PRAISES for BN’s Tan Sri Bernard Dompok do not justify the situation in Penampang as a lot of promises remain promises. Maybe he might have done well as a voice for the KDM or even for the Christians. But does it mean that he alone had stood for the people that he is supposed to represent?
What about those ordinary people who contributed their voices through their own means in the Forum, or in other avenues?
These questions raced through me as I read the testimony of KDM Jeffrey Ekol who went at length with his praises on the achievements of Dompok.
What is evident now is the future of the KDMs as a whole in the context of the nation and not so much on what had been achieved by Dompok or for that matter Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan in their struggles.
The KDMs are lagging in terms of employment, economics, and noted to live below the poverty level, but there still appear to be a lack of concern among the leaders.
Take the issue of KDMs in the civil service and see how much those leaders did to help their people. It is common to hear our KDMs envying other officers in terms of promotions while those seeking employments had been unable to secure any appointment simply because posts in the government or semi-government sectors had been filled by relatives of those higher officers.
In scholarship, how many of the KDM deserving students had been allocated with grants to pursue their studies.
The same applies to the award of contracts where most, if not all government contracts had been allocated to non KDM contractors.
So the question of Dompok protecting the welfare of his KDM people does not seem justified.
In the context of religious freedom, this issue is enshrined in the Constitution and it is the duty of the government to ensure that it is applied. That Dompok rendered his voice at times is indeed magnanimous but it is expected of him as a leader to voice such reminders and credit should not be totally expected.
It has to be said that the RCI on illegal immigrants was due to the voice of concerned Malaysians in Sabah and not solely due to the efforts of Dompok or his party UPKO.
The same applies with Identification cards as there is a gross need for existing documents in Sabah to be recalled for the purpose of issuing new cards.
This general elections is all about the future of Malaysians, most of all KDMs in Sabah, and it is of utmost importance for the community to decide correctly so that they will not continue to be at the mercy of UMNO, being the dominant party in the current government.
In Penampang, there need to be a change in leadership so that the current monopoly of posts, contracts and other matters in the district can be reviewed.
The more than twenty years that Dompok and his group administered in the constituency or district has to be changed so that the wishes of others can be accommodated.