Govt’s seriousness in implementing SDC questioned
Putatan Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh has questioned the State Government’s seriousness in implementing the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) which was launched early this year. “According to the Prime Minister’s Department, there is a total of about RM4 billion to be channelled to the SDC but the problem is the SDC Executive has yet to be formed,” he said yesterday. “Without an Executive, how would the fund be channelled to the SDC and this is why lam questioning the State Government’s seriousness in implementing the SDC,” he said. Mojigoh pointed out that RM4 billion is no small amount of money and he hoped that once the SDC Executive is formed, it would ensure that the fund is actually used for the implementation of projects and not just for management purposes. ‘When we look at the National Budget, about 60 percent of it is going towards management and not what the people, need, which is development,” he said, adding that the country’s leadership is well aware that Sabah is lacking in development projects. Commenting on the transition of power between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Mojigoh said the latter has a different style of leadership. Abdullah, he said, has done a very good job in reforming the Government especially in dealing with the judiciary and corruption in the country. “But Datuk Seri Najib is different and I hope he will buy out the idea that Sabah is a fixed deposit like what Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Kota Belud MP) has said,” Mojigoh said, adding that there was no question of the Sabahans’ support for Barisan Nasional (BN). The BN received almost 100 percent support from the people in Sabah but when the present Federal Cabinet met, Sabah was taken for granted, he said, adding that Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s recent visit to Sabah to resolve the citizenship issue was something that the people in the State wants to see. “We want to see the Federal Government leaders turun padang... not just to answer to our problems from KL and to sweep all the rubbish under the carpet,” he said, adding that people in Sabah are generally feeling unhappy with the way they are being treated by BN. “So make them happy by showing that BN cares for the people in East Malaysia, as without the people in Sabah and Sarawak, there is no more BN,” he stressed. Mojigoh, when asked about the issues he would be raising in Parliament which began its session yesterday, said he would be speaking on several issues including scrapping the oil and gas pipeline from Kimanis to Bintulu, the need for the Malaysian Government to take heed of global economic crisis. “I will also be touching on the padi production in the country and the need to revise the mechanics and subsidy to local rice production because there are a lot of the people in this industry are complaining about the subsidy,” he said. According to him, the Government should be focusing on the local farmers instead of giving benefits to the rice exporters. Most of the padi farmers are poor people and the Government should be helping them by giving them direct assistance, he said adding that only by doing that would the Government be able to eradicate poverty by 2010. “With only one and a half years to go, zero poverty would be impossible to achieve unless the Government implements the policy to provide direct assistance to the target groups,” he said.