Thursday, February 28, 2008


En bloc resignation blow to LDP’s bid in Sandakan


Nearly 200 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members here announced their resignation on Tuesday night, dealing a blow to the party’s bid to recapture the Sandakan parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional in next month’s general election. The en bloc resignation by Elopura division members led by the division Youth Chief Thien Lee Min came four days after State Deputy Youth Chief cum Tanjung Papat Youth Chief Fong Vun Fui quit his posts over the party leadership’s choice of an outsider to contest the Sandakan parliamentary seat. They pledged their support for Fong Vun Fui who is contesting on an independent ticket for the Sandakan parliamentary seat against Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Chong Chui Lin @ Shanty of DAP. Thien who is also the State Youth Wing vice chief, and his followers explained the move to resign from the party was taken after the party leadership’s decision to axe incumbent Merotai assemblyman Datuk Liew Yun Fah and pick an outsider to contest the Sandakan parliamentary seat. Meanwhile, The Borneo Post learnt more members who are unhappy with the leadership’s insensitivity to the views and feelings of the grassroots and Sandakan people, are quitting the party in the next days for similar reasons. Meanwhile, Sandakan Umno will support whoever is chosen as the BN candidate to contest the parliamentary seat here. “Sandakan Umno rejects the issue played up by certain quarters in calling the BN candidate Datuk Liew Vui Keong an outsider,” Sandakan Umno vice chairman Haji Alipuddin Haji Puyon said yesterday. This group were wrong if they think they could influence voters into not supporting him, he added. Alipuddin pointed out it was a non issue and Sandakan Umno would work to ensure BN recapture the Sandakan parliamentary seat. Meanwhile, Sandakan Umno division chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ampong Haji Puyon said a vote for BN is a vote for continual development. “Sandakan Umno will continue to give its support to Datuk Liew Vui Keong and is confident BN will win back the Sandakan parliamentary seat from the independent this election,” he said. Ampong said the independent member of parliament was incapable of bringing development to Sandakan in the last four years. “For the future of the younger generations in Sandakan, we must not choose the wrong candidate this time round. By voting for Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Liew Vui Keong means we will have continuity in progress and prosperity for this town,” he added.


Chua better candidate than me, says Yong


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said that the party’s vice president, Datuk Chua Soon Bui, is a better candidate for the Tawau parliamentary seat than him. Yong said Chua continued to serve the people even though she was not their representative for nine years. “She is a political worker who still worked for the public even though she was not the Tawau Member of Parliament after the seat was taken over by Shim Paw Fatt,” he said at a lunch gathering with the Chinese community here yesterday. Yong noted that Chua had also handled the SAPP Apas and Balung divisions very well. “Therefore, I’m not suitable as a candidate for Tawau but I felt I will be more suitable to contest for the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat because I understand the system and needs there,” he said. Shim, who was also present, said he would continue to serve the people even though he is not contesting in the election.


PKR will suffer heavy defeat, says Masidi


Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun strongly believes that the opposition Parti KeadilanRakyat (PKR) will slowly be “crushed” by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 12th general election. Addressing BN supporters at Kampung Mumpait here yesterday, he said there is no stopping for the BN in making a resounding victory in the March 8 election. “The PKR will be crushed during this election as the people are not easily influenced by their baseless allegation levelled against the BN,” he said. Masidi, who is locked in a straight fight with Atin Naisin from the PKR for the Karanaan state seat, assured that the BN elected representatives will go down to the ground to fulfil their wishes if they win in the election and the BN form the Government. He said that Ranau is one of the districts in Sabah that has many schools. Commenting on PKR’s promise to reduce oil prices should they win, Masidi said that the fuel price hike is a global issue and even a powerful nation like the United States is unable to control the oil price. He said the people should be grateful to the Government which had spent RM4O billion to subsidize the fuel price in order to keep it low. “In fact, apart from Brunei Darussalam, fuel is still relatively cheap in Malaysia. So be thankful,” said Masidi during a meet-the-people gathering in his village-to-village campaign. Masidi also said that the Government had identified Kampung Mumpait and other areas in Ranau have the potential for coffee plantation development under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).


BN faces uphill task to retain KK parliamentary seat

Lawyer Chin Tek Ming, the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary constituency, said he is facing a tough battle to retain the seat for the BN. The 38-year-old lawyer from the ‘cowboy town’ of Kota Belud said there were numerous hurdles ahead including warding off the strong challenge from the opposition especially the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and DAP. In the upcoming election, Chin will face DAP stalwart Hiew King Chiew, PKR’s Christina Liew Chin Jin and independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong. “I’m a new person in politics. What I have now is of course a very tough fight or uphill battle. “It’s a four-cornered fight between the PKR, DAP, an independent and myself. The DAP is represented by state DAP chairman, PKR is represented by the Sabah PKR deputy chairman who is another well-known figure, and a very experienced independent candidate... they are all much senior to me,” he told Bernama here yesterday. Despite the odds, Chin still believed he had a “50-50” chance of prevailing in the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat although his opponents were bracing to create an upset against the mighty BN machinery. “I look at it positively, and most of the promises by the Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) have been implemented. Other things like renewal of the lease for land in the whole of Kota Kinabalu has been extended and contribution given to churches, temples, independent or private schools. “I believe our intelligent voters should be able to assess all that and not be fooled by the opposition by giving empty promises which they can’t deliver because they are not in the capacity to do so,” he said. In the 2004 election, Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (BN) won the Kota Kinabalu seat with a majority of 10,860 votes. Chin, a debutant and former Kapitan Cina Likas, said Kota Kinabalu was a unique city “with a lot of modern facilities and comfortable way of living”. However, he said there was still much work to be done to further develop Kota Kinabalu, the state capital and gateway of Sabah. As such, he said the people of Kota Kinabalu should continue supporting the government for continued development, thus benefiting them in the long run. Asked on his vision for Kota Kinabalu, Chin said as a new person in the political arena and a graduate from a Chinese independent school, he would continue highlighting, among others, the problems faced by independent or private schools to the Government. -Bernama


Keadilan will review federalisation of Labuan


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will review the federalisation of Labuan and return its administration to Sabah if it wins the general election next month. Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the tax-free island was federalised without the consent of Sabahans and therefore political and administrative control aver the island should be returned to Sabah. “We in Sabah seem to have forgotten about Labuan as if it was never part of Sabah. Come March 8, vote for us and give us the mandate and the status of the island will be reviewed and returned to Sabah,” he said when launching the PKR Sabah manifesto. About 300 party leaders and supporters attended the launching ceremony held at his house in Bukit Padang yesterday afternoon. Jeffrey in reading the manifesto, also promised that PKR will also reduce the fuel price and have the fuel royalty paid to Sabah increased to at least 20 percent should the people choose to put the party into power.


Probe on Kurup assault case completed: Police


The police have completed their probe on the incident where PBRS president Datuk Joseph Kurup was allegedly punched after he was returned unopposed for the Pensiangan parliament seat on nomination day, Feb 24. Keningau Police Chief, Deputy Superintendent Zahari Mohamed yesterday said police had recorded the statement of a 41-year-old local farmer in connection with the incident, which occurred at about 1pm outside the Nabawan Community Hall. He said the case is investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for causing hurt, and anyone found guilty of such offence faces a maximum of one year’s jail or a fine up to RM2,000 or both. “Only a statement was recorded and there was no arrest,” Zahari said, adding that they would be submitting the investigation papers to Deputy Public Prosecutor’s office for further action. It was learned that the suspect is a former member of Kurup’s party and was standing among opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat flag-bearers outside the nomination centre before the alleged assault. Sabah PKR chief Ansari Abdullah said recently they would be filling an election petition to challenge the validity of the result in Pensiangan that saw BN candidate Kurup returned unopposed. He said PKR candidate Danny Andipai, his proposer and seconder claimed that they had entered the nomination hall by 9.35am on that day but Danny’s nomination was rejected on the grounds that his papers were filed after the legal time. Kurup, who is the incumbent state assemblyman of Sook, replaced incumbent member of parliament for Pensiangan Datuk Bernard Maraat in the election, which prompted the latter to quit all his posts in the party and threatened to challenge the former as an independent.


