Monday, February 25, 2008


Independent candidate nearly misses cut-off time


When Dr Anthony Tibok handed in his nomination papers to contest the Penampang parliamentary seat as an independent candidate yesterday, he was just three minutes shy of the l0am cut-off time. Charging in with his proposer and seconder close at hand, the biotechnology expert was a man in a hurry. And when he spoke of the need for change, he made his stand clear that the Kadazandusun community, particularly in Penampang, have no time to lose. “My challenge is to bring the voice of. the people. In Malaysia, it is the pribumis, not the Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) people making noise in the peninsula, who are truly the poorest in the nation. “Sabah went from being the richest state in Malaysia in the 1970s to being the poorest state now. Ninety-five percent of our riches are going to Petronas and only five percent is coming back to us. “Are we getting a fair deal from the federation? The Government policy is wrong and this cannot go on but where are our ministers? Why are they keeping quiet,” he said, visibly shaking with emotion. Anthony, who said he had worked as a researcher in France, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia and locally, admitted that he is “just a small guy standing in the dark” compared to his competition but was adamant that he was taking a necessary risk. “I know that Tan Sri (Bernard Dompok) is a well-known Kadazan leader, but I will continue to shout about the issues that face us here. “I don’t care (about rating my chances), let the people choose. If they want a voice then vote for me, if not then vote for someone else,” he said. The other independent candidate, Willybroad Missi, also charged the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) Government with poor treatment of Sabahans, particularly the Kadazandusuns. Sporting a traditional “siung” or bamboo hat to go with his traditional Kadazan “berudu” or shirt, he declared his struggle to “defend” his people’s rights. “I see that the natives, my people, have been really oppressed by the present Government system ... I wish to continue the struggle to uphold democracy,” said the 47-year-old businessman. Like the other candidates outside of the BN, be it from opposition parties or independents, Willybroad said his main objectives are to solve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants, fight corruption and develop Moyog and Penampang on the whole. “I see the trend now is the people want a change in the Government. The present Government is not suitable to the local society in Sabah,” he said.