Thursday, March 6, 2008


Jatropha plantation devt for Nabawan
Sabah can become largest producer of Jatropha-based biodiesel


Sabah has the potential to become the largest producer of Jatropha crude oil, a key ingredient in the production of biodiesel. Plans are afoot to open up large scale plantations utilizing marginal lands that are in abundance in the interior, in particular Nabawan, said Sabah Land Development Board General Manager, Jhuvarri Majid at the unveiling of the proposed National Jatropha Research and Development Complex by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Abdullah Ahmad Badawi here yesterday. Jhuvarri said initial research and tests carried out so far at SLDB’s trial plot in Binakaan, near here, have given very positive indications that large scale Jatropha plantations could thrive. “We are very excited over the progress made so far and this R&D complex would spur us further into making commercial Jathropha plantations a reality very soon,” he said. He said priority would however be given to ensuring the successful implementation of a programme to help out in poverty eradication among hardcore poor in the interior. “As one of SLDB ‘s main focus and the main thrust of the Sabah Development Corridor, poverty eradication is uppermost in our plan and that will be our focus,” said Jhuvarri. “Commercial plantations will come in soon after as these investors too will help in developing the interior by providing infrastructure necessary when opening up their plantations.” Nabawan, located deep in Sabah’s interior, is very much an underprivileged area. Due to the lack of infrastructure and its remoteness, the largest concentration of hardcore poor, with some 1,200 families, can be found here. Touching on the R&D complex, Jhuvarri said it is a national project and plans are being prepared for submission to the relevant authorities in the shortest time possible. SLDB has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a local company, Borneo Alam Ria Biomatrix Sdn Bhd, for training and transfer of technology as well as providing other technical expertise on Jatropha. The R&D complex or resource centre is a national project designed to spearhead the cultivation of this non-edible plant which also has a good number of other uses, in particular, traditional medicine. Through an ingenuous plan, SLDB will open up parcels of land for the hardcore poor to grow Jatropha to sell back its seeds to the agency. By opening up commercial estates to plant Jatropha, there will be lots of infrastructure development in the district, as well as hundreds of job opportunities. All these will help in uplifting the standard of living of the people in this district. Nabawan would no longer be the same, come three years from now. The complex, expected to cost some RM131 million, will have all the supporting facilities to make it the premier R&D station on Jatropha in the world. These facilities include a nursery, refinery and factory for byproducts, bulking installations, an administration block, library, training hall, accommodation, clinic, surau and sport facilities. The modern nursery will provide high quality plantlets for supply to all participants of SLDB’s poverty eradication programme as well as smallholders, and in future, commercial plantations. The complex will be self- financing in the long term and will be staffed mainly by Malaysians, with those from Sabah given preference. At the launch of the SDC in January this year, the Prime Minister flagged off a B20-driven Land Cruiser, creating history in the process, as it was the first time an unmodified engine was powered by Jatropha-based biodiesel. This prompted the Prime Minister to seek further details from SLDB on the Jatropha.-based biodiesel as well as Jatropha cultivation. Meetings were held between SLDB officials as well as those from the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, and subsequently Sabah was offered to host the national R&D Complex.


Foul smell from public toilet spoils appetite

A man has complained that the foul smell from the dirty public toilet in Tamparuli town spoiled his appetite when he was having lunch with his friends at a nearby eatery recently. Jude, who resides in Tamparuli, claimed that the public toilet has been left in a filthy state since a year ago and the problem is driving away customers from the nearby shops and eateries. He said he brought his friends from Kuala Penyu recently to take a walk around the town and to see the Tamparuli bridge. “Later, we decided to have lunch at a food stall near the Tamparuli bridge, but when we were about to eat, we suddenly smelled the stench. It affected us so much that we could hardly eat,” he added. Jude hoped the relevant authority would look into the problem. A spokesman for Tuaran District Council, when contacted by Public Hotline, said they will ask the unit concerned to look into the complaint. He said a similar complaint was received previously and they will follow up on it.