PKR candidates offered millions of ringgit to withdraw: Jeffrey


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidates have been offered millions of ringgit by certain individuals trying to persuade them to withdraw from the March 8 general election, claimed party vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan. He said many of the party’s 77 candidates vying for state and parliamentary seats, including himself, have been approached or contacted by these individuals. “I was told that some of them were offered up to millions of ringgit. I myself have been offered money,” he told reporters during the launch of the Sabah PKR manifesto at his residence in Bukit Padang here yesterday. According to him, the people offering him money have even gone to the extent of suggesting he use his health condition as an excuse not to contest in the election. “They suggested I tell my people that I want to rest and not contest in the election as I am not in good health,” said Jeffrey who did not reveal the identities of the people he was referring to. He said that, like the other PKR candidates who hold on to their commitment to bring about changes for the people in Sabah, he has rejected the offer. Jeffrey stressed that he and other PKR leaders who truly believe in the party’s struggle to fight for the people would firmly stick to their course and put the interest of the people above the opportunity to make a quick fortune. “So far none of the leaders took the offer and I hope this will continue for the sake of the party and the people,” he said. PKR State Liaison Chairman Ansari Abdullah supported Jeffrey’s claim, saying no candidate had abandoned the party so far and hopefully it would continue that way until the cooling period ended last night.


BN to make clean sweep in Tuaran, says Musa


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he is confident of a big win for all the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in Tuaran come polling day on March 8. He said the candidates were selected because the party leadership knows they are capable, committed, sincere and honest in their work. “I am confident of a big win because of my faith in our leaders here. We have always won by a big majority because the people of Sabah are smart. They will not be tricked (by the opposition),” he said in his speech at a talk with BN supporters in Kampung Kota here yesterday. Musa, who visited Tuaran after attending a roadshow for the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) in Ranau in the morning, said the BN has a clear mission and vision in developing Sabah for the benefit of its people. “The federal leadership has always been attentive to the needs of the people of Sabah, which is why they have given us RM2O billion to develop Sabah over the next 18 years through the SDC. 1f the government was corrupted, how could it come up with RM2O billion for Sabah? If Yayasan Sabah was corrupted how can it have RM 1.7 billion in reserves? “What is the plan of the opposition? All they are doing is telling lies and giving empty promises,” he said. Musa said he was doubtful that the opposition, particularly Parti Keadilan Rakyat, is capable of forming the Government here and stressed that should an opposition candidate be elected it would only break down the line of communication between the people and the State leadership. “If for example I serve another term as Chief Minister, they would probably be ashamed to see me because they are in the opposition and I may not see them, so this will break the line of communication. “When there is no communication then what will happen to the people? Nothing, and this (situation) saddens me,” he said, referring to fulfilling the people’s needs for development. Musa meanwhile was proud of the spirit of BN leaders in Sabah, especially those who readily accepted the party leadership’s decision to leave them out from the list of candidates for the coming elections. “I am proud with the spirit of the BN leaders here, who are not selfish and think only of the party struggle, which is the struggle for the people of Sabah,” he said while reminding BN candidates that winning a seat is a big responsibility in fulfilling the mandate of the people.


PKR Sabah manifesto promises equal revenue sharing


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah yesterday launched its manifesto promising a new and reformed State Government for Sabah. A supplement to the party’s national manifesto, the state manifesto emphasises on improving livelihood of Sabahans as well as restoring the just and equal revenue and power sharing between the State and the Federal Government. PKR Vice President, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in launching the 15-page manifesto at his residence in Bukit Padang here yesterday afternoon, said it is specifically designed to address the various longstanding issues facing the people in the State, such as illegal immigrants and unchecked increase in prices that has resulted in an extremely high cost of living and worsening poverty. He stressed that the party’s national manifesto which focuses on five points aimed at reforming the country’s economic and political structures, is applicable to the whole nation but Sabah has been allowed to present its own specifically tailored manifesto to effectively bring about changes to the State’s current economic, social and political landscape. Jeffrey said the manifesto among others focuses on providing better education, health and welfare assistance for the people of Sabah apart from protecting the rights of the natives, especially the native customary rights land. He said that under the PKR land reform policy, the role of the Native Chiefs in approving applications for native customary rights land will be restored. The land approved for government agencies such as FELDA will be reviewed, with the uncultivated land belonging to these agencies to be given to the natives to actively involve them in agriculture and economic development. To ensure balanced economic development, focus will be given to ensuring rural development is not merely involving the provision of infrastructure and basic amenities but also creating opportunities for the rural people to actively participate in economic activities, he said. Apart from education, the health care for rural people will also be given attention to help improve their overall livelihood. Among the measures towards this objective, said Jeffrey, is providing free water supply and health care services for rural people. To help the poor cope with the high cost of living, the prices of fuel will be reduced. A better revenue sharing equation between Sabah and Federal governments will also be formulated so that the State can enjoy a better deal for its fuel royalty. The employment opportunities and distribution of senior positions in federal departments and agencies in Sabah will also be improved with more posts to be given to locals. According to Jeffrey, the PKR Sabah manifesto represents a long-waited revolution that will restore the rights of the people in Sabah as Malaysians, which have been long eroded under the total domination of the State Government by UMNO. “As usual, BN manifesto this year contains loads of sweet promises, similar to the promises they gave in their last manifesto. Last time, they promised Sabah Baru which until today they have not delivered. Now they promise the same thing in the form of Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), which they claimed will bring changes. But they are just fooling the people,” he said. Jefrrey said the BN manifesto, which emphasises on the BN Government economic credentials and promising development through SDC, is just another instrument that BN intends to use to get the people to keep them in power, but it should be totally rejected. On the contrary, he said, PKR through its manifesto promises the people a truly democratic and progressive Government that is transparent and focuses on protecting the rights of the people. Should PKR be given the mandate to govern the State, it would first and foremost restore the balance of representation in Parliament between the Peninsular and Sabah and Sarawak to ensure equal rights and power between the states in deciding national progress, he said. Under the PKR, he said, there will be better and significant roles for Sabahans in Federal Cabinet, foreign missions and federal agencies. Also, PKR would return to the State its authority in deciding its own development as well as its rights on certain aspects as stated in the 20 Points, the minimum safeguards that Sabah founding fathers demanded as a condition for joining the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. In this regard, he said PKR will adopt the Tambunan Declaration which highlights urgent issues including, among others, the imbalance in royalty distribution and representation in Federal Cabinet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


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BN manifesto is complete, thorough: CM


The Barisan Nasional manifesto unveiled by the Prime Minister in Kuala Lumpur on Monday was yesterday launched in Sabah by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman. Copies of the manifesto, which underlines Selamat, Aman and Makmur as the basis for national development under the BN Government, were distributed to all BN component parties’ leaders who gathered at the Chief Minister’s official residence Sri Gaya in Bukit Nenas during the launching ceremony. The eight aspects emphasized in the manifesto covering economic development, education, civil service, religious freedom and racial unity are not newly introduced but a continuation of what BN has achieved today, said Musa. He said the manifesto proves that BN Government is not only focusing on physical and economic development but also various other aspects, including developing human capital through education, achieving prosperity through social integration and ethnic unity, and improving public safety through thorough law enforcement. It also stresses that development, in all aspects, will be fairly distributed to ensure that no one will be left out, proving that the Government care about everyone regardless of their race or location, Musa said. “We have proved to the people that we can deliver to them what we promise and now, once again, we assure the people that we are capable and will deliver our promises. “We have the capability in terms Of finances. We have the experience, the political power and consensus of the people,” he said, adding the BN coalition which represents all ethnic groups, is the right choice for the people. He said the manifesto is consistent with what the BN Government has achieved and done for the people and explains that the BN Government are truly from people and for the people. He said the excellent track record of BN has been proven and cannot be denied by anyone, including the opposition who too has enjoyed the development brought by BN. Written in three languages - Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese .- the manifesto also emphasizes on BN economic credentials. “It is a manifesto that is complete and thorough, which comes from the people and for the people,” he said.


