Thursday, February 21, 2008


Reject opposition candidates, urges Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan has urged the people to reject the opposition candidates contesting in the coming election as they are only fighting for their own interests and not sincere in serving the people. He said the people in rural and remote areas normally become the victims of the opposition’s unfounded allegations and empty promises during the election. As such, they should always be on their guard and not easily be influenced by the opposition’s propaganda, said Pairin during a meet the people gathering for Mukim Patau at the Kampung Patau community hail near here yesterday. “The opposition are very smart in making all kinds of promises to the people but a more in depth analysis will show that they have no vision and merely keen in looking at the weakness of the others,” said the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President. Pairin added the opposition leaders would always place the blame for anything on the previous State Government. He reckoned that if the opposition were sincere in their struggle, they should find the solution for the problems affecting the people. Only the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government truly fights for the interest of the people and brings progress and stability to the country, said Pairin, citing the recently launched Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He assured that the implementation of the SDC would change the physical and economic landscape of the interior for the betterment of the people there. Pairin said the vision of the BN Government is to provide a comfortable life for the people by setting a target to eradicate abject poverty by the year 2010. The number of household heads categorised under abject poverty had reduced from 29,889 in 2003 to 21,829 last year. Out of the total figure, some 7,000 were from the non productive category who comprised the disabled group and require special attention from the Government. The remaining 13,000 household heads are being given serious attention by the Government for assistance to enhance their income, he said.


PKR won’t concede a single KDM seat to DAP


Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) would not concede a single Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) seat to DAP in the election. Kanul Gindol, the political secretary to PKR Sabah State Steering Committee chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, also said that PKR would try to avoid a clash with DAP in some, but not all Chinese- majority seats. “We are putting up Chinese candidates among others in Sri Tanjung, Api-Api, Likas and Luyang, and also for MP seats in Tawau and maybe Kota Kinabalu, depending on the final strategic arrangement,” Kanul said. “KDM seats are not for trading. PKR Sabah has done extensive works in all the KDM seats, and PKR is the best choice to represent them,” he added. Meanwhile, Dr Jeffrey, who was discharged from the hospital on Monday night, has been seeing various groups and chaired discussions and meetings with PKR top state leaders on the party’s preparation for the general election. On Tuesday, he met PKR State Election Director Awang Tangah Awang Amin, Yunof Maringking, Operation Room Director Christina Liew and State Liaison Chairman Ansari Abdullah at his residence, Sokid Villa. The meeting was believed to fine tune PKR’s list of candidates.


Call for Dompok to defend Ranau seat intensifies


The coordination committee of UPKO P179 Ranau has repeated the call for incumbent Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to defend the Ranau parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election. The call was made yesterday by the party’s division, the Youth and Wanita as well as the Komulakan wing during a gathering to welcome the arrival of the UPKO president at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here from Kuala Lumpur yesterday. They said the people of Ranau still needed the service of Dompok, particularly in continuing the development agenda that has been earmarked for the district under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. “If rumours that Tan Sri Dompok is contesting elsewhere, then the development programmes planned for Ranau will be jeopardised. “As such, we want him to come out and defend the Ranau seat in this coming election,” they said. Meanwhile, another incumbent, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Lajim Haji Ukin, yesterday confirmed that he will defend the Klias state seat in the coming general election. Lajim who is also the Umno Beaufort division head, has represented the constituency since 1986. “I am ready to defend the Klias state seat if picked by the party leadership as a candidate,” he said. The former Deputy Chief Minister said this after launching the Beaufort Puteri UMNO information centre here yesterday. Before this, supporters from BN component parties had called on Lajim to contest the Beaufort parliamentary seat formerly held by the division’s Wanita head, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun, who has been tipped to defend the seat.


