Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Karim challenged by his own constituent
Retired cop pledges to end sufferings of Bongawan people


Incumbent Bongawan assemblyman Datuk Karim Bujang is in for a fight with his former believer Lusin Balangon. The 56- year-old ex-policeman who signed the nomination form on Feb 24 under the Parti Barisan Rakyat Sabah (Bersekutu) ticket after losing faith with the ruling coalition and Karim, will be fighting for the State seat with two other opponents namely Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Ag Wash Ag Yahya and Md Hans Md Tahir (independent). “He (Karim) has served in Bongawan for 18 years but unfortunately, he has done little to improve the constituents’ well-being. “I believe the people are smart enough to think and are tired of being fooled by all the broken promises. He has been given enough time to prove himself but nothing is done to improve the Bongawan people’s socio-economy,” said Lusin who retired from the police force after 33 years in service. He added that Karim is not contesting against the opposition, but is rather fighting for the seat with his own people. “I have lived in Bongawan almost all my life. He (Karim) is not against the opposition. He is fighting with me, his own constituent ... the people will decide which better leader to choose come March 8,” he said while campaigning at Kampung Kayau in Papar. He said when he was a policeman, he was exposed to the people’s problems such as bad road conditions and other facilities. “I had served the people during my service as a policeman. Now that I have retired, I would like to continue helping the public because I understand the problems which are the same I faced under the Barisan Nasional’s governance,” he said. Lusin pointed out his decision to contest is not for fun. “I was planning to take a break after retiring from the police force, but with the encouragement from my wife, five children and villagers, I could not resist but to continue serving for the good of the people,” he said, pledging to end the constituents’ sufferings. Lusin said there was nothing he would do to fish for votes but hope the people would be able to decide themselves this Saturday. “You are the ones who will decide. If you want things to change, vote for the right person,” he said. Lusin had also started campaigning in several villages in Bongawan and had even visited the BN’s base. “I believe that to be a good leader, one should not be picky. That is why I went to the BN base to get to know them better, after all they are also voters,” he said.


USBO president urges Bajau community to fully support BN


United Sabah Bajau Organisation (USBO) president Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said has called on the Bajaus, who form the largest bulk of Muslim bumiputera voters in Sabah, to vote for the Barisan Nasional (BN) come polling day on Saturday. He said a strong support should be given to the BN in line with Usbo’s stand as a non-governmental organisation, to support the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the federal level and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the state level. Salleh, a former chief minister, stressed that Usbo had been consistent in its stand to support the Government either at the federal or state level, and had repeatedly made known its stand to assist in the efforts to strengthen Umno. “In line with this principle, I’m calling all members of the Bajau community to give their strong and undivided support to all the BN candidates, to give the BN an absolute victory and return it to power. “This is important so that the Government can continue with its development agenda including the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the Sabah Development Corridor,” he told Bernama yesterday. Usbo, formerly known as United Sabah Bajau Association, is a non-governmental organisation championing the cause of the Bajau community in all aspects including economy and education. The Bajau community has 12 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups namely Bajau, Iranun, Sama, Ubian, Yakan, Suluk, Kagayan, Binadan/Banaran, Jama Mapun, Sibutu, Sikubang and Simunul. Salleh, who is former Kota Belud member of parliament, said by giving a strong support to the BN, the Bajaus would be assured of a brighter future. “We are confident that the BN will be able to bring about a paradigm shift to the community,” he said, referring to the BN manifesto that pledges fairness to all communities in the country. He said the Bajaus, many of whom are still living in coastal areas and remote islands, including nomadic Sea Bajaus who still live on boats, needed the attention, which only the BN could provide. - Bernama


Chua condemns bad treatment by Tawau hospital


The district hospital’s alleged bad treatment of a snatch theft victim has incurred the anger and disappointment of Barisan National (BN) candidate for Tawau parliamentary seat, Datuk Chua Soon Bui. In condemning the rude behaviour of a nurse and the poor service provided by the district hospital to Madam Liew, Chua said what had occurred was contradictory to the hospital’s service standard. “I request the hospital’s director to conduct a full investigation into the complaint and disclose its finding to the people in Tawau,” she said. The Tawau hospital, she added, maintains a standard of ‘service with a smile’ requiring its nursing and medical staff to treat patients in a friendly manner. “But instead Madam Liew who was injured in a snatch theft incident, was treated badly by the nurse,” she said. According to Chua, the victim whose injuries were bleeding profusely, was sent to the hospital’s emergency room but was not given any treatment and the staff were also rude to her. Chua was on her way to Wakuba when she learnt about the incident and immediately contacted some SAPP leaders in the district to get in touch with the hospital’s director to remedy the situation. She also contacted a Kapitan Cina and requested the community leader to assist Madam Liew at the hospital as well as in making the necessary reports on the loss of her MyKad and other important documents to the snatch thief. Chua also urged the police to step up patrolling and security check to reduce crime in Tawau.