Make right choice for now and future: Musa


It rained heavily at Kampung Gudon yesterday, but it did not stop Barisan Nasional supporters from thronging the community hail. Their display of support impressed Sabah BN chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who remarked: “This rain is a blessing; it is a good sign for BN. I am very proud of your presence here.” He said the people’s presence despite the wet weather showed that everyone is working hard to ensure victory for BN in the 12th general election. “There are many other development projects in store for the people and we are banking on your continuous support for the ruling coalition to ensure that all plans would proceed smoothly. All these are done to benefit not just the State and rakyat now, but also for our future generation,” said Musa. He also urged the electorate not to be influenced by the opposition’s promises that offer “the moon and the stars” in their effort to win votes, but in the end, nothing is going to materialise. “What can the opposition do? They can give you promises but it will never be fulfilled, but we in the Government has given our commitment to bring development to the people, be it in the urban or rural areas,” he said. “The Barisan Nasional chairman, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi once said that whatever we promise to the rakyat, we must fulfil. I hope all assemblymen would carry out their duties and responsibilities well; it is for the good of the people, the state and nation,” he said. Musa has full confidence that the people are mature enough to decide on the rightful government to lead them. “He does not want to see any district in Sabah to be undeveloped. Make the right choice come March 8, the polling day,” he said. Musa was speaking at a meet-the-people session at Kampung Gudon, which was also attended by Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun, the BN Sepanggar parliamentary candidate; Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Ayid (Karambunai state assembly candidate) and Johnny Goh (Inanam state assembly candidate). “I hope the voters in Sepanggar would support the three BN candidates, and ensure they win so that the planned development projects can be continued” said Musa. The three candidates, in their respective speeches, pledged their continuous support to BN and promised to carry out ‘ their responsibilities as what is expected of them. “We must make the right choice now as our decision today will affect the future generation. Choose wisely and do good for our children and our children’s children,” said Majimbun. Goh, meanwhile, shared the Government’s many successes in the last four years which among others include the revocation of the cremation centre in Inanam, the pig farm project which has been shifted to Sandakan after receiving strong objection from the people in his constituency, the projects done to overcome floods and also the setting up of a police station in Inanam. “This is all made possible thanks to the concern by our dear Chief Minister and the ruling government,” he said. Jainab, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of the Karambunai and Sepanggar constituencies and its potentials. “There are many higher learning institutions within the Karambunai constituency. This shows the Government’s commitment in developing our area for the good of the people and the state,” she said. “The launching ceremony of the Sabah Development Corridor in Sepanggar also shows the Government’s commitment in providing opportunities to the people living in the surrounding area. The SDC is also expanded throughout the State to share the benefits it would bring, to every individual,” she said.


Liew promises university for Sandakan


The Barisan Nasional candidate for the Sandakan parliamentary seat, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, said he would push for the setting up of a university in the district it given the mandate by the people of Sandakan in the March 8 polls. “The setting up of the university will complement the existing education facilities in Sandakan,” Liew who is also LDP president, told reporters after visiting constituents in Bandar Kim Fung on Tuesday. Liew added he would put in efforts to push for the setting up of the facility in Sandakan if the people give him the mandate to serve as their member of parliament. “The university will enable the schoolchildren to continue their higher education in Sandakan without having to go abroad to further their studies,” he said. He added the Barisan Nasional gives emphasis to providing the best education facilities for the people. “Education is the key to a better future and only a Barisan Nasional win in the March 8 general election can transform the pattern of development in Sandakan,” he said. Liew who is one of the new faces in the Barisan Nasional line-up for next month’s general election, said many issues affecting the Sandakan people could not be addressed by the independent member of parliament in the past four years. “The Barisan Nasional has brought progress and development to the country. The successes achieved by the nation today are testimony of the capability of the Barisan Nasional in delivering its promises to the people,” he said.


I have never joined PKR, says Patrick


Papar independent candidate Datuk Patrick Sindu yesterday refuted claims by PKR Sabah chief Haji Ansari Abdullah that he was among nine PKR members facing disciplinary action for contesting as independent candidate. Patrick stressed that after leaving Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), he has never joined any other political party. “It is wrong for Ansari, who is a friend, to say I am a member of PKR,” he said yesterday. Patrick and two other candidates are challenging incumbent MP Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin of Barisan Nasional in the Papar parliamentary constituency in the March 8 general election. The others are Wahab Idris from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and another independent Mohd Hashim Yussup. He said Ansari should have thoroughly checked his facts and as an experienced lawyer, the latter knows the consequences of not telling the truth to the public, especially so during the election time. “He is a friend of mine ... I don’t want to jeopardise his participation in this election,” said Patrick. The President of Consumers Association for Sabah and Labuan (CASH) kick-started his campaign trial in Papar yesterday, using the extensive network of his family members to woo voters in the state seats of Pantai Manis and Kawang, which make up the Papar constituency. “I am already busy campaigning here in Papar,” said Patrick, who pledged to speak up for Sabahans, in particular the people in Papar, in the Parliament if he wins in the election. “I can voice out the problems affecting our fellow Sabahans directly in the Parliament without going through the political parties and their leaders who have failed to live up to their promises all this while.” Commenting on the recently launched BN election manifesto, Patrick said it is “an old story and merely a political gimmick”. He said the BN is talking about the old issues and promises made in the 2004 general election that have yet to be fulfilled by the ruling coalition. “Now, about four years later, the BN is coming up with yet another gimmick,” said Patrick who rated his chances of wresting the seat as very good.


Only BN Govt helps poor students: Masidi


Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the Barisan Nasional(BN) is the only Government in the world that provides financial aid to poor students. He said the various financial aids, including the Financial Assistance For The Poor Student Scheme or the KWAPM, are provided to students from poor families by the BN Government. “Such education aids are only available in Malaysia. There is nowhere else where one can find such government like the Barisan Nasional giving fmancial aid to the people,” he said during a meet-the-people gathering at Kampung Kesinsingon, Kampung Sumalang and Kampung Maukab here. Meanwhile, Masidi dismissed claims by the opposition that the ruling party was corrupted. He said that the development and progress in the State had improved tremendously since the BN came into power in 1994. While urging the people not to be easily influenced by the opposition’s dirty election tactics, Masidi said that under the able leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, the State’s reserves had improved and had now hit the RM2 billion mark. “How can we in the BN be corrupted? With the leadership of Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman as our CM, Sabah’s reserves have extremely improved from RM 168 million to RM2 billion,” he said “As such, the opposition should think carefully before making any accusations against the BN,” he said. Masidi, who is defending the Karanaan state seat in a straight fight with Atin @ Attin Naisin from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), took the opportunity to clarify certain issues that have been bothering the people such as the land ownership issue in the district and the increase in the price of fuel. On his opponent, he said he did not see the need to be little Attin for contesting under the PKR ticket. While giving the explanations on why the people here should continue supporting the BN, Masidi advised the voters to use their mentality to really decide who deserves to win.


CM wants Hall to scrutinize all devt projects


The City Hall must always be cautious when approving development projects and closely monitor the implementation, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. He said every development plan forwarded to the City Hall must be scrutinized to ensure that every related regulation and law is duly followed to avoid negative impact on the people and the environment. This move is in tandem with one of the aspects emphasized in the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), Musa said when officiating at the opening of the newly upgraded food court - Sri Selera Kampung Air. The open air food court, which was a disorganized, unappealing and filthy, has been turned into a popular tourist spot as it not only serves plenty of fresh seafood but also provides exciting cultural entertainment. Musa said that to ensure Kota Kinabalu and Sabah continue to attract visitors, quality varied services and infrastructure must be provided to cater to the latest trend and taste of not only the locals but the tourists as well. These include different types of accommodation featuring various class of hotels from the luxurious five-star to the cheap budget ones, as well as a variety of restaurants and eateries that suit customers of all races and religions, he said. At the ceremony, Musa announced that the State Government has approved RM2.363 million for the City Hall to fund its repairing and upgrading works at the Kota Kinabalu General Market and the adjacent fish market. He said the State Government will continue to assist the City Hall to further improve the image of the City, which is the main gateway to Sabah. According to him, the State Government has allocated a total of RM8.55 million to City Hall in 2007 and will be allocating another RM9 million to help it implement its 3K (Cleanliness, Beautification and Safety) programme. Also present at the opening ceremony were State Secretary Datuk Sukarti Wakiman, Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister Edward Yong Oui Fah, incumbent Likas assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan, incumbent Kepayan assemblyman Datuk Edward Khoo, and other BN leaders.


Reduce red tape to boost delivery system, Musa tells civil servants


The public sector needs to be more efficient and effective to further strengthen tie government delivery system and boost development programmes in improving infrastructure and basic amenities. The public sector also must strive towards holistic management and protection of environment and natural resources, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. In addition, emphasis has to be given to making comprehensive human capital development an effective agent to catalyst development, quality improvement and prosperity, he said. These are among the aspects which have to be given priority by the public sector as Sabah moves towards achieving a developed status by 2015, he said. Speaking during the first combined monthly gathering of Federal and State civil servants here yesterday, Musa urged all civil servants in the State to work shoulder to shoulder with the State Government towards ensuring successful implementation of the development programmes under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and Sabah Development Corridor. To encourage participation from foreign investors, he sad the systems, procedures and work culture that contribute to red tape, must be studied and reduced. In this regard, he said, agencies involved should create a comfortable and conducive environment for investment activities by making full use of the Sabah Investment Authority (SEDIA), the one-stop authority agency for the implementation of SDC. With less than two weeks to the March 8 general election, Musa advised civil servants not to get carried away with their interest in following the election process to the extent of giving less attention to their duties. “While we are paying attention to the election process, we must not forget our responsibility because if we do we may risk jeopardizing the interest of the people,” he said. He urged public sector staff and officers to work as usual while fulfilling their responsibility as citizens by casting their votes come the polling day.


