Every country has proud stories of heroes and heroins who made a difference. Their stories show us that there are always new challenges and new ways of looking at the world.
In Sabah for instance, after GE14, such a man who achieved that extraordinary feat and recognition is Yb Dsp Wilfred Madius Tangau, Sabah DCM cum Minister of Trade and Industry, Tuaran MP and UPKO President.
What were his extraordinary feat or achievements that bestowed upon him that recognition?
In a nutshell, he saved the KDMs from another political catastrophe and embarrassment as experienced during PBS era – by helping WARISAN formed the new State Government. In a positive light, some of the finer aspects inherent in that atmosphere is that the people finally realized and its importance quickly grasped – they have a better future with the government rather than being in the opposition! The people are singly grateful for the large endowments or bequests – and for every little material benefit, for every little act of helpfulness to save their work that provides them with a living, with the necessities of life. But most importantly, it provides them the opportunity to serve humanity, to lighten the journey for others, and also, in some small measure, to make this world a better place to live.
I came to know Yb DSP Wilfred Madius Tangau when I was still working in an administrative position in the PM’s Department ( based under the National Unity and Integration Department of Sabah in 1999). I was one of those who admired him for his rare and courageous style and capabilities during debates in Parliament – against the discrimination and marginalization of Sabah, with the KDM community emerging as the new underclass in the state, the long-standing problems of illegal immigrants and the state having the highest rate of poverty in the country.
I had never for a moment imagined that one day he would rise through the political hireracy to become Sabah Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Trade and Industry. All I had wished for him was a smooth journey through a turbulent political career. But God has better plans for him – to serve Sabah and Sabahans, especially the Momoguns, with zest through his new portfolios.
I can still recall vividly when a couple of years later, Dtk Maximus Ongkili (now PBS President) was appointed as Minister in the PM’s Department ( incharged of National Unity and Integration Department), he joked about Dsp Wilfred Madius as someone too obsessed with the KDM community – a minority groups in Malaysia – every time he gave a speech In Parliament.
Well, it’s understandable because at that time, no BN MP dared to speak up openly in Parliament although privately outside Parliament they acknowledged the pertinence and relevancy of his speech.
In talking about the plight of the KDM in Parliament, Dsp Wilfred Madius was right because national policies for some of these minority groups have not really touched them to a satisfactory level in providing basic infrastructure in uplifting the standard of living of the poor particularly. That’s why I said he’s right to voice out the grievances and aspirations of the KDM and the ordinary people, for our sake. Kalau bukan Dsp Wilfed Madius dan UPKO, siapa lagi? In short, he grabbed the bull by the horns while others before him merely indulged in rhetorical, political polemics.
What does PBS stance signify? For one thing, PBS candidly acknowledges that the KDM’s grievances doesn’t exists and insignificant. Therefore, it doesn’t need to be addressed and high lighted in Parliament or in the corridor of power that be. What a great sham for PBS whose leaders have been claiming to fight for the rights of the KDM!
Perhaps PBS think that the BN Government is indispensable, but the political scenario in a democratic country is not parmanent and can change anytime as evident in GE14.
It’s heart warming to note that with the change of the Federal and State Government, the plight of Malaysians in Sabah, particularly the KDM under the able leadership of Dsp Wilfred Madius is changing for the better.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has attracted encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI), which, upon fully operational, the creation of this industry will bring in massive flow of funds and income for the local people in particular the rural dwellers who’re mostly the Momoguns or Orang Asal.
To ride out the storm, we’ve to rely on our new government and leaders to redirect our efforts to derive the maximum benefits from our new sectors of the economy or other areas of development.
It’s most fortunate and Significant for this rural economic development to be realized as a means to improve and stabilize the income of the rural dwellers and eventually to eradicate poverty.
With the creation of more industries and manufacturing activities in Sabah, the State’s unemployment problem will be solved – by creating thousands of new jobs to help the State in its fight against chronic rural poverty by uplifting the people’s income.
I’m truly impressed by the way Dsp Wilfed Madius carried himself and I’m sure others will agree with me. Thank you, YB Datuk Seri, for the privilege to undertake tasks to be in the team, to serve with sacrifices for a purpose that is realistic and meaningful.