Tuesday, April 8, 2008


More KL posts for Sabah.
Prime Minister agrees to consider the request but he says, it may take some time


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday he would consider the requests from the Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) to increase the number of Ministers from the two States in the Federal Cabinet but this may take some time. “They would like to see more Ministers. I said (to them) I’m looking into it, but it may take some time. The fact is that it (request) is recognised, I do recognise. That also applies to Sarawak,” the Prime Minister told reporters after meeting Sabah BN leaders here yesterday. Abdullah said the appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers from Sabah was the “dominant issue” at the meeting. Asked on the creation of a Special Ministry for Sabah Affairs, he said, it was also discussed at the meeting,but ‘we haven’t put it into specifics yet.” “I’ve to study very carefully whether we need a Ministry for Sabah Affairs. If we have a Ministry for Sabah Affairs it would become too general,” he said. Abdullah said that at the meeting, the Sabah BN leaders also placed emphasis on development in Sabah,. particularly in the rural areas. “Issues related to the Federal administration in Sabah, particularly the Federal Development Department which was established during the administration of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), were also raised. “This was to avoid an overlap of duties in terms of implementation of programmes which had to be given attention,” he said. The Prime Minister said the State BN leaders also brought up the issue of the “Borneonisation of service”. “They expressed to me why it was necessary to increase the number of officers from Sabah in the Federal service in the State,” he said. Abdullah said the BN leaders also- wanted the issue of illegal immigrants to be resolved as soon as possible. “The issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah is a complex one which requires an immediate solution because it can give rise to social problems,” he said. The Prime Minister said that though he met the various Sabah BN component leaders separately, the issues raised were similar. Abdullah said the meetings were held separately to give the representatives of all the RN component parties a chance to raise “major issues” with him. “They wanted to obtain my views and I am grateful that the discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere though the requests were made firmly, especially by Sabah Unmo,” he said. The Prime Minister said he accepted in good faith what the State BN leaders had conveyed to him because this was the expression of their emotions so that he could understand them clearly. “I understood all of them well. I appreciate highly their sincerity and it is this sincerity which can strengthen solidarity in the Sabah BN so that whatever we implement can be carried out well and meet the objectives,” he said.