Support Chinese candidates, Khoo urges Chinese voters


Chinese voters in the State have been urged to ensure victory for all the Barisan Nasional (BN) Chinese candidates in the coming general election, so as to preserve and consolidate the Chinese community’s position and representation in the Government. Sabah MCA chairman Datuk Edward Khoo made the call when speaking at the Chinese New Year gathering organized by the six west coast MCA liaison committees here on Tuesday. He stressed that as a Chinese based BN component party, MCA Sabah is duty bound to ensure victory for the other Chinese counterparts like Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) which have Chinese candidates. “We shall strive to maintain the status quo of the Chinese’s representation in the Government,” he proclaimed. Khoo who is also the incumbent Kepayan assemblyman, also reminisced the long struggle of MCA in the last 68 years in Peninsular Malaysia and 17 years in Sabah, especially the scarification and steadfast commitment of its members in carrying out the party’s struggles and to serve the community, despite having yet to secure any position in the State Government. “Today MCA Sabah has established 25 divisions throughout the State and is one of the most organized Chinese-based parties. Our members are also steadily increasing every year and our struggles and position are also well recognized by the Chinese community of Sabah,” he pointed out. While noting that it was the aspiration of the Sabah MCA members to see the party getting a chance to better serve the community, the State and the country as a whole, he called on them to continue to work harder to win the support and participation of the Chinese community in its struggles. “Presently, Sabah MCA only has one seat and it didn’t come easily. Hence, we should all work together and wholeheartedly to ensure another victory in the coming general election,” he stressed. Meanwhile, during his speech earlier, MCA Sabah deputy chairman Senator Datuk Robert Chew also called on all its members to better inform their friends and relatives on MCA’s contributions towards the Chinese community and to convince them to vote for its candidates. Chew who is also the organising chairman for the event, was convinced that Khoo will be again fielded to defend his Kepayan state Seat in the coming general election. He thus urged its members ,to go all out to ensure a major victory for Khoo and the party, stressing that MCA’s victory would better consolidate the Chinese’s political position and representation in this country. He cited the sad event when MCA pulled out from the Federal Cabinet 30 years ago, it resulted in the formulation of policies that adversely impacted on the Chinese community. Similarly, in the 1986 general election when the Chinese voters didn’t cast their vote wisely, the then Education Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also implemented policies that affected the Chinese community. This included the appointment of non- Chinese speaking education officers to hold high position in the Chinese primary schools. When MCA had a major victory in 1995, things improved significantly for the Chinese community with the independent Chinese schools securing permanent registration, the opening up of higher education, increased in the government scholarship for the Chinese students and the relocation of many Chinese primary schools was also allowed. This, he reiterated, was the beneficial consequence of supporting the BN Chinese candidates. He thus called on its members to better convey this important message to their friends and relatives, so that they would not repeat the past mistakes on polling day.


Students in Ranau to receive RM6.7 million in financial aid


Poor students in the district who face problems in continuing their education for one reason or other, will receive financial aid from the Government. A sum of RM6,704,850 under the Poor Students Education Fund will be distributed to 8,167 poor students identified from 79 schools in the district. Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun when launching the first phase of distribution of the fund at the Ranau community hall, said no other governments in the world would give free funds to poor students except in Malaysia under the BN government. He said the aid is given as a form of subsidy to poor students to cushion the effects of rising costs of living due to increase in oil price. Secondary school students will receive RM900 each while students from primary schools will receive RM700 each. Masidi said the monetary aid would help them to buy books and writing materials and pay the school fees. Fifty students from five schools (SK Pekan, SK Pekan 2, SK St Benedict, SJK (C) Pai Wen and SMK Datu Paduka Mat Salleh) received the fund.


SAPP gears up campaign through newspapers


Sabah Progressive Party(SAPP)has stepped up its campaign for the coming 12th general election by advertising programmes which it had conducted in the state’s three major newspapers. Themed Vibrant Modern Confident, the advertisements were published in The Borneo Post, New Sabah Times and Daily Express, informing the public of the various programmes which had been organised by the component party of the Barisan Nasional. It included programmes for youths which the party said had benefited 5,000 youths between 12-25 years old. The advertisements also featured photographs of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and camp participants. It stated that ”SAPP prepares diligent role models with the competitive spirit to face global challenges” through the various programmes for the youths.