Student pissed off with hawker’s poor attitude

A student from Sarawak has voiced disappointment at a hawker’s poor attitude and hygiene at the Tamu Tradisi in Inanam. Ivy told Public Hotline that the hawker, who was operating a food stall there ignored her and her friends when she was at the stall to make an order. “When I went to the stall with two of my friends, the hawker seemed disinterested in serving us. She let us stand there for minutes without bothering to take order. Though disappointed, I made another request for the food but again the hawker ignored me.” Ivy said she decided to just stand there and wait to see if the hawker was going to prepare the food for her. “While waiting for the food, I noticed that the hawker let flies swarm the food in an uncovered container. I also noticed that she just picked up the spoon and the tongs and used them to prepare the food without first washing them even there were many houseflies rest on them,” she said. “I was shocked and had vowed it was to be my first and the last time buying food from there,” she said, adding that the attitude of the hawker and the cleanliness situation there should be improved immediately. “I hope the authorities will take this matter seriously because not only locals but also foreign tourists are patronising the hawker stalls there. “I also hope the hawkers who fail to practise cleanliness and hygiene will be given a stern warning,” she said, adding that the attitude of some of them leaves much to be desired. A spokesperson for Kota Kinabalu City Hall, when informed of the complaint, said they will ask the relevant enforcement unit to inspect the situation and take necessary action.


Liew explains why he is not contesting as independent


Datuk Liew Yun Fah revealed how the phrase ‘lead by example’ prevented him from becoming an independent candidate. Liew, the incumbent Merotai Assemblyman, was a surprised exclusion when the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), one of the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, announced its list of candidates for the March 8 polls. He did not rule out the possibility of contesting after the announcement but in keeping his words towards the youth and his loyalty to the ruling coalition BN, it did not materialise. “I am a youth leader and I have to be a role model to them ... I’ve always advised them (youth) to be courteous and loyal to their leaders. “If I had contested (as independent candidate), what will happen? It contradicted with what I’ve always advised the youth and this will leave a negative impact on them. “I have to lead by example and I’m keeping my words,” he said. “I’m loyal to the Barisan Nasional leadership under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman,” he added to loud applause from those attending a ceremony to pay tribute to him as the Youth and Sports Minister on Tuesday. At the function, Youth and Sport Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary I Datu Rusmadi Sulai handed a mock cheque to the representatives from Sabah Youth Council SYC) and its affiliates and witnessed by Liew. The annual grant given to the SYC has been increased by RM250,000 to RM750,000. “The allocation will be distributed periodically, which is once in every three months to SYC and its nine affiliates,” said the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Michael Emban. The affiliates are Perseketuan Pengakap Malaysia, Persatuan Pandu Puteri Malaysia, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, Pergerakan Puteri Islam Malaysia, Persatuan St John Ambulans Malaysia, Pergerakan Pemuda Malaysia, Gerakan Belia Bersatu Malaysia, Persatuan Briged Puteri Malaysia and Persatuan Briged Putera Malaysia. Michael said the grant was given based on the performance of the associations or bodies in 2007. The performance index includes four criteria, namely membership expansion, activities at district, State and national or international levels. “The performance index is implemented to judge the SYC and its affiliates starting 2007,” he said, adding there were 70,828 SYC members as of November 2007.


Boosting tourism will be my aim, says Yahya


Boosting tourism in Petagas would be the main agenda of the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Petagas state seat, Datuk Yahya Hussin, if he is returned to represent the electorate for the fourth consecutive term. The Deputy Chief Minister said the plan was in motion with the opening last year of the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, located about 20 minutes from Putatan town. “This park is 280 acres big and is on par with any other in the world. However, we have yet to promote it aggressively because it is just a year old. It has received quite a number of visitors and I foresee a good future for this park,” he told Bernama when met at his residence here. The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park houses mainly endemic species found in Borneo, such as the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Proboscis monkeys, orang utans and the Sumatran rhinos as well as some exotic species. For the first 10 months since it was opened in February last year, the park received 150,000 visitors. About RM27 million has been spent on the zoo since its initial conceptual plan in 1991 until 2006. Yahya, who is also state Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, said apart from the park, he also planned to have more commercial outlets opened, construct more low-cost houses, reduce squatters and ensure better road connections to ease the growing traffic congestion in Petagas. Commenting on the development of this constituency, he said similar to other suburbs in Sabah, Petagas had achieved much development since the BN took over the Government in the state in 1994. He said among the issues solved in this constituency were flash floods through the deepening of rivers, and the squatter problem at the airport development site by relocating the residents. Yahya, who is again involved in a straight fight with Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Salleh Tiasi @ Tiaseh, said his opponent had not shown consistency as he had been jumping parties and merely bringing up petty issues. Asked on the overall chances of BN in Sabah for elections, Yahya said he expected the BN to rule the state again as the opposition would be clearly rejected by the people. - Bernama