ICT facilities also provided at village libraries


All communities and leaders need to fully utilise the facilities provided at the public libraries by the State and Federal governments to create a reading culture and knowledge society. Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Yahya Hussin, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, said if the facilities are not utilised, the objective of providing them could not be fulfilled. Officiating at the opening of new library in Ulu Putatan yesterday, he said that under the 9th Malaysia Plan, his ministry has focused on a program to build more libraries in Sabah with funds from both the State and Federal government. He said the libraries include those in Membakut, Nabawan, Beaufort, Kota Belud, Ranau and Semporna. In addition, 20 village libraries and two mobile libraries are also built with funds from the State Government. Yahya said the State Library has expanded the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) in all libraries, including those in villages and the mobile units. The facilities would help improve communication between rural and urban residents, he said.


SDC will transform Sabah, says Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday said the implementation of Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) will transform the State in the next 18 years. By 2025, Pairin said the State’s economy will see rapid development and Sabah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to quadruple to RM63. 2 billion. “The State’s GDP per capita is also expected to triple to RM14,800,” he said when officiating an Upper Interior Village Small Entrepreneur dialogue and Small Industry Products exhibition held at the community centre here. Pairin who is also the Rural Development Minister, also said the number of job opportunities will increase to 900,000 and the employment rate is expected to reduce from 5.8 percent in 2006 to 3.5 percent in the next 18 years. He said the SDC development plan which encompasses every corner of the State, is aimed at providing equal opportunities as well as benefits to villagers and is in tandem with the Government’s aim to create a prosperous, peaceful and harmonious living environment for the people. “We will see Sabah becoming a developed and prosperous State through five aspects which will be implemented during the 18 years period,” he said. According to the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Tambunan state and Keningau parliamentary constituencies, the five aspects are: • Making Sabah as the main gateway in the region for trade, investment and tourism purposes; • To develop Sabah into a state where its people live in harmony and prosperity regardless of race and religion; • In ensuring a better quality of life, better usage and application of technology throughout the State; • Job opportunities for Sabahans and; • Sabah will have high quality life and culture, heritage and environment diversity. “The successful implementation of these five aspects will make Sabah a good place to live in and eradicating poverty in the State,” Pairin stressed. He further said the implementation of SDC gives priority to the welfare of the people and assured that no race or group will be left out in terms of development. To eradicate poverty, he said the Government will implement several programmes to improve the income of households that are in the hardcore poor group thus minimizing their numbers.




Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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Vehicles occupy pathway for pupils

The inconsiderate action of motorists parking their vehicles on the pathway in front of the St Agnes Primary School in Likas area is causing safety concern. According to the mother of a pupil there, the vehicles take up most of the space on the pathway, leaving only a narrow area for the children to walk on. “What if the children fall into the drain next to the pathway,” Mary said, pointing out that even school bus drivers park their vehicles on the pathway. “I have a daughter studying at St Agnes and every time I pick her up, I feel annoyed by the inconsiderate action of these motorists and school bus drivers,” she said. “The situation has been going on for a long time and even though numerous complaints have been made, no action has been taken,” she lamented. Mary pointed out that the pathway is for pedestrians to walk on and not a parking area for vehicles. “And what if the drivers are not careful when moving out of the area, they may hit a child walking between the vehicles,” she said, adding that the children are at risk of suffering serious injuries. “Is the authority concerned waiting for something like that to happen to one of the pupils before taking any action? Who is going to pay if something tragic should happen to the innocent pupils? Who will be able to give them a normal life back ,”she added. She told the Public Hotline that the situation happens daily especially in the afternoon. The city police traffic when contacted about the matter said, they will monitor the area to ensure motorist do not park there indiscriminately. “Action will be taken on those who flout the law and we appealed for cooperation from all motorists to ensure that they park in the designated areas,” the spokesperson said.


No more flood, smelly drain for Likas residents


Residents living near the SRJK (C) Chung Hwa in Likas near here no longer have to worry about flooding and stench caused by a drain there. This is because the drain has been cleared and upgraded following numerous complaints by the residents. “Six months ago the drain was overgrown with grass and clogged up,” the Residents Committee chairman, Tay Chung Yu, said. He added that the clogged drain became a breeding ground for mosquitoes causing fear of dengue fever among the residents and pupils at the school. “We have been asking for the drain to be upgraded for a long time but it was never approved. This was a cause of concern for us as it was a matter of health of the residents and pupils here,” he said. Their request was finally answered after Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim and Api-Api Assemblyman Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai visited their area six months ago. Yee who inspected the drain upgrading project yesterday, said part of the allocation for the upgrading work came from his Member of Parliament fund. “The upgrading of the drain hopefully will reduce incidents of dengue fever caused by mosquitoes which were breeding in the drain and the local residents and students at the school don’t have to worry anymore,” he said. Also present were the Mayor, Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat Chin Teck Ming, and resident committee Datuk Nancy Ho.


Sabah to repeat success in Rat Year


The Year of the Monkey 2004 promised merriment and prosperity and indeed brought luck to the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. That year, the BN made an almost clean sweep of the 60 state and 25 parliamentary seats it contested in the 11th general election, losing only the Kuala Penyu state and Sandakan parliamentary seats. It is now the Year of the Rat — and the country is geared for another general election come March 8. The thought on everyone’s minds is whether the Year of the Rat will bring the same luck as the Year of the Monkey to Musa. According to Chinese beliefs, the rat symbolises diligence and hard work and those born on this auspicious year will be successful in life. For the Sabah BN, the Year of the Rat signifies a year of challenges along with the need to fulfil its responsibilities. Having won a state and two parliamentary seats unopposed after nominations yesterday, it could be an indication of BN not facing much problem to win the election comfortably. BN parliamentary candidates, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and former deputy chief minister Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh won uncontested in Pensiangan and Kalabakan respectively while Datuk Ramlee Marahaban was announced the winner for the Bugaya state seat. Like the diligent rats, the BN is also serious in developing the state in all aspects for the benefit of the people, and in this case, Musa will be shouldered, yet again, with the task. He took over the state leadership in March 2003. With the implementation of various programmes under the state’s development master plan, which emphasised on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism since becoming the Chief Minister and the Sabah Development Corridor, which was launched last month, Musa has proven to the more than three million Sabah population of his political capability and prowess to steer the state. Musa’s ability in handling dissent and frustrations by incumbent members of parliaments and assemblymen, who were dropped for this election, also proved his credible leadership. Political observers are confident of BN’s victory in the election, especially with the launching of the Sabah Development Corridor by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, which promises holistic development, including creation of more jobs for the people. The re-entry of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) into the BN fold is also said to have further strengthened the coalition in Sabah. There are now seven component parties in Sabah BN - Umno, PBS, the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), United Sabah People’s Party (PBRS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), MCA, Gerakan and MIC. A politician, Joos Galid, said he was confident that the Sabah people would vote for the BN in the election. “The people, especially rural residents, realise that only the BN government is capable of bringing development to their areas,” he said.


It won’t be smooth sailing for BN in Keningau:Pairin


The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates here have strong connection and confidence to win in the general election despite facing strong opposition challengers, especially from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). The clash of PBS President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan for the Keningau parliamentary seat is considered a battle of the Kitingan brothers or battle of double J. Dr Jeffrey is also considered a big challenger to the BN candidates in the three state seats of Tambunan, Bingkor and Liawan which are included in the Keningau parliamentary constituency. Besides BN and PKR, DAP has also joined in the fray for the Keningau seat by fielding Peter Kadau. Pairin who is also defending the Tambunan seat, is not denying that BN has to work hard for victory in all the four seats. The Keningau BN chairman will face Moses Michael Iking from PKR and Francis Koh Kui Tze from the independent in the three-cornered fight. “There is no easy passage for BN without hard work from all the BN component leaders and members in Keningau. “I believe by having team work and close cooperation from all the components, the BN could win all the areas, including Keningau parliamentary seat even though it is facing a tough fight from PKR,” he said, adding that the people must be given explanation on the BN Government policies. Pairin who is also Deputy Chief Minister and Rural Development Minister, said the BN Government is also giving top priority to the development of rural people’s socio economy, education, health and poverty eradication through the Middle Region Sabah Development Corridor. Liawan BN candidate Datuk Haji Sairin Karno said the BN was ready for its campaigning. The incumbent is involved in a four-cornered fight with Jius Awang from PKR, Yapilin Nawawi from independent and Lawrence Mogidau from DAP. “I believe BN could win all the three state constituencies and Keningau parliament in view of better cooperation and relationship between the BN components namely, Umno, PBS, PBRS, UPKO, MCA and SAPP,” he said. Justin Guka, who is also defending the Bingkor seat for BN, is challenged by Jeffrey, Victor Leornadus from Setia and Thomas Anggan from independent. He said the Bingkor people still needed development and they should give him the opportunity to lead Bingkor for another five years. “I believe only the BN Government can give better services to the people in Bingkor and I hope the Bingkor people will continue to support the BN in this election,” he said. Among the issues raised by PKR are the approval of application for the 2,500-acre Bingkor Native Reserve by outsiders and illegal immigrants monopolising the business at the Keningau night market.