300 PKR members switch camp


About 300 members of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) handed over their Umno membership application forms to Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Datu Nasrun Haji Datu Mansur at Kampung Bakau yesterday. The group was led by Patawi Wapijo, the former PKR election campaign director for P.188 Silam. According to Patawi, he and his supporters quit the opposition party because they disagreed with the choice of the candidate for Lahad Datu. He claimed that the PKR candidate, Zainuddin Zulkarnain was not a member of PKR. “Keadilan means justice and fairness, but we can find no justice and fairness in PKR. How can a non-member become a candidate?” he said. Due to the unfair leadership’s decision and lack of respect for founder members of the party, he and his supporters decided to leave and support the BN candidate. Meanwhile, Nasrun, who is the BN candidate is confident of retaining the N. 50 Lahad Datu state seat in the March 8 general election as BN has implemented a lot of development projects for the people here. He stressed that Zainudin has no issue to raise because the constituency has seen tremendous development carried out by the BN during the last four years, especially infrastructure.


LDP confident BN will win big


The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is confident that the cooperation forged among the Barisan Nasional (BN) components will bring a big victory to them in Saturday’s elections. Its president, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, said that since the nomination nine days ago, the LDP candidates fielded for three state seats — Karamunting, Tanjong Kapor and Merotai — had received good cooperation from all other BN components. “This is a factor the opposition does not have and because of this, I am sure the BN will excel in the elections this time,” he said here yesterday. Liew who is contesting for the Sandakan parliamentary seat, said he too received good cooperation from other BN components especially Umno, Sabah Progressive Party, Parti Bersatu Sabah, MCA and MIC throughout the campaign. “Therefore, my hope to win the Sandakan parliamentary is very bright because I receive a solid support from all BN components and the continued BN spirit shown in the constituency,” he said. In the 2004 general election, Sandakan was the only parliamentary constituency in Sabah the BN failed to capture after it lost to independent Chong Hon Min. In Saturday’s election, Liew ‘ s opponents are Chong Chui Lin (DAP) and Fong Vun Fui (independent). Liew also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman have big visions to develop Sabah, in particular Sandakan, and the people should not miss the boat to bring prosperity to their town. “Both leaders have plans to bring development and progress to the State, particularly Sandakan through the Sabah Development Corridor and Ninth Malaysia Plan in which we are looking at least RM250 billion in allocations to be provided to Sabah,” he said. “The opposition will hamper the process of development in Sandakan. However with the Barisan Nasional this will be a different scenario and if the voters give me the mandate this Saturday, I will prove to them I can work together with other Barisan Nasional elected representatives for the betterment of Sandakan, he added. Liew pointed out that if all the BN candidates in Sandakan win this can make the channelling of funds easier and hasten the pace of development for the benefit of the people. “With a Chief Minister and a Deputy Chief Minister from Sandakan, if elected I can play an effective role in Parliament to seek development funds for Sandakan. “The people of Sandakan must seize this opportunity and give their support to ensure victory for all the Barisan Nasional candidates in Sandakan. Being the president of LDP, if I become the member of parliament, I can have access to Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and work together with him to bring development to Sandakan,” he said. Meanwhile, Liew described DAP candidate Chong Chui Lin Shanty as a ‘political tourist’ as she had lost in the previous election contesting under the Bersekutu banner in Tawau. “Now she wants to try her luck again in Sandakan. What can she do to help to resolve the problems affecting the people of Sandakan?” he asked. On the issue of him being labelled as an outsider, Liew said he considers Sandakan as his hometown because his late father resided here for years before moving to Kota Kinabalu. “I still have relatives living in Sandakan. I maintain an office here and made regular trips to work on my cases before becoming a candidate,” he said.


Dompok steps up campaign


UPKO President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Barisan Nasional candidate for P174 Penampang, had been intensifying his campaign in the last couple of days. He has been consistent in his message to the people that he is ready to be the elected representative of Penampang. He also reiterated his pledges to the people his commitment to serve them and to honour their mandate. Dompok, who shifted to Penampang from Ranau where UPKO vice-president Datuk Siringan Gubat was picked to defend the seat, was in Sugud on Monday night. Also present was his wife Puan Sri Diana Dompok, who had been accompanying her husband in the campaign trail, including to other constituencies such as Kuamut, Ranau, Bingkor, Nabawan and Putatan. Diana said that she was touched by the vocal support from the people in Penampang. “Women from all walks of life, young and old, have come up to me to express their joy with the return of my husband to Penampang. We appreciate their support,” she said in Sugud. The Sugud function was also attended by Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun, Datuk George Ginibun and Moyog polls director of operation Fred Moosom.