PKR’s name used to seek donations from public


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah Deputy Chief Christina Liew yesterday cautioned the public to be wary of individuals going around asking for donations in the name of the party. “We received calls there are people going around asking donation by the tens of thousands of ringgit in the name of PKR,” she said yesterday. Christina said the party had never authorized any person soliciting for donations from the public. “The public is advised to call the PKR office at 088-247452 when they are in doubt,” she added.


PKR claims 80% of stalls sublet to foreigners


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Inanam, Daniel John Jambun, has claimed that 80 percent of the stalls at the Inanam tamu ground are sublet to foreigners. “There are these talks going round in Inanam that 80 percent of the stall operators are foreigners,” Daniel said in a statement here yesterday. Daniel who is also PKR State Liaison Deputy Chairman, said when he wins he would ensure that these stalls are returned to locals, and ensure only deserving natives or locals would carry out business at these stalls. He also reiterated PKR’s stand to do away with the BN practice of appointing Village Development and Security committee chairmen and village chiefs, so as to enable the villagers to choose their own Government at kampung level as this is more democratic and would ensure leaders are answerable to his or her own villagers and not to politicians.


More opposition members support BN


The Barisan Nasional continues to get a steady stream of support from opposition members here. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the BN candidate for P 174 Penampang, on Wednesday received membership applications from Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Saimon Jaikol Goliun and Vitalis Unsin. “I thank them for their support,” the Upko president said after presenting the duo with the BN flag at the Upko headquarters here on Wednesday. Goliun is Moyog Zone One chief cum the party’s State-level organizing secretary of the Biro Perpaduan dan Hal Ehwal Kadazandusun Murut, while Unsin is head of the Kampung Moyog operation centre. “I have decided to ditch Keadilan because the party is not fair at all. Furthermore, Tan Sri Bernard has returned. I believe he is the right person to lead the district to greater heights,” said Goliun “I have started campaigning for him last night. I urge all my members in Zone One, which consists of 12 villages, to vote for Tan Sri Bernard,” he said. Goliun said he had given a list of development needs of the villages and “Tan Sri Bernard was very receptive of our idea. I hope basic infrastructure will soon reach our villages such as Terian and Longkogunan.” Meanwhile, Unsin expressed disappointment over the PKR habit of making empty promises as well as its double standard over candidacy in this general election. “The so-called top leadership is not listening to voices on the ground. They simply make decisions that are detrimental to the party such as picking somebody out of nowhere to become candidate, ignoring local leaders who had been in the party all this while,” he added. Goliun and Unsin were the latest to join Dompok, the others include Maximillian Takong, the PKR’s polls director for Penampang cum the party’s youth chief for the district. He joined Dompok on Sunday night.


Opposition resort to dirty tactics, says Anifah


The opposition or the independent candidates in Kimanis parliamentary constituency are now resorting to “dirty tactics” in desperation to gain votes in the general election this Saturday. But they will not succeed in their attempt to disunite the rakyat with their lies and slanderous accusations made against the BN candidates, said Kimanis incumbent MP Datuk Anifah Aman, adding that he is not surprised to see the opposition or the independent candidates doing that. “They have run out of ideas and in desperation they try to attack us by spreading lies and make slanderous or baseless accusations against the BN candidates hoping to jeopardize our unity,” he said. The Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities said rumours have been spread about him sponsoring an independent candidate. “We have heard a lot of rumours, including via SMS. This is just one of it (accusing him of sponsoring an independent candidate). But all the allegations or accusations are baseless and unfounded. There is no logic in it,” he said. “They (opposition) try to disunite us,” said Anifah, referring to him along with BN candidate for Bongawan state seat Datuk Karim Bujang and Membakut BN representative Mohd Ariffin Arif. “But we will not be fooled by such tactics, and the three of us (Anifah, Karim and Ariffm) are and will work together to assure victory for the BN. And I believe the rakyat too are aware of such dirty tricks. “Maybe because we are too strong so they have opted for this dirty tactics to disunite us. But I’m confidence the votersare smart enough and will not be influenced by such tactics,” he said. Anifah, who was speaking at a ceramah at BN stronghold in Batu 6 here, said that the rakyat know the benefit of voting for the Barisan Nasional. They also know the government we have today has been performing well, and has the ability to ensure continued progress and can bring stability, prosperity and security to the nation. “We all know that the opposition will not form the next government. So with this in mind, the rakyat should know who to vote for on March 8. Anifah urged the rakyat to go all out and give the BN candidates in the constituency a resounding victory. At another meet-the-people gathering at Tabika Kemas Sinar Baru in Mandahan, Anifah has urged the voters to vote for the BN for the future of our young generation, as making the wrong choice could bring about negative implications on the future of the young generations.


