JOINT PRESS STATEMENT 24th March 2024 - Sabah Sarawak NGOs Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo) and Sabah Sarawak Rights Australia New Zealand (SSRANZ) an international NGO based in Australia, have jointly issued a statement expressing revulsion and strongly condemning the UMNO party’s support of its members inciting race and religion hate over the so-called “Allah Socks”.

The 2 NGO Presidents, Daniel John Jambun (BoPiMaFo) and Robert Pei (SSRANZ) pointed out that the UMNO party in politicising and escalating the so-called “Allah socks” issue has created a very tense and dangerous situation in Malaya. Instead of exercising moderation, UMNO leaders instructed its members to continue with their extremist race religion hate campaign on the issue which amounts to be seditious and anti-national acts under Malaysia law, not just undermining the Madani Government but destabilising national harmony and security.

They also expressed disappointment that the Police had not acted impartially by their call to prosecute the owners of the KK Supermarket business when they have not established that the owners had committed any offence under the law, and their failure to take action against the UMNO members inciting race hate.

From the published facts gathered by the police the 14 set of socks among 12,000 socks seem to indicate a lack of any intention to cause offence to Muslims and raises questions as how the offending socks got into the system. The NGOs urged that more investigations should be made on their origins and how and why they were so easily discovered among 12,000 socks before any action be taken. On its face, the facts indicate that someone had a motive to sabotage and create more over-reaction and anger among Muslims following the “bak kut teh” incident.

It is obvious to all that UMNO has jumped on the opportunity to exploit yet another “Allah” issue to shore up its sagging support. If this was its intention, it has failed badly judging by the negative public response. The NGO leaders said even the PAS Party is being calm and wise by not saying anything. This starkly exposes UMNO’s anti-national character.

One might ask if UMNO is not just trying to destroy the meaning of the Madani Government of which UMNO is a partner but also the unity of all races in Malaysia?

They observed that “Sadly, the Madani government has chosen to remain largely silent and UMNO may think this is a carte blanch to boost up its waning popularity”.

They expressed their deep concerns that if UMNO should be allowed to continue with its antinational campaign, it would drag Malaya into another May 13 horror massacre of innocent non bumiputras. If it is doing this just to maintain its power then it must be seen as an entirely antinational party which does care about the people’s lives and security but acts recklessly to destroy this for its own selfish political objectives. It is therefore jeopardising the harmony and foundation of the entire federation. The Party should be banned.

Instead of hyperventilating on sock, UMNO should be more appalled by the high poverty rates in Sabah Sarawak and Kelantan and in Malaysia in general! Poverty was sustained by UMNO 60 years of corruption and pillaging of the 3 oil states!

They also ask why has the National Unity ministry not acted quickly to de-escalate the rising tension which threatens interracial and inter-religious relations in Malaysia. Should not this case be dealt with under the Sedition Act 1960 and national security laws?

They urged all Malayans to act with wisdom and restrain and avoid a civil war in Malaya. In conclusion, they said Borneo nationalists are watching the negative side of federation in Malaysia and have long considered exit like Singapore for the same reasons, as they did not sign MA63 (if valid) to be drawn into daily overblown race-religion nonsensical issues instead of developing and advancing their poverty stricken states.

Signed by
Daniel John Jambun (President BoPiMaFo)
and Robert Pei (President SSRANZ)
24 March 2024

Endorsed by:
Voon Lee Shan, President Parti Bumi Kenyalang Sarawak


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