Thursday, 15 April 2010

Najib should conduct an inquiry as to why his Department has five Ministers and five Deputy Ministers yet nobody in Parliament to answer issues about Sabah development neglect?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should conduct an inquiry as to why the Prime Minister’s Department has five Ministers and five Deputy Ministers yet nobody in Parliament to answer issues about Sabah development neglect?This has happened twice in the past week.
Yesterday, during the 2009 Supplementary Estimates debate in the committee stage on the Prime Minister’s Department, which asked for a RM10 million allocation for the Sabah Development Economic Corridor, I had asked whether this was part of the RM1 billion special allocation for infrastructure development of Sabah which was announced by the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah when he visited Sabah in May 2008.
If yes, why the RM1 billion special allocation for development was not fully spent by 2008 if not by 2009, asking for full particulars on the breakdown of this RM1 billion special allocation for Sabah.
I also raised the target of projected GDP per capita for Sabah in 2020 under the Sabah Development Economic Corridor Blueprint 2008-2025, which is RM11,571 –more than five times less than the projected target of per capita GNP  of US$17,700 (RM57,348) for Malaysia for 2020 – highlighting the continued scandal of the degradation and deterioration of Sabah from the richest state to the poorest state in Malaysia in five decades.

But there was no answer from any Minister or Deputy Minister during the winding-up of the debate yesterday, as if Sabah simply does not exist in the eyes of the Prime Minister’s Department.

This was also the case last Thursday, when in the government winding-up in the debate on the Royal Address, no Minister or Deputy Minister replied to my earlier speech on the  five “present and urgent issues” which must be prioritized by the Najib administration to end the marginalization of ordinary Sabahans who had been left out of national development and progress since the formation of Malaysia some five decades ago.
The five priority issues I listed were:
  1. Satisfactory resolution to the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, causing the Sabah population to multiply from some 400,000 during the formation of Malaysia in 1963 to over three million today. During his visit to Sabah last September, the Prime Minister had promised resolution of the illegal immigrant problem and this seems to have been completely forgotten.
  2. Eradication of poverty in Sabah. Barisan Nasional had promised to eradicate poverty in 2000 but it is now 2010 and Sabah has the highest poverty rate in the country.
  3. Massive development of basic infrastructure in Sabah to provide roads, piped water, electricity and broadband to Sabahans.
  4. Raising the 5% oil royalty payment to Sabah government to 20%.
  5. Re-opening of the  inquiry into  the “66” air-crash  in Kota Kinabalu on  June 6, 1976 which killed  Sabah Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens and State Ministers, Datuk Salleh Sulong, Datuk Peter Mojuntin and Chong Thien Vun to address the many questions and doubts of Sabahans about the true cause of the Double Six tragedy 34 years ago.
This is most disgraceful. There seems to be relapse in the government’s priority focus for Sabah and Sarawak after after the March 8 political tsunami when it dawned on Putrajaya that without the support of  Sabah and Sarawak MPs, Abdullah then and Najib today would be Parliamentary Opposition Leader rather than Prime Minister.
There were then frequent visits to Sabah and Sarawak by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister with all sorts of promises because the two states were the “fixed deposit” states for Barisan Nasional and UMNO.
Has Sabah fallen off the radar of top priority of Najib that no Minister or Deputy Prime Minsiter deem it important or necessary enough to reply to queries and concerns in Parliament about Sabah development backwardness and neglect?
May be Najib should sack the Minister and Deputy Minister who had been designated to be responsible for Sabah development in the Prime Minister’s Office and replace them with others who are really care about Sabah and who are  more serious and committed to the  cause for uplifting the plight of Sabahans.
Last Updated (Saturday, 10 April 2010 06:08)