Federation urges voters to back BN


The Federation of Chinese Associations in Sabah yesterday urged voters to support the Barisan Nasional for continuous development in the State. Its president, Datuk Seri Panglima Sari Nuar, yesterday said it is important to vote for the ruling coalition as it has been established and proven to be the only Government that could ensure stability for the nation. Speaking at a gathering in Sekolah Menengah Kian Kok here yesterday, he said the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has brought political and economic stability, and made Malaysia the envy of other countries. “I would like to urge the people of Sabah to vote for BN. The ruling coalition is very concerned about the people’s well-being, especially when it comes to education,” he said. “The Government, through the Education Ministry, has approved RM6.98 million allocation to 91 Chinese independent schools in Sabah; this shows that they are serious in creating quality human capital, which we really need in the market.” Sari also urged the people to read the BN manifesto, saying that it is important for them to understand and learn how they could benefit from it. “You may not like one or two of the coalition’s candidates but for the sake of continuous development, vote for BN ... please, please, please. The Government has done its part, so let us exercise our rights and make the right decision,” he said. Abdullah, in his speech at the event, thanked Sari for his support and was proud of the fact that Sari pointed out to the people the need to read the BN manifesto. “I am touched and hope that the people of Sabah will read the manifesto. it is not done to benefit just one person, but all citizens of Malaysia,” said Abdullah. He also shared his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah’s advice to him: “My wife told me to ask you to tell your friends what I just told you. So please go and tell your friends.”


PKR not racial party but for all races, says Ansari


Sabah PKR chief Haji Ansari Abdullah said the opposition party is not a racial party but one that represents people of all races and religions. “Only PKR can protect the people and their children and their future as PKR is not a racial party,” he said speaking to over 1,000 people during a charity dinner organized by PKR Welfare Bureau P.174 Penampang at a restaurant here yesterday. “We are the children of God and as a true Muslim, we need to respect each other as we all came from the same generation - Adam and Eve. “I believe that we are multiracial because of God’s words and we have nations created by God so that we get to know each other and respect each other.” Ansari said even though he is a Muslim, he was educated in a missionary school, St John School, Tuaran, and he respects people form all races and religions. “My wife is from a Christian family, my son-in-law is half Chinese and my grandchildren are Dusuns mixed with other races. So why do I need to hate any individual by race? “I urge you people to vote the party, as PKR does not judge people or humans by race and religion.” Meanwhile, a confident PKR candidate for N. 19 Kepayan, Datuk Chau Chin Tang said his priority is to take back the Maang area. “Take it from me, you are going to get Maang back when I win,” he said. Chau claimed that what Umno is interested here is the natural resources, particularly oil, not the people. Dr Edwin Jack Bosi, PKR candidate for MP174 Penampang, said: “I have a message from Anwar (PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) for you... If PKR forms the government, the people would have a better quality of life and each individual would have an income of not less than RM 1,500 a month.”


