By LIM GUAN ENG
COMMENT: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has acted even before the Sabah elections are over, to withhold Federal government funding by giving less than the previous government, to the people of Sabah.
I have been told by Vivian Wong, the MP for Sandakan, that special projects approved for Sandakan by the previous Pakatan Harapan government has either been canceled or put on hold by the Perikatan Nasional.
Five projects for Sandakan valued at RM10.6 million were canceled on 8 July;
* RM4.2 million to upgrade 24 bridges in Kampung Sim-Sim,
* RM4 million to install sewage system in 400 homes in Kampung Cina Sim-Sim,
* RM400,000 to upgrade a community hall in Tanjong Papat,
* RM1 million road project at St. Monica Road junction ; and
* RM1 million to repair a home for the blind.
Meanwhile the RM80 million upgrading project for Sandakan International Airport that has commenced is now put on hold, giving rise to uncertainty whether it will proceed.
Fortunately, special funding for the Sandakan Hospital of RM10.6 million, Sandakan schools of RM280,000, RM107,000 for churches, temples and mosques were already disbursed and could not be canceled.
The Federal government’s cancellation of special projects for the rakyat in Sandakan is a clear act of political vengeance against the Warisan Plus state government led by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal.
PN is not just cruelly punishing the rakyat unnecessarily. PN is also dishonouring the spirit of the 1963 Malaysian Agreement and the Cobbold Commission’s recommendation that Sabah be treated as an equal partner.
Muhyiddin had said in Kudat a few days ago that the Federal government could only give assistance to Sabah as far as what is obligated under the Federal Constitution, and Sabah would get less compared to previously, with a Warisan Plus-led Sabah government opposed to PN.
How can Sabah be considered as an equal partner if the Prime Minister can threaten Sabahans to withhold promised development funding?
If the blind is also to be punished when RM1 million to upgrade the Home for the Blind can be canceled, then the PN government is blind to its responsibilities to the people of Sabah and promise to respect the spirit of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
Clearly the people of Sandakan and Sabah has no choice but to vote for Warisan Plus in Saturday’s electionto send a clear and unequivocal message to Muhyiddin, that he should not victimize Sabahans just to play his political games to hang on to power with his slim two-seat majority in Parliament.
* Lim Guan Eng is DAP secretary-general and Member of Parliament for Bagan