It is amazingly clear that people, whoever it may be, can change to suit their convenience and surroundings. This speaks volumes about the person’s credibility.
What is disappointing is that lawyer cum politician, Christina Liew, who had been championing the cause of Sabah Forest Industry Sdn Bhd (SFI) employees, has turned her back to the same group of people by keeping silent and ignoring their pleas. SFI is today undergoing a legal tussle that would result in employees losing their jobs.
Back in in 2009, more than 1,000 SFI workers engaged Christina to take SFI to the Labour Court on salary claims. The Labour Court in Sipitang dismissed the case. Subsequent appeals by the employees also failed.
Christina also represented the employees in opposing a winding-up petition of SFI because they believed it would jeopardise their claims settlement. They feared the winding-up would result in loss of jobs for the majority of the workforce in Sipitang. Most of them depend on their employment with SFI. In a nutshell, Christina had strongly advocated against closing down Sabah’s sole pulp and paper mill in Sipitang.
In an article in BorneoToday (December, 2017), Christina, who was Sabah PKR’s opposition party chief then said that as the former owner and shareholder of SFI, the Sabah State Government had a moral duty to assist SFI employees who owed their current dire straits to the State Government’s ill-conceived decision of selling the company to then the Lion Group in 1994.
The Tawau assemblywoman in a statement was commenting on the difficulties faced by the employees as a result of actions by SFI and its associated parties. She said that the State Government’s intervention had become even more pressing given the needs of the employees, and called for the state government and the relevant authorities to assist workers.
DCM, Christina Liew with CM, Shafie Apdal at the Sabah State Assembly;
Photo Courtesy of New Straits Times
She also promised that if Pakatan Harapan was voted into power at the next general election (May 2018), it would provide solutions on how best to turn SFI around, so that it can continue to provide gainful employment to its employees.
The GE14 elections have come and gone, and now slightly over a year later, what happened to the promises? Where are you Christina Liew, when you are needed the most? Why are you silent? People need to be protected. They need sincere politicians who can work for the benefit and welfare of the neglected people of Sabah. You are now the government. You are where you can make the change.
Now we hear that the PH government has cancelled the purchase of SFI by a local Malaysian company and want to re-tender to the Chinese. Why is the Sabah government doing this to us? Why put us into hardship again?
You promised to help us and fight for us. We voted for you. We feel betrayed and losing hope with Harapan now. Please Christina, speak to the CM and help us. Let SFI hidup and we can hidup. It is a betrayal of our trust if we are treated like a football, kicked around for political goals.