Sabah Ministers ‘Talk’ In Cabinet Meetings Over State Rights, Interests

Rahman Dahlan tells reporters that Sabah ministers do air out the needs and interests of the State at federal cabinet meetings. WIth him are Madius Tangau, left, and Joniston Bangkuai.

TUARAN: Sabah ministers voice out without fear matters involving the rights and interests of the Sabahans at federal Cabinet meetings.

Abdul Rahman Dahlan, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said Najib Razak listens to all views of the people in Sabah, via the ministers.

Speaking to reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Sungai Damit-Pekan Tuaran Bridge construction project here Sunday, Rahman said the federal government will always ensure that every decision pertaining to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak is discussed in a transparent manner, including getting input from ministers of both states.

Rahman in the driver’s seat of an excavator does the ‘ground-breaking’ for the RM18 million Sungai Damit bridge.

“I can state there were several Cabinet decisions (involving the rights and interests of Sabah and Sarawak) that we had objected to, but in the end, it was the prime minister who withdrew or delayed the decisions…this had never happened before,” he said.

Rahman said the Prime Minister was concerned over the rights of the people of the two states by ensuring that the voice and view of all 12 federal ministers, namely six each from Sabah and Sarawak, were heard and given attention.

He said it was a fallacy that ministers from Sabah, or for that matter Sarawak, just kept quiet and accepted everything without discussion.

On the construction of the concrete bridge spanning 104 metres across Sungai Damit he said it would begin year-end to connect Tuaran town with about 11 villages nearby and the small district of Tamparuli.

Once completed in about two years, the travel time will be reduced and people can get to town in just two minutes instead of the one hour now.

The bridge will be 104m long and seven metres wide costing RM18 million. It will also be furnished with a pedestrian walkway with a width of 1.5m and will benefit over 7,000 villagers.

Present at the launch were Wilfred Madius Tangau, Science, Technology and Innovation minister cum Tuaran Member of Parliament, and Joniston Bangkuai, Kiulu Assemblyman cum Sabah Tourism Board chairman.