Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Only 4WD vehicles can use temporary K’gau—Kimanis Road


The temporary Keningau-Kimanis Road at Mile 10 was opened to all types of fourwheel drive vehicles yesterday following a landslide last month. However, light vehicles, including express buses, defied the order of the Public Works Department (PWD) and used the road, putting their passengers at risk. District Police Chief DSP Zahari Mohammed advised road users, especially those driving light vehicles, to obey the instruction from the PWD. “I advise drivers of light vehicles and express buses not to use this temporary road because it is dangerous,” he told reporters after monitoring the opening of the temporary road here yesterday with PWD and police personnel. Zahari said police would be stationed at the temporary road to ensure light vehicles do not use the road. “I advise road users to follow the instruction from time to time from the PWD because there is a high risk of using the temporary road, especially during the rainy season which could become muddy and slippery,” he said. On March 25, the new Keningau- Kimanis Road at Mile 10 was cut off by a serious landslide. Works to build a temporary road started two days after the incident and were fully completed and opened to four- wheel drive vehicles from yesterday.


Abdullah endorses Musa’s leadership


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has endorsed the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Abdullah pointed out that Musa had managed to keep the State Barisan Nasional coalition parties united and he also said that there is a need to further strengthen the BN administration in Sabah. He stated this during a dinner with leaders of State BN component parties hosted by the State Government at Magellan Hotel here last night. During a meeting with the Sabah leaders earlier yesterday, Abdullah thanked Sabahans for giving the mandate to the BN in last month’s general election. “I wish to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations and thanks to everyone and the Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) for the cooperation in the BN which led to the big victory in the general election,” he said. Leaders of the eight Sabah BN component parties had expressed their appreciation to Abdullah for having listened to their views and having agreed to consider their requests made at the meeting with him. They also expressed support for Abdullah as the BN Chairman.


Street children problem among issues discussed


A legal framework to tackle the street children problem was among the issues discussed between the Prime Minister and the State Barisan Nasional leaders here yesterday. Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee when met after the meeting, said it was important to tackle the street children issue now before it gets any worse. “The existing street children are already in the second generation now. If we do not tackle it soon, their population might rise to thousands and it would be difficult to tackle then,” he said, adding each street kid comes from different background. “Meaning, sometimes both of their parents are foreigners or either one of the parents is foreigner. We have to approach the issue differently and we have to come up with a legal framework to tackle it. They are not actually committing any offence. They are just on the streets, thus causing social problems. “This is human misery and if not tackled fast, it would create a bigger problem in the future,” he said. Asked whether he had voiced out the non-representation of SAPP in the Federal Cabinet, Yong answered: “We had spoken the issue in general.” Parti Bersatu Sabah President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan described the one-to-one meeting with Abdullah as cordial, stressing that they had the Premier’s full attention deliberating on heartfelt issues. “We had also raised on the oil royalty issue, hoping that the Federal Government would consider to review it positively,” he said. Pairin also said that they had also raised the issue pertaining to the appointment of the High Court Judge for Sabah and Sarawak, which is currently being done by the Registrar at the High Court of Malaya. “We are all in Malaysia. We have our rights and boundaries, rules and regulations. It is a matter they need to look at. There is a need for administrative change so that we will be able to appoint our own High Court Judge,” he said. Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and Liberal Democratic Party President Datuk V K Liew had also raised similar issues.


Pak Lah: I will not stay longer than I should


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday he would not stay longer than he should as: Prime Minister. “I would retire one day but I could not leave in this kind of political scenario. I will retire one day, of course. I’m not going to stay longer: than I should. “I have named (Deputy Prime Minister” Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as my successor. “How can I leave the Government and the Party in this condition? There is still a lot that need to be done and I still have responsibilities,” he told reporters after meeting Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders here yesterday. Abdullah said there maybe times when people were not satisfied with his performance but he was doing his level: best to ensure everything was carried out well to ensure the goals were met. “I am a responsible leader. I want to make sure that the economics stable and only then we can lure more investor to come in. I have also increased the values from the previous Government and implemented a lot of programmes to benefit the people,” he stressed yesterday. On naming Najib as his successor, Abdullah said in jest: “Of course. Are you in doubt that you have to ask me again?” “Datuk Seri Najib understands me more than you can understand me. I am not going to stay on for years. Certainly not,” he added. The Prime Minister said on Sunday Najib was his successor and that they had no problems between them.


Cabinet to decide on Sabah Federal Devt Dept : Abdullah


Decisions on whether the role of the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS) is still relevant in the State will be deliberated in the Federal Cabinet meeting soon. The Department was set up in the State to monitor and implement development projects when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) which was in the Opposition then, came into power in 1985. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said matters concerning JPPS were among those raised by the Barisan Nasional coalition party leaders during a one-to-one meeting here yesterday. “I was briefed that the JPPS is no longer relevant and it should be given to states that are ruled by the Opposition parties. The Department was introduced here when PBS was still in the Opposition but its existence continues even after the Barisan Nasional has claimed the State back,” he told reporters. Abdullah said that there had been overlapping roles, thus hampering the implementation of development projects in Sabah. “I will bring the matter up in our next Federal Cabinet meeting and hope to find the best solution to the issue,” he said. Long-standing issues such as illegal immigrants were also brought to the Premier’s attention and he would seriously look into ways to overcome the problem. “Some of the Party leaders had shared their opinion of setting up detention camps for the illegal immigrants so that they can be closely monitored as their existence is also creating social problems in the State. “It would also be easy for us to send them back when the time comes,” he said. On a call to set up a Ministry of Sabah Affairs, Abdullah said he would study the possibility but believed that its scope is too general. The component Party leaders also raised the Borneonisation issue, requesting for the Federal Government to ensure that important posts in the Government and public service agencies are held by Sabahans. He added the same also applies to neighbouring Sarawak. “Although I met the respective component Party leader separately, most of them had raise similar issues and I believe this are pressing matters and are o concern to the people of Sabah. “I had purposely met them individually so that they will have the chance to tell me what the really think and some of them even asked for my opinion. “They were very stern and spoke sincerely. I appreciate their sincerity and hope that whatever issues raised here today will b overcome as soon as possible for the good of the people, the Part and the nation,” he said.


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.