The job of restoring the original plaque of the Oath Stone, complete with the ‘Kerajaan Malaysia Jamin’ (Malaysian Government Guarantees) phrase, would not have cost millions of ringgit to do.
Former State Secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (pic) said he found it hard to believe that the Government has no money just to restore the plaque to the Oath Stone which would only cost a few hundred ringgit at most.
“Either the Government is just not paying attention to this matter or they just want to forget that the Oath Stone even exists. Furthermore, if they have no budget for this small project, then I do not know what else they have money for,” he said.
Worse comes to worst, he said, he believed that the people of Sabah would be more than willing to donate money to this cause if it has to go that way. He warned, however, that it would not portray a good image on both the Federal and the State governments.
“But I don’t know who is supposed to find the money.
Because sometimes it may not be fair for us to blame the Government. Sometimes it is just the bureaucracy.
The civil servants, it just does not occur to them to take the appropriate action.
“I think, may be, there is a miscommunication somewhere along the line. But I still can’t believe how difficult this can be.
This is just a small thing and it’s so small that it sounds a bit amusing,” he said.
Sipaun was commenting on the admission made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup who said the delay was due to a technical problem in the drawing plan.
Kurup, who chairs the Keningau Oath Stone Relocation Committee, was also quoted to have said that the Minister of Tourism and Culture (Datuk Nazri) has promised that the funding will come from his Ministry.
Sipaun added that the Oath Stone belongs to the people of Sabah, especially those in the Interior.
The Oath Stone, he said, represents what the people expect of Malaysia.
“These are just minimum safeguards. Freedom of religion, land matters and customs.
These are the three most important issues for them. Of course there are more than three issues.
But to the leaders of those days, these three must be carved in stone,” he said.
He also found it rather peculiar that the words ‘Kerajaan Malaysia Jamin’ should be removed from the current plaque as these three words are actually the most important part of the declaration.
Sipaun questioned why it took so long for Kurup to come out and say he has no budget for the restoration.
“If you cannot handle this small thing, what would assure us that you can handle bigger things?” he said.
Source: Sabah Daily Express