Borneo varsities to forge collaborations


Associate Professor Dr Japar Sidik Bin Bujang from Universiti Putra Malaysia of Sarawak said a meeting of professors from Sabah, Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei would be held to discuss several proposals, among them, teaching collaboration, research collaboration, staff mobility program and student mobility program involving various universities. In an interview after attending the meeting at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here yesterday, Japar said the proposed cooperation in teaching, research and community engagement resources between universities in the region would involve expertise in several fields. At a press conference attended by professors from various universities earlier, UMS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin said the collaboration programs cover four areas: academic exchange, research collaboration that concerns area of energy, student exchange related to student mobility and increased sports activities. He said the participating universities will discuss potential collaborations either in scholarly dialogues, research and development, temporary placements and academic staff or student exchange programs.


Opposition leaders like to tell illusive dreams, says Musa


Opposition leaders like to tell about illusive dreams and are desperately trying to win the people’s trust and votes by giving sweet promises they do not intend to keep, said Datuk Seri Muse Aman. Speaking at a leader-with-people session here last night, the Chief Minister told the people not to waste their time listening to these ‘storytellers’ as they know that the opposition leaders would not be able to deliver what they said, even if they really want to. Musa said the opposition parties dare to promise the moon and sky when they know that they would not be able to form a Government due to lack of support from the people and therefore not be able to deliver their promises. He criticized the opposition’s manifestos which, according to him, are not in touch with the reality and illogical. “They promise the people so many things. They said if they form a Government, they will have a Deputy Prime Minister from Sabah. But why give such promise if you know you won’t be to form a Government? It’s simply irrelevant,” he said when referring to Parti Keadilan Rakyat which is fielding candidates in every seat under the Penampang constituency. “They have been rejected by the people in the Peninsular. Now they are trying their luck in Sabah. But Sabahans too are not fool and we too will reject them just like in Peninsular,” he added. Musa urged the people in the district to stand together for BN and not let the opposition’s empty promises influence them. He reminded them that it would be their loss if any of the three seats fall to the opposition. “If any of the seats is won by the opposition, then it is a great loss for the people in that particular constituency, he said. Musa stressed that unlike the opposition, BN has a complete, clear, organized, realistic and achievable manifesto. “Instead of listening to them, let us focus on ensuring that BN win with a bigger majority and continue its development plan for Sabah,” he said. BN P.174 Penampang candidate Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok meanwhile said BN Government leaders are faced with even a greater responsibility should the party is returned to power in the election this Saturday. He said the BN manifesto underlines a huge task of realising the aspiration of the people in all aspects of development. “It is a thorough and complete manifesto and will demand a lot of works from everyone. But with the strong support from people, this huge task will be a bit lightened and surely will be delivered,” he said. The Upko president who is returning to contest the Penampang parliamentary seat after serving two terms as Ranau member of parliament, added he is confident that the people in the district and throughout Sabah will again choose BN and return the party into power. “I believe the people in Penampang and Sabah in general still prefer BN. They still believe in the party to champion them as they know that we are a party that listen to the people and work for the people,” he said. Apart from the parliamentary seat, Penampang also has two State seats, Moyog and Kepayan.


PM praises Musa’s leadership


Sabah has a Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) who understands the policies of the Federal Government and who implements such policies effectively, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. He said this to thunderous applause from the audience at a gathering organized by the Federation of Chinese Associations in Sabah at the Kian Kok Middle School yesterday. Abdullah, who is BN Chairman, said Sabah is a beautiful state with abundance of natural resources and the ruling coalition is determined to develop Sabah along with other states.


EC’s move surprises Yong


The President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee has described the sudden decision by the Election Commission (EC) in cancelling the use of indelible ink in the general election as a surprise. He said all the party’s polling agents and workers had been briefed on the ink procedures. “Also, the people would be speculating why the EC did not do its homework thoroughly,” said Yong yesterday. Daniel John Jambun, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for the Inanam state seat, is also unhappy with the drastic move by the EC, especially so when it was made a few days before polling. It would allow the ‘phantom voters’ to cast their votes twice on polling day, he alleged. The Consumer Association for Sabah and Labuan (CASH) President Datuk Patrick Sindu, who is contesting the Papar parliamentary seat as independent, also took the EC to task for the eleventh hour cancellation of the use of indelible ink. ‘From the beginning, the EC’s election process is already in topsy-turvy ... they said the electoral rolls are already clean but the names bf persons who had died a very long time ago still remain in the rolls. And, now they cancelled the use of indelible ink just before the polling day. “In fact it has come to my knowledge about the availability of liquid that could erase the indelible ink after it was applied on the voter’s finger,” he said, adding that all the mess would not have occurred if the EC had thoroughly carried out their homework. “Nevertheless, to me whether the EC is using the indelible ink or not, it is irrelevant. The most important thing is that the elections must be clean and fair,” said Patrick, stressing the need for the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) to monitor the campaign and election process. He alleged that it was wrong for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to utilize Government facilities such as schools and vehicles in carrying out their campaign activities.