Chin gives hand phone number to people


The Barisan Nasional (BN) Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat candidate, Chin Tek Ming, has urged the public to personally inform him of problems they have in the constituency. “They can do this by calling me on my hand phone. The number is 019-8521339,” he said when met yesterday. Chin is replacing incumbent Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai in the coming election. The lawyer who is also PBS Supreme council member and the party’s Likas divisional chief, has vowed to try his best to solve the problems faced by people in the Kota Kinabalu constituency. When asked what his focus will be if he wins in the election, Chin said it will be on continuing to improve existing development such as the schools and issues involving society and communities. “However, servicing the community will be my priority and we will concentrate on issues such as infrastructure and daily problems faced by the people. “I will make sure that Twill give my best ff1 am elected,” he said.


Normal to see many instant politicians: Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan has described the big number of ‘instant politicians’ emerging during election time as normal in a country like Malaysia which practises democracy. He said the country provides ample space and freedom for the people in voicing out their opinions and views. Pairin, who is defending the Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state seats under the l3arisan Nasional (BN) ticket, said this during a meet-the-people gathering at Kampung Mottow near here yesterday. Also present were BN candidate for Liawan state seat Datuk Sairin Karno, MCA Keningau division head Peter Ma, and the Village Development and Security Committee Chairman Steven Klaus. The Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president is involved in a three- cornered fight for the Keningau seat with his younger brother Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president and independent Peter Kodou @ Peter Anthony. For the Tambunan seat, Pairin who has represented the constituency since 1976 is challenged by lawyer Moses @ Mozes Iking and former People Development Leader Koh Kui Tze @ Francis Koh Lui Tze. Pairin lamented that certain quarters abused the freedom as provided for under the laws by holding violent street demonstrations which were against the Malaysian way of life and culture. “This shows that these group of people have no love for peace and harmony,” he said. As such, Pairin expressed his confidence that the people would continue supporting the BN in the March 8 general election and would not be easily influenced by the opposition’s empty promises and baseless allegations levelled against the BN. “It is still not to late for this small group of individuals who are in the opposition to return to the BN folds because the doors are always opened to them,” he added.


Election fever picking up slowly


A day after the nominations, there is still no obvious sign the people are in election mood. It seems like the upcoming 12th general election is not as hot as the previous polls. In the past, election fever hits the nation almost immediately right from the dissolution of state legislative assemblies up to nomination day, and sometimes even after the polling day is over. Candidates’ posters and flags representing the contesting political parties would be put up almost as soon as the candidates’ nomination forms were accepted. May be the election fever has not started yet, or probably, intense campaigning has not taken place. There are, however, some little indications that the battle is on. A huge billboard bearing the images of top Barisan Nasional leaders has been put up in the Putatan township, reminding voters to make the right decision, and in some places, like along the roads in the City, Tuaran, Luyang and Kepayan, posters of candidates have also made their appearance. Several supporters of BN parties claimed that they have yet to receive campaign posters and flags, and most of the election paraphernalia was expected to arrive last night. On the opposition’s side, to date, they have yet to do their part to spice up the election in Sabah. However, in Beaufort town, flags of both BN and Parti Keadilan Rakyat are already seen side by side along the roads in the town area, as well as major towns such as Sandakan and Tawau.


Imbak Canyon to be First Class Forest Reserve: CM


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the Imbak Canyon forest conservation area which is made up of 17,000 hectares of virgin forest, will be gazetted as a First Class Forest Reserve. “The process to change the area from a Second Class(Commercial)status to a First Class Reserve is in its final stage,” Musa said after launching the Sabah Foundation’s mobile exhibition and the Sabah Development Corridor(SDC)road show here yesterday. Musa said the Sabah Foundation had been allocated not less then 500,000 hectares of forest for the purpose of conservation and protection, including Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserve. “The reclassification of Imbak Canyon will now increase the size of the totally protected areas to 865,000 hectares or 12 percent of the forest in Sabah,” he added. In his speech earlier, Musa said the people of Sabah should not sacrifice the progress and benefits they had enjoyed from the State’s development by falling for the promises made by the opposition. He said the country would not develop if there was no proper planning and vision. “The Barisan Nasional (BN)plans its projects well to benefit the people and it is crucial they ensure the BN helms the State so that it will be able to continue with its development projects,” he said. He said the people should give the BN Government a bigger mandate because only through a strong and stable government would they be able to benefit from continuous development as well as enjoy better living standards. “With undivided support from the people, the BN Government will not underestimate their trust and confidence. Instead, it will be more committed to provide the best service to the people,” he said. Musa said the SDC road show was to enlighten the people on the development programmes so that they would be able to take advantage of the opportunities available. The SDC, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last month, is a development project to be implemented over 18 years and involves four sectors — agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and logistics. Present at the function were Sabah Development Institute director Datuk Dr Yakob Johari, Sabah Foundation director Tan Sri Datu Khalil Datu Haji jamalul and Sandakan Municipal Council president Yeo Boon Hai.


PKR to challenge validity of kurup’s victory: Ansari


Parti Keadilan Rakyat State liaison committee chairman Hj Ansari Abdullah said they will file an election petition to challenge the validity of Tan Sri Joseph Kurup’s victory in the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency. He said the petition will be filed as soon as the Election Commission (EC) gazettes the victory for Kurup, who took the seat uncontested. “The moment the result is gazetted, PKR will file an election petition to declare Kurup’s win to be null and void,” he told a press conference here, yesterday. The Pensiangan seat was the centre of much controversy on Sunday when Keadilan’s candidate Danny Andipai was disallowed from registering as a candidate by the EC. The situation sparked a commotion among the crowd gathered at the nomination centre in Nabawan, leading to an assault on Kurup by a man as he was on the way to his vehicle after being declared the winner of the Pensiangan seat. Danny, who was at the press conference, claimed that the decision by returning officer (RO) Bubudan OT Mojilu to reject his and independent candidate Saineh Usau’s applications was unfair. “I was made to understand that the gate would be opened at 9am and closed at 1Oam, so I arrived at 9.35am,” he said. “I was given a number, number 10, and then paid the RM15,000 deposit as required for a parliamentary candidate. The independent candidate also did the same, and he was given number 11. “Why is it that a candidate who was holding number 12 was accepted as a candidate when those who came earlier were not?” he said, referring to fellow Keadilan candidate Paul Gitang, who is vying for the Sook state seat. Danny noted that the only candidates disallowed from registering were those who intended to contest the Pensiangan parliamentary seat, whereas there was no problem for candidates in the Sook and Nabawan state seats. “I was still in the(nomination)hall when they told me they were closed. What did they mean by closed? Were they talking about the gate or the nominations? “Just to accept the nomination papers does not take a lot of time. It’s not like we were still filling out the forms, we were just waiting to hand over completed forms. “You can see that Tan Sri Kurup knows he cannot cheat at the polls, so he decided to cheat during nomination day...he claims it was a Keadilan supporter who hit him but it wasn’t just our supporters who were unhappy, even the BN supporters felt revolted by his action,” he said. Danny said that following his disqualification, he lodged a police report on the alleged unfair treatment by the EC staff, and also lodged a report with the EC.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Chinese bodies welcome back Dompok


Various Chinese organizations here turned out to welcome back UPKO president and BN candidate for Penampang Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to his hometown. They pledged to give their full support to him and to help ensure BN win the 12th general election on March 8. The President of Penampang Industrial and Commerce Council Datuk Kenneth Yen said Dompok has to be given the mandate to become the Parliament Member of Penampang, based on his position as the Federal Minister. “If Dompok is.given the mandate to become the Parliament member here and reappointed to the Federal Cabinet, this district will be more developed in the future,” he said. Also present were President of Northern Chinese Association Alvin Lee, Donggongon Chinese Kapitan Chin Sin Yu, Lido Chinese Kapitan Yong Thien Loi, Donggongon JKDB Chairman William Chin, President of Donggongon Community Association Yi Yee Sin, Chairman of Fook Tet Kun Temple Wee Man Kok, Penampang Charity Chairman Chua Kuan Yin and representatives from Democratic Liberal Party (LDP).


