34 Years And ‘RM5 Billion’ Later Labuan Seems No Better Off As FT

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Kit Siang speaking at the DAP Penampang Chap Goh Mei gathering at Donggongon Saturday night. He also touched on Labuan’s unhappy episode as Federal Territory.

By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – Lim Kit Siang has called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to open an investigation as to what had happened to the RM5 billion which Tengku Adnan said had been spent on Labuan since its becoming a Federal Territory.

The DAP supremo said there was no tangible development overall on the island despite being Federal Territory since 1984, and the situation had taken a turn for the worse with the worldwide decline in the Oil and Gas industry.

Tengku Adnan who is Federal Territory minister had recently said he wants to make Penang a Labuan, claiming that Putrajaya had invested over RM5 billion in Labuan since the date of take-over 34 years ago.

“Imagine a statement by a federal minister suggesting about making Penang a Labuan, by making Penang a federal territory so that Putrajaya can allocate more funds,” said Kit Siang in his speech at a Pakatan Harapan Sabah Chinese New Year gathering here on Saturday.

“When (then Berjaya chief minister) Datuk Harris Salleh decided to cede Labuan to the federal government, he hoped that Labuan would become a “little Singapore”.

“What has Labuan become today after more than three decades as a Federal Territory and RM5billion of alleged federal allocations?

Harris Salleh who had ceded Labuan to Kuala Lumpur has been quoted as saying – “If the Federal Government is not prepared to change direction with regards to the future of Labuan, then I would like to appeal for it to be returned to Sabah.”

“Definitely not a “little Singapore”! Not even a “little Kangar” to the extent that Harris last year openly called on the Federal Government to return the island to Sabah immediately. It will take light years before Labuan could even become a “Little Penang”!”

Harris Salleh

Kit Siang said Harris wants Labuan to be returned to Sabah because the federal government had failed in its promise to make Labuan an economically viable island city.

In his speech Kit Siang quoted Harris:

“It is not right for the Federal Government to take over Labuan only to consign it to political and economic oblivion. The people of Labuan deserve better.

“I expected Federal to look after Labuan in a fitting manner and not to abandon it for whatever reasons.

“I have been watching, with great dismay, the declining interest of the Federal Government for some years now.

“I must be forthright and say that I am disappointed. If the Federal Government is not prepared to change direction with regards to the future of Labuan, then I would like to appeal for it to be returned to Sabah.”

Kit Siang also pointed out that since Harris said that the federal government had “abandoned Labuan to its own fate for a long time” – sacrificed in the “Game of Thrones”, Harris should elaborate.

The DAP strongman who has been visiting Sabah very often of late, said Labuan would be returned to Sabah when a Harapan-led coalition ousts the Barisan Nasional from power.