Indelible ink: voters disagree with move
They say it could hurt EC and BN


The Election Commission’s (EC) failure to stick to its decision on introducing the use of indelible ink in the general election on Saturday reflects its indecisiveness and unprofessional attitude that could further hurt its image and credibility, according to voters interviewed in a random survey here. The survey revealed that voters generally disagreed with the last- minute decision by the EC to cancel the plan to use indelible ink, as it could lead to people suspecting something fishy going on in the election process. “People may question why the EC agreed to use indelible ink in the first place but later said it was inapplicable. Maybe they just realized that they had made a mistake, but this means they had made a decision without thoroughly considering it and this was unprofessional,” said a voter from Kepayan, Mary Jane Angkos. Another voter, Saniah Amiruddin of Telipok, said the EC’s move to reverse its decision at the last minute may give rise to misinterpretation among the people who might think that cancelling the use of the indelible ink means the EC has failed to keep their promise to ensure a free and fair election. “Not everyone would understand the issue the way the Government or the EC want them to. No matter how they explain it, people may have different ideas and interpretations,” she said. “The idea of using indelible ink is perceived as one that came from the opposition who want a fair election. Now that it is rejected, some people may think the EC has rejected the opposition’s call for a clean election. The move may be misunderstood to be in favour of the ruling coalition,” said the 48- year-old house wife. “For some reason, the EC forgot to anticipate much earlier all the problems that they said could arise if indelible ink is used. As a result, not only they had tarnished their image and credibility but also wasted almost RM1 million buying the ink that they don’t need,” said college student Alisson Marry Binus, 22. Her college mate, Ivy Ijong, also 22, said the EC is already under criticism for various other things and going back on their words would further hurt its image. “It is not like people are accusing the EC of taking side or making it easy for any party to win. But this kind of things would make it easier for the opposition to make the people believe that their claims of unfair and dirty electoral tactics against BN are true,” said Ivy. The EC on Tuesday announced that the proposed use of indelible ink has been cancelled as it would not be effective since the country’s constitution allows those who refuse to have their fingernail marked with the ink to still be issued with a ballot. Furthermore, the EC said, some parties had purchased such ink from abroad and it is feared they would use it to create chaos at polling stations by bribing voters to have their fingers daubed ahead of the polls to create confusion on their status.


Chong’s call to Chinese confusing, says Jeffrey


Parti Keadilan Rakyat(PR:) vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has described a recent call by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat on the Chinese constituents to vote for the Barisan Nasional (BN) as confusing the people from the community. Chong knew that the State BN leaders are being sued by him for reasons well known by the people, he said referring to the sudden stop on the construction of the Goddess of the Sea or Mazu statue in Kudat. Jeffrey asserted that Chong also knew that the State BN Government has failed by not only making the State poor with the highest rate of poverty but caused the State indebted with more than RM1 billion. “During a press conference on Dec 30, 2002, Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said that the remaining State resources must be managed prudently so that Sabah’s economy could be turned around. “He also said then that we must get rid of all political hypocrites who have had their days,” he recalled.


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.


