Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Non-Sabahan UMS VC not an option

Kota Kinabalu: Member of Parliament for Putatan Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh said it is high time the people of Sabah demand their rights

"I am a Sabahan. As MP, I represent the people and will not hesitate to speak up for them.

I am concerned over the report that no Sabahans have been recommended to take over as Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

"Don't play play with Sabahans," he told Daily Express Wednesday.

Professor Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah who was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor effective June 18, 2012 is due to retire in June this year.

Dr Mojigoh contended that there is no lack of qualified and experienced Sabahans who can succeed Prof Dr Mohd Harun.

He recalled that when the people of Sabah requested that a Sabahan be made Sabah Police Commissioner, it was fulfilled by the Federal Government but only for a short period. "It is now back to Square One," he lamented.

State Assembly Deputy Speaker, Datuk Dr Johnson Tee concurred with Dr Mojigoh, saying "Sabahans have every right to ask when it comes to the question of Sabah rights".

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said social media reports which claimed that a non-Sabahan would replace the VC was speculative.

Dr Ongkili said he had raised the matter with Higher Educa­tion Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh in the last Cabinet meeting.

"He has confirmed that the selection committee has not forwarded any recommendation for the new VC (Vice-Chancellor) for UMS.

"As acting Parti Bersatu Sabah president, I have conveyed to him (Idris) that it would not be acceptable for the selection committee to conclude that there are no qualified Sabahans to fill the post of VC since the last two VCs were local Sabahans," Dr Ongkili said.

He said that under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) safeguards, the appointment of senior posts in the Federal civil service should be made among those of local origin.

"I am confident that the Higher Education Ministry will comply to this MA63 safeguard," he added.

Bingkor Assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the choice of the new Vice-Chancellor will reflect on state-Federal relationship and the basis of the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

"To the outsiders and Malayans, they may not feel the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak over the treatment and non-compliance of the basis of the formation of Malaysia. Worse still, they were down-graded from equal partners to mere 12th and 13thStates of Malaya," he said.

He said not only netizens but ordinary Sabahans are against a non-Sabahan being named to the post.

He stressed that Borneonisation is one of the basic safeguards and condition in the 20-Points and was specifically set out in the IGC Report and ought to be implemented pursuant to Article VIII of MA63 by the government.

Borneonisation should be respected and ought to be an important factor in selecting the new incoming VC.

"More so, when there are ample suitably qualified Sabahans."

"Why the need to keep appointing Malayans to be the VC when almost all the VCs of public tertiary institutions in the country are Malayans although there are many Sabahans who are qualified.

"On this score, there is no basis for another Malayan to be appointed as the VC of UMS," he argued.

He said the time has come for Sabah and Sarawak to be treated as equal partners in the Federation, particularly in the name of nation-building and national integration when the nation is wrecked with racial and religious divisions potentially breaking up the Federation.

"A qualified Sabahan should be appointed although it is not easy given there are several who are suitably qualified.

To give further credence to Sabah as an equal partner, some of them should be considered for appointment as VCs of other public tertiary institutions," he said.

Source: dailyexpress