Hard work pays off for cookies maker
Papar woman’s products also marketed in city


After 20 years of hard work, Dayang Itam Yusof has a good reason to smile. The 55-year-old woman now owns a small factory near her house in Kampung Laut here, and her cookies business is picking up. “Although it is just a small family business, it helps us earn our living,” she said when attending to her customers. Dayang Itam said over 10 people in her village have also ventured into the same business, thanks to assistance from the Government. Asked to give her view on Sabah Development Corridor, she admitted not knowing exactly how it will benefit her, but she is confident that whatever the Government’s incentives are, it would bring good to many business people like her. She started her humble business by sewing dresses for brides-to-be and later ventured into selling of cakes and cookies. “When I was told of the Government’s incentives, I quickly grabbed the opportunity and applied for assistance to enable me to purchase machines to expand my business ... today, my cakes are even sold in the State Capital,” she said. “I believe SDC is a good plan by the Government and hope that it would not overlook small business people like me,” she said, adding that if given the right guidance, the small and medium enterprises would also be able to contribute towards the State’s economic growth. Another villager, Joy Francis, said that it is about time that SDC is launched to help improve the economy not just in the urban but rural areas as well. The 24-year- old from Kampung Sabandil, some five kilometres from here, hoped the authorities concerned would meet the people to further explain the SDC policies and objectives. “I came here to learn about SDC and how it can benefit me and my family. There have been many exposures done but I hope to learn more so that I could also play my role to ensure the project’s objectives are met,” he said. SDC is a definitive development project undertaken by the Government to fully eradicate poverty in the State by 2025, and according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, it is not an unrealistic programme as the Government would ensure the successful implementation of the project to benefit the people from all walks of life. Stressing this in his speech during the official launch of the 18- year development plan at Sepanggar Bay container port near here on Jan 29 this year, Abdullah said SDC would stress on the people’s welfare, whereby no race or group would be left out of mainstream development. SDC is the fourth economic corridor to be launched after the Iskandar Development Region, Northern Corridor Economic Region and East Coast Economic Region. He said SDC, which begins this year, would see the development of Sabah based on five main aspects, which are: •Sabah as a major entry point in the region for trade, investment and tourism; •Sabah as a harmonious and peaceful state regardless of race or religion; •Sabah as a technology-savvy state in all aspects of life which will ensure a higher quality of life; •Sabah as a rich state with employment opportunities for all; •Sabah as a comfortable state to reside with a high standard of living together with cultural diversity, heritage and environment. “We will witness a significant transformation if we can successfully build up the five aspects. The implementation of SDC would be a facelift for Sabah,” Abdullah said. By the year 2025, it is expected that Sabah’s economy would develop rapidly and that the State’s Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase four-fold to RM63.2 billion.


CM assures flood victims of assistance


They may be busy with the election campaign but the BN Government will not forget and do nothing about the people affected by floods and landslide, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman. Musa said even though the Election Commission regulation states that a candidate is not allowed to give out any financial or material assistance during their campaign, it does not mean that the people affected by natural disasters would be left without help. “Though we are busy with the election, we will still continue to help those who need our help. The BN Government is always concerned about the welfare and interest of the people and will provide help whenever needed. This is our way,” said Musa when met after officiating at the opening of SMK Taman Tun Fuad Stephen in jalan Bundusan yesterday. In addition, he said the State Natural Disaster Relief Committee chaired by the State Secretary is on hand to provide help and assistance to the people, he said. According to the Chief Minister, he had directed the committee chairman Datuk Sukarti Wakiman to inform district officers in all flood and landslide-prone areas in the State to check and mobilize natural disaster operation rooms in their respective districts. He said this is to ensure that immediate assistance can be dispatched whenever needed. “Certainly, the government, through the State Secretary committee and government officers will provide assistance,” he said. He noted that Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim who attended the ceremony with him rushed to areas affected by flash floods in Kota Kinabalu to see what the City Hall can do to help the people affected. Several areas around Kota Kinabalu were hit by flash floods following a heavy thunderstorm late yesterday afternoon. Among those areas were Kibabaig, Minitod, and Bundusan in Penampang. Several roads including the stretch near University Malaysia Sabah in Likas and near Industrial Training Institue in Sepanggar were also flooded.