Ink issue: Opposition parties cry foul


The Election Commission’s (EC) last-minute decision to cancel the use of indelible ink in the general election this Saturday has drawn much ire from Opposition candidates here, who stopped short of accusing the EC of cheating. Parti Keadilan Rakyat State Liaison Committee Deputy Chief Christina Liew said it is unfair and unacceptable for the Commission to do that just two days before the elections. “It is like a football match. Both teams are all set and satisfied with the ruling but suddenly in the middle of the game, the referee halted the game to tell that there is a change of rules. Of course the players are unhappy. “I do not know the EC’s real motive but I am urging the voters to come out in full force to vote this Saturday,” said the candidate for the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary and Api-Api State seats. Liew, who was met at Gaya Street handing out campaign fliers yesterday, said she had been receiving negative comments from supporters and friends on the EC’s decision and took the EC to task for not explaining the rationale behind the move. “Why must we approach them and ask for the rationale behind the change of mind? They should be the ones to explain to us, the voters, their reasons. I think the EC in Malaysia is the only one that can change the rules at the last minute,” she said. Keadilan State Information chief cum parliamentary candidate for Penampang Dr Edwin Bosie meanwhile charged that the EC’s excuses for cancelling the use of indelible ink as “very lame”. “Even if there are parties who actually buy the ink, what will they do with the ink? I mean, how can it be abused?” he said when contacted. “Only when a voter goes in (to vote) will they dip their hand and then have their name scratched off the list. “If there is an instance where a voter comes in already with ink but claims to have yet to vote, check the electoral roll. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out,” he said. Independent parliamentary candidate for Penampang Dr Anthony Tibok also felt that the EC’s sudden decision to cancel out the use of the indelible ink would work against efforts to hold a free and fair election. “I don’t think it will be good. I heard it over the news that the change was made at the last minute but I’m not really sure about the reasons for it. Maybe they still want to promote phantom voters,” he said. Upko candidate for Putatan Datuk Marcus Mojigoh agreed with the EC’s decision, stressing that the RM1 million worth of Indian ink purchased would not go to waste. “We are wise people. We know how to use it, it can be sold to others and I believe that since it is a high quality ink, it would be good for doing calligraphy or for stamping, which is still widely used at all banks and companies.


No regrets voting BN, says Abdullah


Malaysians who vote for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in Saturday’s general election, will not regret or get disappointed. And the guarantee came from BN Chairman, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who stressed that the coalition is determined to develop all states. “For every vote you give to BN, you will not be disappointed. This is my guarantee,” he said, adding that as far as Sabah is concerned, it has the potential to further develop as the State is rich in natural resources, with ample space for development. Speaking at the gathering organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations in Sabah at Sekolah Menengah Kian Kok here yesterday, Abdullah said development plans for the state, are just pending implementation: “The five-year 9th Malaysia Plan and the newly launched 1 8-year Sabah Development Corridor will move in tandem and be carried out well to boost the State’s economic growth. “We are not in the stage of making promises like the opposition (parties). We have made the plans and set aside allocations, they are just waiting to be implemented once this is done, it would benefit a lot of people,” he said. Abdullah, who had earlier launched the Handicraft Centre in Keningau, which is part of the SDC’s program, said it was important for them to plan ahead to ensure Malaysia will be a developed country by 2020. He said one of the most important sectors would be to produce quality human capital. “Education must be given top priority. The existing people today will one day retire, and therefore we need the younger generations to take over. But first, they must be properly guided and given quality education, quality learning, quality teaching and opportunities. “By having experienced and skilled manpower, it will create the ability to perform and compete among them, and only then can we face the challenges in the competitive world,” he said. He said the Government was concerned by the fact that not many young people from the lower income groups could attend schools. Therefore to provide similar opportunities for all, the examination fees in both the primary and secondary schools were abolished, while students are entitled to free text books and uniforms, according to him. “This opportunity is given to all irrespective of the race and religion, rural or urban ... every citizen of Malaysia must have access to good education,” he said. Abdullah described himself as “lucky” for having the opportunity to lead a multi-racial coalition, stressing that they all have a similar vision of bringing Malaysia to greater heights, bringing greater security and prosperity for the people.. “We are not a coalition of convenience to face the elections. We have similar interests and are able to work closely together; we are not interested to make short-term plans but rather sustainable programs that would benefit Malaysians forever. “I have a sense of achievement when working with all the party leaders, we all work as friends and it is all for the good of the people. We want to narrow the gap of differences in terms of economic wealth thus providing a better quality of life,” he said. He said political stability had brought about better achievements, stressing that it was evident with the increased deficit. Malaysia, he added, is also not dependent on the US in terms of economy, but has instead created links with other countries including China, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. “In fact, we were the first to develop diplomatic relationship with China, we are China’s best friend in Southeast Asia,” he said. Abdullah urged the people to make the right decision to ensure sustainable development for Malaysia in general, and Sabah in particular.