Saturday, October 4, 2008


It’s Donald’s own opinion: Raymond


MCA: Vice President Datuk Donald Lim’s call for Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan to resign from his State Cabinet posts was the former’s own opinion. “You see it is basically the statement from one of the MCA candidates,” Raymond said when commenting on Lim’s statement. Lim was of opinion that Raymond was not acting in the Barisan Nasional (BN) spirit by not vacating his Deputy Chief Minister post and Sabah MCA Chief Datuk Edward Khoo should be appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister. Raymond who was met after sending off Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, said that he takes MCA’s statement with respect. “As a BN component party, we have our views and I think some of them have their own interest. I quite understand the position but as far as I am concerned, my position is already made clear quite sometime already. “As far as I can say, I leave everything to the Government to decide because I have to respect the prerogative of the Government and the Chief Minister,” he said, adding that he has nothing more to say about matter. Raymond, who is also the Infrastructure Development Minister, stressed that if he is asked to serve the State Government, he would continue to do so but for the present, he is more concerned about things that are undertaken by his Ministry and has informed the office all work must continue. “I have targets and schedules of completion and now it’s coming to the end of the year, I do not want to see projects with problems because they cannot be completed on time. “I have already made sure that the budget as far as the Government’s role is concerned is in place,” he said, adding that his Ministry is working very closely with the contractors to ensure that they deliver the infrastructure projects on time. Raymond said that he wants everything that was planned for Sabah to be on target because there have already been delays. He added that he has asked the contractors not to just keep to the scheduled completion dates as he wants the contracts to be completed ahead of time. The reason was that when contracts are finished earlier, contractors will not be affected by rising costs and interest which would eat into their profit margin, he said adding this was where many of the contractors failed. “We in the Government, especially the Public Works Department, must play a supportive role to contractors. We cannot be playing a role of just allocating the project to them and pushing them to meet schedules. “I want my officers to know the problems faced by the contractors so that they can help the contractors. When you help the contractors, they finish their jobs ahead of time, and thus you help the people of Sabah,” he said, adding that development programmes cannot stop and he does not want anything to affect the agenda that have been in place for Sabah. Development would make people want to visit Sabah and this is how the State will prosper, he said adding, “We should capitalize on problems that other countries are facing so that more tourists will come to Sabah because they know it is a safe place”.