Independent candidate nearly misses cut-off time


When Dr Anthony Tibok handed in his nomination papers to contest the Penampang parliamentary seat as an independent candidate yesterday, he was just three minutes shy of the l0am cut-off time. Charging in with his proposer and seconder close at hand, the biotechnology expert was a man in a hurry. And when he spoke of the need for change, he made his stand clear that the Kadazandusun community, particularly in Penampang, have no time to lose. “My challenge is to bring the voice of. the people. In Malaysia, it is the pribumis, not the Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) people making noise in the peninsula, who are truly the poorest in the nation. “Sabah went from being the richest state in Malaysia in the 1970s to being the poorest state now. Ninety-five percent of our riches are going to Petronas and only five percent is coming back to us. “Are we getting a fair deal from the federation? The Government policy is wrong and this cannot go on but where are our ministers? Why are they keeping quiet,” he said, visibly shaking with emotion. Anthony, who said he had worked as a researcher in France, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia and locally, admitted that he is “just a small guy standing in the dark” compared to his competition but was adamant that he was taking a necessary risk. “I know that Tan Sri (Bernard Dompok) is a well-known Kadazan leader, but I will continue to shout about the issues that face us here. “I don’t care (about rating my chances), let the people choose. If they want a voice then vote for me, if not then vote for someone else,” he said. The other independent candidate, Willybroad Missi, also charged the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) Government with poor treatment of Sabahans, particularly the Kadazandusuns. Sporting a traditional “siung” or bamboo hat to go with his traditional Kadazan “berudu” or shirt, he declared his struggle to “defend” his people’s rights. “I see that the natives, my people, have been really oppressed by the present Government system ... I wish to continue the struggle to uphold democracy,” said the 47-year-old businessman. Like the other candidates outside of the BN, be it from opposition parties or independents, Willybroad said his main objectives are to solve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants, fight corruption and develop Moyog and Penampang on the whole. “I see the trend now is the people want a change in the Government. The present Government is not suitable to the local society in Sabah,” he said.


Pairin does not expect to face brother

Keningau Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan did not expect his brother, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, to contest against him in the Keningau parliamentary area. “I am not expecting this to happen between me and my brother in this election,” he told reporters after the announcement of candidates by returning officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir at the community centre here. Pairin who is also the PBS president, said he and Jeffrey have different ways in their struggle and he would leave it to the people to decide who is the better leader between them. “The campaign starts today and I believe the BN could get strong support from the people because BN is a good Government,” he said.


All challenged in Tawau except Ghapur


Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Abd Ghapur Salleh won the Kalabakan parliamentary seat unopposed again yesterday but the other coalition candidates are challenged. Incumbent Merotai assemblyman Datuk Liew Yun Fah who was dropped and rumoured to be standing as an independent candidate in the area, threw his support to the BN candidates yesterday. “I won the Kalabakan parliament seat because I have carried out many developments in the area. Here, I need to remind the voters again, especially in Kalabakan, to vote for the BN if they wish to live comfortably with more development. “The concept of BN is cooperation, but those who go against the laws and regulations will be rejected from Umno. I hope I can bring the new BN candidates to have a visit to Kalabakan and introduce them to the residents there,” said Ghapur. The 65-year-old Umno veteran who arrived at the nomination centre with his proposer Ramlee Bin Rasida @ Rashida and supporter Apor Bin Hajari at 9. 10am, was also unopposed in Kalabakan in the last general election in 2004. The Merotai state seat is a five- cornered fight for BN candidate Pang Yuk Ming, 42, who is challenged by Mohamad B Tingka, 55, of PAS and three independents- Salman Bin Nurillah, 40, who is using the key symbol, Moktar B Ahmad, 48, (umbrella) and Soon Thien Fook, 57 (oil palm trees). Pang, who was the communication secretary for his predecessor Datuk Liew Yun Fahwas proposed by Ahmad @ Jepang B Tapah and supported by Thein Kui Sang. They arrived at the nomination hall at 9. 12am. Expressing his surprise over his nomination, the BN contestant said he would try his best to serve the residents in Tawau if he wins the seat even though he has many businesses in Kota Kinabalu. Soon, who resigned from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to be an independent candidate, disagreed that Liew was not selected to defend the Merotai seat. “I decided to resign from LDP to become an independent candidate for Merotai seat even though Datuk Liew had disallowed me to do so. However, I feel very confident,” said Soon who was accompanied by his proposer Dumit B Rasit and supporter Anas Bin Hemma to the nomination centre at 9.05am. The Tanjung Batu state seat will be a battle ground for four candidates. BN candidate Datuk Hamisa Bte Samat, 59 is facing PKR’s Dullah Bin Hashim, also 59, and two independent candidates- Mohammad Jeffry B Rosman, 34, (clock symbol) and Dasun Bin Sumbin, 57 (aeroplane). The Sebatik state seat is contested by Abd Muis B Picho, 51, of BN and Arsad bin Jamal, 58, of PKR and independent Raden Bin Kakung, 48, who is using the smoking pipe symbol. For the Tawau parliamentary seat, Datuk Chua Soon Bui of BN is taking on Chan Foong Hin of DAP and Berhan Ruslan of PKR. The Sri Tanjong state seat is vied by BN candidate Samson Chin Chee Tsu, Jimmy Wong Sze Phai (DAP) and Datuk Kong Hong Ming (PKR). In Apas, Tawau BN chairman Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan is challenged by Ardi Arsa (independent) and Vun Kon Pau (PKR) while Balung is a one-to-one fight between incumbent Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali n PKR candidate Mohd Abdillah Timbasa.


Lack of agreement will hurt opposition chances
PKR and DAP contesting in same constituencies


The chances of the two leading opposition parties, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Democratic Action Party, in winning seats in the March 8 general election might be affected by their failure to strike a deal on the seats they are vying for. The two parties had failed to reach a compromise on fielding of candidates in various areas against Barisan Nasional, resulting in them contesting in same constituencies. According to PKR State deputy liaison chief Christina Liew Chin Jin, the DAP’s struggle is slightly different from theirs. “DAP wants representation of two- thirds in the Parliament while we in PKR are more interested in changing the whole government system,” she said. “This overlapping of opposition candidates is purely due to failure in reaching an amicable solution,” she added when met after submitting her nomination forms for the P172 Kota Kinabalu and N15 Api-Api seats at Dewan Maksak in Likas, yesterday. She will be contesting the state seat against DAP Kota Kinabalu branch chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu and BN-PBS newcomer Chin Teck Min and independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong. Asked about her chances of winning the Kota Kinabalu seat, Liew said both Hiew and her would do a gentlemen contest.” Parti Keadilan Rakyat believes the Penampang electorate wifi swing in their favour come polling day on March 8. State information chief Dr Edwin @ Jack Bosie, who will contest for the Penampang parliamentary seat, said the party has every reason to be here in reforming the Government. “We can see that our people in Parliament and the State are not doing much for our own people. If they were doing well, I don’t think Keadilan would be here,” he said when met at the nomination centre at the Tun Fuad Hall here, yesterday. When asked about his chances to win the Penampang seat, the 51-year- old trained veterinarian and conservationist said he is “very confident”. “My chances are very good. The wind has been blowing and it is very clear, we want a change. The basis of my struggle is to reform the system we want to have a good system that is fair and transparent,” he said. Keadilan’s candidate for Kepayan, Datuk Chau Chin Tang, said meanwhile that his chances are “as good as anybody’s chances”. “Being a Sabahan, we will have to save Sabah from the illegal immigrants and make sure that we control the oil, that’s about all, because this is the fight of every Sabahan, not just my fight. That is the reason I’m coming out of retirement after 10 years,” he said. Chau, who is the State Legal Committee chairman for Keadilan, reiterated Edwin’s confidence that the electorate will vote in their favour. “The sentiments are with us, its a big swing. Just because you have a big crowd (at nomination day) doesn’t guarantee a victory. It is the sentiments of the people and the current issues, this is what will determine whether they want you or don’t want you,” he said. The 65-year-old Kota Belud native noted that he will have the advantage of the Sembulan voters, particularly those in the low-cost housing area who he said he had assisted in the past. “I served as a YB for five years in Sembulan and part of Kepayan is Sembulan, especially mostly the low- cost houses who have been voters and still voters. “I have an advantage in that and done a lot for the people in the low- cost houses,” he said, although adding that victory in Kepayan is in the “hands of god”. Former independent candidate Moris @ Francis Miji on the other hand believes that his involvement with Keadilan in this election will only strengthen their challenge to bring change to the district. “The leadership took me in, in a sense, so I am now in Keadilan and I subscribe to their struggle. I think I have a good chance, looking at the votes I secured in 2004 as an independent,” he said. The 54-year-old tax manager and grandfather, who is contesting in Moyog, stressed the need for change in better addressing the needs of the people. “We need some changes in leadership, in the sense that we should not be fearful of addressing problems facing the community, be it economic or social. “It is not that the previous leadership have failed ... I feel we can do better. They have done their part to a certain extent. The rakyat need people who are willing to voice out their needs without fear,” he said.


