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Mustapha made a mistake in suing Pairin
Published on: Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Had the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno), which administered the State from 1967 to 1975, remained in power, there will be no political claims on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Sabah Rights, said the protem deputy president of the new Usno (Usno Baru) Kusugan Ali.

He said Usno, when under the leadership of the late Tun Mustapha Datu Harun, had been a strong supporter of the Federation of Malaysia.

"Without the strong support of the late Tun Mustapha who formed Usno in 1962, and the strong support of the Sabah Malays comprising mainly Suluks and Bruneians, there would likely be no Malaysia.

"The Chinese, Kadazans and Muruts were initially opposed to Malaysia until the late Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore persuaded their leaders to change their minds. If Usno had remained as the State Government of Sabah, there would be no political claims on the Malaysia Agreement and Sabah Rights," he said in a statement.

He said Usno is still confused about the Sabah Rights that had allegedly been taken away by the Federal Government.

"Usno would really be grateful if the leaders who had been championing this issue to spell out what rights had actually been taken away and how we in Sabah have been suffering as a result of the rights being taken away," he added.

On Usno's downfall, Kusugan admitted that Mustapha had made a big mistake by rushing to go to court to challenge the legality of Parti Bersatu Sabah's president Datuk (later Tan Sri) Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Sabah Chief Minister.

Mustapha had claimed that Pairin ruled illegally.

"Mustapha made a big mistake. Instead of rushing to go to court, he could have let Pairin be Chief Minister, and at the first sitting of the Assembly, pass a vote of no-confidence against him.

After all Mustapha needed only another four seats to form the government in coalition with Berjaya."

"Four PBS assemblymen could have been enticed to join Mustapha by promising to appoint them as ministers and allocating each of them 5,000 acres of timbered land, worth a few million ringgit at that time.

"Bear in mind that around 1965, two Unko assemblymen in the person of Datuk Payar Juman and Datuk Wong Fok Siang crossed over and increased the Usno Government's majority.

But those were the days of buying or selling of assemblymen, a practice frowned upon by today's Pakatan Harapan Government," he said.

He added that his reason for highlighting Mustapha's strategic error is to remind the people that Sabah would have been different today if it was not committed.

"There would be no undermining of Federal Government authority," he said.


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