Members of same party eyeing key Tawau seats


Not many flags have been put up around here but the election heat is felt, especially with several key areas being eyed by members of the same party. Several names were mentioned in at least three constituencies, both state and parliamentary, and many are keeping their fingers crossed until this Sunday’s nomination day. One of the most talked about seats is Merotai. Umno is hoping that the state seat, currently held by Datuk Liew Yun Fah of Liberal Democratic Party, will be returned to them in the 12th general election. Liew said he would leave his fate to the Barisan Nasional leadership, and he advised his supporters to continue their trust on the ruling Government, regardless of who is fielded in Merotai. Parti Islam Se-Malaya (PAS) is expected to field a candidate there. In Tanjung Batu, independent candidate Mokhtar Ahmad @ Utai has placed three big boards at a roundabout in the area, advertising himself as a future leader for the constituency, going against incumbent Kamil Datuk Kassim. Kalabakan Umno Wanita chief Datuk Hamisah Samat is also eyeing the seat and she is also tipped to be fielded in the Sebatik seat, which is currently held by incumbent Datuk Dr Patawari Patawe. However, words are also going around that the constituency’s People Development Leader, Kadrie Ahmad, as well as Osman are also eyeing the seat. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Sebatik branch chairman Mohd Baldir Arjas had said that they would support anyone fielded by the Barisan Nasional in the constituency, but stressed that it must be a new face. As for the Tawau parliamentary seat, Sabah Progressive Party vice president Datuk Chua Soon Bui, who is also the former Member of Parliament for the area, is taking over from incumbent Shim Paw Fatt. Incumbent Balung assemblyman Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali’s seat is being eyed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat. It is learnt that the opposition party has been organising events in the constituency to lure public support. No name has been mentioned yet. Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, the incumbent assemblyman for Apas, won the seat uncontested in the 2004 general election. He, however, said that it would not be an easy election this year as an opposition party member is tipped to contest in the constituency. PBS’ Samson Chin, the incumbent Sri Tanjong assemblyman, will be seeing tough challenge from Democratic Action Party (DAP) Tawau chairman Jimmy Wong. The open space issue at Sabindo is said to be among the pressing issues that would be highlighted by the opposition in the coming polis. In each of the constituencies in Tawau and Kalabakan, the opposition parties have listed their candidates to challenge the ruling coalition. However, some members of the coalition parties are also eyeing the same constituency.


807,862 to vote in Sabah polls State ranks sixth in terms of number of registered voters


More than 800,000 people in Sabah are eligible to vote in the general election next month, according to the Sabah Election Commission (EC) Chairman Hj Mohd Idrus Ismail. With a total of 807,862 registered voters, Sabah ranks sixth in terms of number of voters as compared to other states, he said during a media briefing here yesterday afternoon. Out of this figure, 13,414 or about 1.7 per cent are postal voters, comprising army and police personnel and those who are overseas. A total of 11,753. staff and officers will be dispatched to all the nomination and polling centres. There are a total of 25 nomination centres, one each in every parliamentary constituency, and 688 polling centres in 675 polling districts throughout the State. In the Federal Territory Labuan, 262 EC workers will be assigned to ‘cover 13 polling districts where a total of 20,783 voters are registered. Layangan has the highest number of voters in P166 Labuan with a total of 2,203 voters. Former PBS seat, P172 Kota Kinabalu, registered the highest number of voters for the parliamentary constituency with a total of 43,714 voters while N42 Sungai Sibuga, formerly held by incumbent Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, recorded the highest number of voters among the 60 state constituencies, with 21,442 people. . Previously held by UMNO’s Datuk Ronald Kiandee, P183 Beluran, and UPKO Bobby Suan’s N38 Nabawan, represent the lowest number of voters with 19,181 and 7,148 voters respectively. Three voting centres with the lowest number of voters will be closed at 11am, earlier than the other voting centres which will be opened until late afternoon. These voting centres are SK Salarom Pensiangan which have only 20 registered voters, Mengkasulap Community Hall in Beluran (52 voters) and SK Masaum in Kinabatangan (94 voters). Eighty polling centres in 10 constituencies will require the use of helicopters due to their remote locations, according to Idris. To ensure votes confidentiality, no media members will be allowed into nomination and polling rooms except for photographers. Any interviews can only be conducted outside these highly guarded areas, he said. The State EC Director advised those who have not checked their voting centres to do so by calling the EC Voter Centre at 088-4472 13 or via SMS by typing SPR followed by their IC number and send to 39111 or 33626 or 33333 or 32232. Registered voters can also check their polling centers by typing in their IC numbers in a section of the Election Commission website — daftarj. Mohd Idrus meanwhile advised political parties to adhere to the election regulations when conducting their ceramahs and campaigns. “Every political talk will be monitored by a three-man monitoring team, comprising an EC and a police officer and a representative from the local authority,” he said. He reminded political parties to ensure they have a police permit for their ceramahs and not touch on sensitive issues that could lead to racial or religious tensions or resort to personal or character attack on candidates. He also reminded that all campaigning materials and posters will be scrutinized by EC and political parties must clear their posters from public areas within two weeks after the election or have their deposits forfeited. The deposit for a parliamentary seat contest is RM5,000 and for a state seat, RM3,000.