Bumburing also faces Ansari in Tuaran


Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Panglima Mojilip Bumburing @ Wilfred, 57, is facing a three-cornered contest against Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate AnsariAbdullah, 54, and Independent Ajin @ Hazin Gagah, 58, for Tuaran parliamentary seat in the general election on March 8. Bumburing, who was sidelined for two terms previously, is making a comeback to defend the Tuaran parliamentary seat for BN after Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau gave way to him. Wilfred, who is the party’s secretary-general, won the seat in the 2004 election. Bumburing, who is also UPKO deputy president, said when asked to comment on his’ return to active politics, said people in the area still need his and BN service to bring many development projects, especially in the rural and interior areas. “People in the interior areas still need BN to help them solve their problems and also to provide a better education for them. Tamparuli and Kiulu, which still lack power supply, need BN leadership to improve the quality of life,” he said. He said he is confident of delivering the seat to BN. On his opponents, he said there is nothing personal and this is a healthy competition. “People of Sabah still need BN to continue its leadership. This is to make sure the development will continuously move forward, especially in Tuaran areas,” he added. Bumburing said that if he wins, he will, strive to develop Tuaran into a tourism town. Bumburing’s nomination paper was submitted at about 9.15am with Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau as his proposer and Ismail @ Tony b. Ibrahim as seconded, while Ansari was accompanied by Lim Ching Ping as proposer and Panilau @ Amzah b. Kohong as seconder at 9.3Oam. Ajin, accompanied by Reupin @ Roupin KK Gobik as a proposer and Johan Jam as seconded, submitted his form at 9.22am. During the nomination, there were no objections received and no nominations were rejected.


Penampang, Moyog, Kepayan BN candidates confident of winning
Dompok, Donald and Khoo have confidence of delivering seats


Confidence is high in the Barisan Nasional (BN) camp as two candidates from Upko and one from MCA registered as candidates to contest the Penampang parliamentary and Moyog and Kepayan State seats. Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, when met after handing in his nomination papers, said he was upbeat of his and the BN’s chances of defending the three seats come polling day on March 8. “We are winning. I don’t know how else I can elaborate on that,” he said. Dompok, who is returning to Penampang after serving two terms in Ranau, said there is no need for the opposition in the district because “we cover all the issues brought up by everybody”. “We have the capacity to do it. We have the commitment to tackle issues and we have the courage to carry out the mandate very high. “I have tackled contentious issues at Federal level and I’m willing to pay the price for it. We are the people who will represent the KDM (Kadazandusun-Murut) people. The KDM will be more marginalised if you go in the opposition because this will only weaken the voice that we have (in the Government) at present,” he said. Donald Mojuntin, who will contest in Moyog after vacating the Penampang seat to accommodate Dompok’s return, said the electorate has matured and is not easily taken in by political rhetoric. Donald, who won the Penampang seat with 16,032 votes in 2004, will be contesting against former independent and now Keadilan candidate Moris @ Francis Miji, and Willybroad who is the only candidate in the area going for two seats. “I think the people are wiser and wary of what the opposition is saying. We went through a lot.., in the past twice Tan Sri (Dompok) lost which means twice we had no representation, and during those periods I think we felt the difference. “People are more educated now, the older generation also know the difference between having a minister and not having a minister. “The people know now that the choice is in their hands, the people want to see progress. The Government is helping in school fees, and in this the Government spent RM3 billion this year and there is also a lot more in terms of subsidies. “The opposition is concerned about the price hike but I don’t think the Government is making an intentional hike, this is a reaction to the world situation,” Donald said. Moris is contesting the seat for the second time, having received 3,124 votes as an independent when going up against Philip. Kepayan incumbent Datuk Edward Khoo meanwhile continues to stand as the sole MCA candidate in Sabah, having won the seat in 2004 garnering 5,472 votes. It will be a three-cornered race in Kepayan, with challenges from Datuk Chau Chin Tang for Keadilan and DAP candidate Steven Jimbangan who earned 494 votes in 2004 as an independent in the same area. Khoo pledged to continue to work hard for the Kepayan constituency if he were to be re-elected for a second term. “All this while I have worked hard for the good of the people and the area I represent. This is why I am not too worried. I leave it to the voters to make their own decisions. “If I am re-elected, I will continue with many more efforts that I have yet to complete to ensure the standard of living of the people improves,” he said. Throughout the two-hour objection period after nominations closed, two objections were raised against Willybroad, but were struck out by returning officer William Sampil.


Maximus up against three in Kota Marudu


Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, is facing three opponents in defending the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat. He is challenged by Anthony Mandiau from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Bersekutu president Berman Angkap and independent Ruslan Moh Zain. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department opted not to defend the Tandek state seat this time around in which the PBS picked a woman, Lasiah @ Anita Baranting to contest the seat. The 53-year-old former People Development Leader for Tandek is expecting tough challenge from Isang Rawai from PASOK, Masingkan @ Shingkam from Bersekutu, Jurin Gunsalam from the PKR and independent candidate Andy Villson. It is a three-cornered fight in Matunggong between Sarapin Magana, who replaced incumbent assemblywoman Jornah Mozihim, Santain Menurun from Bersekutu and Muada Ojihi from PKR. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan had initially re-nominated Jornah to defend the Matunggong seat, but she was dropped two days ago allegedly following an intervention by Maximus. Over in Kota Belud, rookie Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahian from BN UMNO is pitted in a straight fight against Saidil @ Said Semoi from the PKR. Abdul Rahman replaced incumbent Datuk Salleh Said Keruak who was dropped by the BN leadership. UMNO Kota Belud divison head Datuk Hj Musbah Jamil, who replaced another UMNO heavyweight Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, is facing Laiman Ikin @ Awang Laiman Kakimin from PKR and independent candidate Ibrahim Linggam for the Tampasuk state seat. For the Kadamaian state seat, BN incumbent Datuk Timbon @ Herbert Lagadan from PBS is involved in a three-cornered fight with a woman, Lukia Binti Indan from the PKR and lawyer Peter Marajin Peter Marazing who is standing as an independent candidate. For another BN candidate Datuk Japlin Akim @ Abd Hamid, it is a one-to-fight with Mohd Shukor Abdul Muin for the Tempasuk state seat. Nevertheless, the BN candidates for Kota Belud, Tempasuk, Kadamaian and Usukun have been rest assured of a formidable support from Salleh and Pandikar who had pledged their loyalty to the BN.


