is also LDP President Liew
Vui Keong, spoke out against the pipeline.
Sabah Umno leaders - at state and federal level - were unconcerned that
Sabah will suffer serious serious energy shortages in the next few years,
He pointed out that Umno run Sabah losing out Petronas’ investments to
Umno-free Sarawak is a clear betrayal of Umno’s pledge to lift Sabah.
"This is the sad state that Sabah is in today to the extent that our
(state) government now even pretends to be happy that ‘surplus’ gas will
be used to build a full fledged oil and gas industry in Sabah.
"How can Sabahans fall to such dismal state that even our government
leaders have come to expect the people to believe such nonsense?" implored
The early bluster from Upko’s leader and youth leader gave false hope
to the people, as they eventually relented and now are
"eating humble pie".
The 500km pipeline from Sabah to Sarawak was seen by many as an
impediment to the former's energy sufficiency goals. Most leaders in Sabah
opposed it as it was feared the state would be shipping out most of its
gas away. The federal government for now promises only to pipe-out Sabah’s
Sapp chief said Dompok’s announcement that "the federal cabinet has now
agreed to create a full-fledged petrochemical industry in Sabah using
local oil and gas" sits unwell with Plantation and Commodities Minister
Peter Chin Fah Kui (left) statement that "Petronas should look
into Sabah’s gas reqirements".
Chin’s statement is vague and non-committal for Yong, as it seems
Petronas has no idea about Sabah’s energy needs.
"The gas and oil belongs to Sabah, not anybody else.
only has a right to extract the oil and gas. If we cannot use it, then do
not exploit it. Leave it there for future generations," exclaimed Yong.
He suggested the state government jettison the pipeline by applying
land laws, which is specifically under state prerogative as enshrined in
the federal constitution.
‘Until such time that the Sabah’s oil and gas industry has reached a
full fledged capacity, and if there is a surplus of gas, then we allow the
construction of the pipeline,’ he pointed out.
As a bare minimum the federal government must build a power plant
capable of providing sufficient energy to Sabah, before constructing the
The Government must explain intelligently with facts and figure to show
whether there will be surplus of gas, said Yong.