For many years, villagers in Apas have been yearning for clean water supply, as they grapple with the discomfort and inconvenience of carrying out their daily activities without it. But this will be a thing of the past by next year after the much-awaited water treatment plant here is completed to benefit 30,000 people. Incumbent Apas Assemblyman Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said this is the BN’s commitment to ensure the people of Sabah will not be left behind in terms of development. “Water is very important as the lack of it would restrict the people’s daily activities. We have responded to the people’s grouses and this shows that the Government is concerned and cares for the rakyat... We hope the people would continue to keep their trust in us and there would be more development projects to come in the future,” he said. Tawfiq, who won the seat uncontested in the 2004 general election, is challenged by Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Vun Kon Pau @ Henry Vun and independent candidate, Ardi Arsah @ Samsi in the Apas constituency. Apart from the water treatment plant, he said the ruling coalition’s greatest achievements in N56 Apas are the setting up of low-cost houses for lower income groups, upgrading of roads, new mosques and multipurpose halls, as well as repairs on damaged bridges. “This may seem small but it means a lot to the people of Apas. Our mission here is also to improve the people’s socio-economy and hope that with the many development projects carried out in the constituency, the constituents would be able to improve their well-being,” he said. The Sabah Development Corridor, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in September last year, will also benefit the people in Tawau in general and Apas in particular, as many have the opportunity to be involved in the many downstream industries offered through the mega 18-year project. “Tawau is known as the agriculture and food zone, therefore many of those involved in the industry would have opportunities to improve their living standard. We are also rich with cocoa and oil palm,” he said. Tawfiq, 45, who is the Assistant Rural Development Minister, said he normally spent four days to do his ministerial work while the rest of the week would be spent with his constituents. “It is very important to be with them and listen to their grouses. It is a responsibility which I have accepted the day I became a YB (Yang Berhormat)... I would like to continue serving the people if given the opportunity to do so,” he said.