2 MP and 1 State seats unopposed


The Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) won two of the 25 parliamentary seats and one of the 60 State seats up for grabs uncontested after nominations for the March 8 general election closed yesterday. PBRS President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, who replaced BN incumbent and his Secretary-General Datuk Bernard Maraat for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the Interior was unchallenged. Just two days ago, Bernard dropped a bombshell when he announced that he was quitting all his posts in the party and would be contesting the seat as an independent, but his threat fizzled out and did not materialize on Nomination Day. The second parliamentary seat was won for the BN by another veteran politician Datuk Mohd Ghapur Salleh of Umno ho retained Kalabakan for the second time consecutively. The sole state seat was delivered by Ramlee Marhaban of Umno who replaced incumbent Datuk Basalie Abdul Hamid for Bugaya. The results for the three uncontested seats were announced by the Election Commission in a statement after the completion of the Nomination Day yesterday. In the 2004 general election, Sabah BN won nine parliamentary and seven State seats after the nomination, and went on to make a virtual clean sweep of all the 25 Parliamentary and 60 State seats, losing only the Sandakan and Kuala Penyu to the independents. Recently, Chief Minister cum Sabah BN Chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman had predicted that the Sabah BN component parties, consisting of Umno, PBS, Upko, SAPP, PBRS, MCA, Gerakan and MIC would be able to repeat the 2004 feat in the 12th general election. Musa, who heads the Sabah Umno, and other State BN component chiefs, namely PBS President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Upko President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, LDP President Datuk VK Liew and Sabah MCA head Datuk Edward Khoo are being challenged by the opposition and independents in their respective seats. Incumbent Musa, is pitted in a four-cornered fight for the N42 Sungai Sibuga state seat with Ahmad Thamrin Jaini from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Osman Enting from Bersekutu and Gusmiah Diong who is contesting as an independent. The Chief Minister won Sungai Sibuga in the 2004 general election with 6,670 votes majority. An interesting fight is brewing for the Keningau parliamentary seat between incumbent Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and younger brother Jeffrey. Joining the two well-known Kitingan brothers in a tussle for the seat in the Interior is another veteran politician Peter Kodo @ Peter Anthony, who is contesting on a DAP ticket. Pairin is involved in a three- cornered fight in defending the Tambunan seat which he has been representing since 1976 during the then Berjaya Government. His opponents this time are lawyer Moses @ Mozes Iking and a former Peoples Development Leader for the area, Koh Kui Tze @ Francis Koh Lui Tze. Similarly, a tough fight from the opposition is awaiting Dompok, who replaced incumbent Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin for the Penampang parliamentary seat, regarded as the heartland of the Kadazandusun. Dompok who made a comeback to Penampang after serving two- terms in Ranau is caught in a four- cornered fight with veterinarian Dr Edwin Bosi from PKR, Anthony Tibok and Levired Missih @ Willybroad Missi as independents. Over in Sandakan, Liew, who took over the LDP presidency from his predecessor Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat last year, is involved in a three- cornered fight for the predominantly Chinese area. Incumbent Chong Hon Ming who wrested the seat from then LDP Deputy President Datuk Lau Ngan Siew in 2004 but decided to stay away this time after his motion to join the BN through SAPP, was rejected. One of Liew’s challengers is the LDP Deputy Youth Chief Fong Vun Fui, who quit the party a few days ago and decided to contest to protest against Liew’s decision to stand there. The other challenger is a woman, Chong Chu Lin @ Shanty, a senior lawyer and a former Magistrate who once served for several years in Sandakan. In Kepayan on the west coast, MCA Sabah Chairman Datuk Edward Khoo who is defending the state seat for the second time is also pitted in a three-cornered fight. Khoo is also expecting a stiff challenge from another senior lawyer and seasoned politician Datuk Chau Chin Tan, a one-time assemblyman for Sembulan during the PBS tenure in power, who is standing on a PKR ticket. The other contender an engineer, Stephen Jacob Jimbangan, who is from the area is banking on him being a local to woo the voters to deliver the seat for the DAP. Elsewhere across the State, interesting fights are also expected in the days to come during the two- week campaign period between the ruling BN and Opposition. Police meanwhile described the nominations process across the State as peaceful without any untoward incidents reported from the grounds. It was reported that the weather was quite bad in certain areas like Sipitang, where the contesting candidates and their supporters have to brave the heavy rains to reach the nomination centre in time.

Friday, February 22, 2008


More women candidates to woo female voters


More women candidates are fielded in the 12th General Election to woo the sizable female voters in the State. Of the seven women who will be contesting in the March 8 poll, three are new faces, namely Sabah Progressive Party’s Wanita Chief Datuk Chua Soon Bui, Parti Bersatu Sabah’s Tandek Wanita chief Anita Baranting and Umno Kalabakan Wanita chief Datuk Hamisah Samad. Dubbed the SAPP iron lady, Chua, who is also the former Tawau Member of Parliament, was picked by the party leadership to replace the incumbent, Shim Paw Fatt, who won the seat in the 2004 general election. Another new face, Baranting was given the mandate by PBS president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to replace incumbent Tandek assemblyman Datuk Maximus Ongkili. Ongkili had in previous election held two seats “the Tandek State and Kota Marudu Parliamentary seats. he, however, retained the MP seat. Hamisah, on another hand. will be contesting for the Tanjong Batu seat, replacing the incumbent, Mohd Kamil Kassim. All the existing women candidates would be defending their seats, except for Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun whose seat was swapped with Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin. Azizah, the incumbent Beaufort Member of Parliament was replaced by Lajim, while she took over the latter’s Klias State seat. The three other remaining women candidates are Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Ayid (N12Karambunai-Umno); Jornah Mozihim(N4 Matunggong-PBS); and Melanie Chia (N16 Luyang SAPP).


Chin grateful for chance to contest KK seat


Chin Teck Ming, who is making his debut in the March 8 general election, yesterday thanked PBS President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and incumbent Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai for giving him the opportunity to contest the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat. “I hope the rakyat (people) will give me a chance to serve them,” said Chin, who is a PBS Supreme Council member cum its Likas division chief. He also thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for their trust in him to defend the seat. Born in Keningau and raised in Kota Belud, the 38-year-old practising lawyer is married to Chung Fui Ching. He is currently also the Chairman of Sabah Tshung Tsin Alumni Association, an exco member of Kota Kinabalu Hakka Association (KKHA), a governor of Institut Sinaran and Kota Kinabalu Chung Hwa School, legal adviser to the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) and deputy chairman of Board of Visitors for the Likas Hospital. Meanwhile, it is learned that the decision by the PBS leadership to replace Dr Yee with Chin was a move to ensure the said parliamentary seat, which is expected to see a stiff fight in the coming polls, will stay with the party. It is also regarded as a strategic move made by the PBS to keep the seat in view of the recent development in which SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee indicated his interest to contest the seat.


Madius not defending Tuaran parliament seat UPKO incumbent gives way to Bumburing


Incumbent Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau is not defending the Tuaran parliamentary seat and gives way to UPKO Deputy. President Datuk Wilfred Bumburing to stand in the March 8 general election. “I am giving way to Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing to represent UPKO to contest in the Tuaran parliamentary seat as this is the decision of the party leadership,” he said during a seminar at the UPKO divisional office here yesterday. Madius said Bumburing, being the Deputy President of UPKO, would be able to carry on the struggle of the party more effectively if he is one of our elected representatives either in the State Assembly or Parliament. “I know there are some among our grassroots supporters who may find it hard to accept, but we should look at this change in a positive manner for the sake of our people and the party that represents our community and our interest. UPKO members should be professional and disciplined in their status and standing and should put the interest of the party first,” he said. “I therefore call upon all of you, branch leaders, to carry this message to all our members and supporters and carry on with the party’s struggle by ensuring that Datuk Wilfred Bumburing will be a victorious UPKO candidate and that UPKO Kiulu will give him even more number of votes than ever before,” said the party’s Secretary-General. About 150 grassroots leaders comprising the “Ketua Pusat Mengundi,” leaders from all UPKO Branches, The Komulakan, Wanita, Pemuda and Divisional Committee Members attended the one-day seminar. Bumburing, who also spoke at the function, expressed his utmost gratitude to Madius and UPKO members in Kiulu for their willingness to continue to support him as the BN candidate in Tuaran in the coming election. He said the wisdom behind the decision of the party leadership to have a different candidate for Tuaran constituency was done with great care and consideration. “I would like to extend my greatest appreciation and unfathomable thanks to Datuk Madius Tangau for giving me the chance to defend the Tuaran seat on behalf of UPKO and BN. I know it was a hard decision to make and it was even a harder issue to be understood by UPKO members in Kiulu,” he said. “I may not be able to catch up with the aggressiveness of Datuk Madius or be even on par with his academic qualifications and oratorical skills, but with your support and commitment, we would all be able to proudly defend the Tuaran seat for BN-UPKO and thereafter, I assure you, I will try to continue to be a good ‘Wakil Rakyat’ for everyone, including Kiulu, and to continue and pursue whatever socioeconomic programs that UPKO Kiulu have in place and have drawn up to be carried out in the future. “All the programs that have been put in place by Datuk Madius, which would bring good benefits to our community, will be continued and will be improved and synchronized with Tamparuli and Sulaman.” Bumburing also revealed that Madius has agreed to accept the post as BN Tuaran Election Operation Director and he will also be the proposer for his candidacy on nomination day. In .another development, Madius urged UPKO members and supporters in the Kiulu state constituency to uphold their loyalty to the party by voting for all Barisan Nasional candidates come polling day on March 8. Madius said the focus of our struggle should be the party and not the individuals. “UPKO is a party that represents our Kadazandusun-Murut community and the struggles of the party continue regardless of who is picked by the party to contest in any election,” he added.