Thursday, March 6, 2008


Don’t be swayed by opposition’s sweet promises: Abdullah


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday advised Sabahans, especially people living in interior areas, not to be deceived by the empty promises of the Opposition, especially Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), to fish for votes. The Prime Minister said the Opposition was good in making sweet promises but did not have the capacity to fulfil them because PKR cannot form a Government. On the contrary, Abdullah said the Barisan Nasional (BN) was not a new party that needs to think about what to do for the people. “The BN already has two mega programmes in Sabah to be implemented under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the recently launched Sabah Development Corridor. These are the plans we are thinking about that are carefully planned for the people’s wellbeing, taking into account the finances needed to implement them,” he said when closing the mobile exhibition of Sabah Foundation-With-The-People and Sabah Development Corridor roadshow here yesterday. Abdullah said the projects and programmes outlined in the EN manifesto were thoroughly planned and were not empty promises merely to drum up support from the people. That’s why when we face a general election we are not worried. Let the people of Sabah make the evaluation on the development being carried out by the BN Government in the state. “I hope the Government’s initiative to bring in continuous development will receive the people’s support. I believe what Sabahans want is more development, peaceful and prosperous life,” he said. The Prime Minister urged the interior folk to give solid support to BN candidates. “We want a strong state government headed by a Sabahan, who have the capabilities to implement the development programmes we provide,” he said. Abdullah said the BN Government had brought in a lot of development to Sabah, particularly in the education field, since the last general election. He said the Government had spent millions of ringgit to upgrade the education quality in Sabah, particularly in rural areas. “The BN Government knows Sabah is a vast state and needs huge financial allocation for education. This is the reason why we give a substantial allocation for education in Sabah, accounting for 24 per cent of the overall allocations. “Even a bigger state like Sarawak only received 22 per cent, while other states were given a smaller percentage. “We also give free textbook aid for primary and secondary school students, supplementary food aid for rural and interior schools and school and examination fees have been abolished. All these showed the BN Government is really a caring and people-centred Government in all respects,” he said. The Prime Minister also slammed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who did not do any reforms when he was Education Minister. “When I was Education Minister, I initiated efforts to revise the teachers’ salary scheme, but when Anwar was the Education Minister, he failed to conclude it. “Similarly, Anwar did not pursue my initiative to introduce a student integration programme for national and vernacular schools when I was Education Minister,” he said. Hence, the Prime Minister urged the people in Sabah to reject the Opposition and instead support BN.