Don’t disrupt devt momentum, says CM Right choice vital to ensure all projects carried out


Sabah is enjoying rapid development and this momentum towards progress should not be disrupted by allowing a new government to come into power and take over the State administration. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said it is important for the people to make the right choice and ensure the continuation of the ongoing various development programmes in the State. “Various development projects are being implemented and many more are being planned. This is why we should vote for BN candidates, so that the BN Government can continue implementing all its development plans to keep Sabah moving forward, he said. Speaking at the official opening of SMK Taman Tun Fuad Stephen in Jalan Bundusan yesterday, Musa pointed that a huge allocation has been given by the Federal Government to Sabah under the Ninth Malaysia Plan including the RM3.4 billion for improving education in the State. In line with the Prime Minister’s aspiration to achieve first class mentality and human capital, he said emphasis is being given to improve the education both in quality and accessibility. According to him, various projects including construction of various supporting facilities has been started to improve the State’s education system. He said various infrastructures such as hostels, new schools, housing for the teachers and many more have been and will be built throughout Sabah. “The State BN Government has always been concerned about the people’s welfare and is working closely with the Federal Government to ensure Sabah is developing in all aspects, including education. This is in line with the Prime Minister’s aspiration to ensure quality education for every child in the country,” said Musa. In addition to education subsidies, the Federal Government has provided various programmes and schemes to assist the students, especially those from poor families, to ensure they can continue their education to higher level Apart from that, he said the State Government is keeping a close watch and work closely with the State Education Department to ensure that whatever request or problems faced by the department can be forwarded to the Ministry of Education and solved accordingly. Earlier, Musa and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan witnessed the presentation of KUAM assistance to school headmasters in Tambunan to be distributed to poor students in their respective schools. He reminded that the education system in the Sabah can only be effectively improved with strong support and participation from the people, especially the parents. In this regard, he said parents should play an active role in the education of their children by working together with the schools. Parents, he said, should not leave the children’s education solely to the teachers.


Jeffrey claims BN feels heat, widespread cash handouts


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is contesting Keningau parliamentary and Bingkor state seats, yesterday said the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders and candidates are feeling the pressure from the opposition, particularly the PKR. He said reports reaching him from the ground indicated many BN leaders have to resort an “inducement” in order to attract crowds to attend their meet-the- people gatherings. He alleged that the distribution of financial assistance to students under the Kumpulan Amanah Pelajar Termiskin (Poor Students Trust Fund) throughout Sabah is an inducement to fish for votes from the people. Parents from across the State such as in Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Ranau and Inanam were invited to attend such functions, which were actually political gatherings, he said. “Why the Ministry of Education cannot wait until the election is over to do the distribution of whatever cash and why identified PKR supporters are not given the so— called assistance?” Jeffrey asked. In view of this, he urged the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to monitor and investigate reports of alleged cash distribution in Sabah ahead of Saturday’s general election. He claimed that parents of schoolchildren in many constituencies were given hard cash. Jeffrey also claimed that he has been informed by PKR supporters that “other kind of bribing are taking place”. He urged the Election Commission to establish enforcement teams to monitor activities of all candidates in the election. “I’m making this call because so-called house-to-house campaigns is being used as an opportunity to distribute cash,” he said. “The Election Commission ought to enforce the law to prevent corruption during this election.” Jeffrey pointed out that Section 27B of the Election Offences Act 1958 states that “The Election Commission may, if the Commission considers it necessary, to establish an enforcement team or any number of enforcement teams for the purpose of monitoring and controlling the activities of candidates during the campaign period until the expiry of the polling day.” He urged all PKR officials at the grassroots level to make police reports if they find any evidence of candidates resorting to bribery in gaining support and votes from the people. “It is very important to gather all information about bribery in this election so that the PKR team of lawyers could prepare papers to be filed in courts after the election. If no report is lodged, the relevant authorities will not be able to do anything. PKR must cooperate with the relevant authorities to do investigation on corruption because one of the PKR objectives is to provide a clean government,” he said. Commenting on Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin’s recent call in Ranau for the State Government to review provision on land law that prohibits any form of agricultural activities or development on land with a gradient of 25 degrees, Jeffrey said that this concern shows that under the BN Government, important policies affecting the livelihood of the people are not even discussed by the State Cabinet. “Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin holds a very important post both in UPKO and in the State Cabinet. How is it that he needs to make this an election issue?” Jeffrey asked. Jeffrey said that if the PKR wins the election and form the next State Government, it will revise the land ordinance. “This is to ensure the problem faced by locals will be solved promptly and they need not wait for years to get their land deeds,” he said.


Wrong decision means five-year suffering: Musa


Politics should not be likened to television shows. “If your favourite TV (television) programme is disrupted, it would just take minutes, sometimes even seconds to restore. But if you make the wrong decision on the polling day this Saturday, you will suffer for five years.” This simple but stern reminder came from Sabah Barisan Nasional liaison chief Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who reiterated his tireless call to the rakyat (people) to opt for the ruling government on March 8 and choose continuous development for the State. Describing the ruling coalition as a “caring and generous” government, Musa said the people’s needs are always their top priority and any development programmes implemented are for the good of the nation in general and rakyat in particular. “It is time for the rakyat to value the BN struggle. Do not let your constituency be left behind just because you made the wrong decision on polling day,” he said when launching a series of the Yayasan Sabah roadshows on the 18-year Sabah Development Corridor here. Musa, who was pretty philosophical yesterday, started his speech with two poems touching on the famous Belacan Papar (Papar shrimp paste) and BN slogan of continuously struggling for the good of the people. He said the BN manifesto was made after taking into account the people’s needs, and some have already been implemented while others will be done soon. “The Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s manifesto is too good to be true. It was written on the basis if they form a Government ... but we all know that this will not happen,” he said. “How can you form a Government if you cannot even achieve majority victory throughout the nation?” Musa asked. He said PKR was rejected in Peninsular Malaysia, so there is no reason for Malaysians in Sabah to vote for the opposition party. Also present at the event were several BN candidates, namely P175 Papar - Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin; P176 Kimanis - Datuk Anifah Aman; P177 Beaufort - Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Hj Ukin; N21 Kawang - Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar; N22 Pantai Manis - Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail; N23 Bongawan - Datuk Karim Bujang; N24 Membakut - Mohd Ariffin Mohd Arif; N25 Klias - Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun; N26 Kuala Penyu - John Teo Mau Sing; N27 Lumadan - Kamarlin Ombi; and N28 Sindumin – Ahmad Bujang.


Samson admits facing uphill task in retaining Sri Tanjong seat


The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Sri Tanjong state seat, Samson Chin Chee Tsu has admitted that it would be quite a Goliath task to retain the constituency this time around. In view of the situation, Chin, and the BN election machinery, have been pooling all the available resources to help keep the seat, which has about 19,500 voters. “This is the first election that I feel that I need to put in extra efforts. “I’ve participated in four elections here but this is the most challenging; I must admit it’s going to be a hard fight,” he told Bernama when met during his campaign rounds here. The BN election machinery would not take things for granted or underestimate the opposition here, instead it would work hard to retain the seat. In this election, Chin, from Parti Bersatu Sabah, is facing Wong Sze Phin @ Jimmy of DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Kong Hong Ming @ Kong Fo Min. In the 2004 polls, Chin retained the seat with a 3,907-vote majority, defeating a DAP candidate. Chin said Sri Tanjong voters knew that “they are living in peace, are safe and prosperous” under the BN Government and that they should not tinker with the situation. “Although we are living ma multiracial country, we live together peacefully. There are no problems among the races unlike in many other countries where one race is against another. “Over the past 50 years we have been very peaceful except on one occasion in 1969. But we have learnt and matured a lot as we go along,” he said. In terms of economy, he said, the BN-led Government had proven that it was able to bring in foreign direct investments. He said the Government’s vision of turning the nation into a developed country by 2020 should not face any hitches. “(Therefore) The voters should not disturb this security, peace and prosperity that we enjoy today. Jam sure almost everyone, from businessmen to the poor, are happy with the ruling BN Government,” he said. - Bernama


Probe on cause of flash floods in Lido, Kepayan


Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim said action will be taken to determine the cause of the flash floods in Lido and Kepayan yesterday evening. “The monsoon drains are full and the problem was aggravated by the high tide yesterday afternoon,” Iliyas said after visiting the affected areas with Barisan Nasional (BN) Kapayan candidate Datuk Edward Khoo. Iliyas and Khoo waded through knee-high flood water at housing estates in the affected areas to talk to the affected families. According to him, the tide was expected to start receding at 8pm and water in the drains will be able to flow out smoothly then. Iliyas said that once the water had receded, City Hall would be checking the drains to ensure that there are no blockages. “If there are any blockages, we will clear them up immediately so that the problem does not re-occur,” he said. “We feel sorry for the people who had to endure this and Datuk Khoo, myself as well as City Hall will do whatever we can to resolve the problem,” he added. City Hall would be meeting with the Penampang District Council and the State Drainage and Irrigation Department to find out the root problem and ways to fix it.