UPKO Harps On Fund Issue To Cover Up Its Failure In Penampang

FLASHBACK: An aerial view of the floods in Penampang taken almost 20 hours after the height of the floods.

COMMENT: Musa Aman’s statement that the government will never side-line opposition areas during the recent Donggongon Chinese New Year gathering at Buhavan Square in Penampang confirms what has been denied by Donald Mojuntin, the Penampang Barisan Nasional chairman in the recent development funds tirade with Terrence Siambun, Warisan Sabah’s Treasurer-General and State lawmaker for Moyog.

On the onset, the issue of no funds in Penampang was nothing but a farce aimed at diverting the attention of Penampang people from the real issues affecting the district’s government leaders, most of all UPKO.

We have been talking about recurrence of floods and the apathy of the government in solving the issue, and we have also been talking about traffic snarls, with no solution in sight.


The Federal government allocated a large amount of funds for the construction of flood mitigation projects but this does not appease the affected residents simply because there is massive tardiness in its implementation.

The failed GE13 promises of a hospital and secondary school in Moyog, as raised by opposition leaders, mainly from Warisan, are haunting BN leaders, especially UPKO. They need to turn the allocations issue, and not forgetting racial and religious issues, as a means to cover up their fading support.

It is utterly ridiculous to assume that nothing can be done for Moyog, just being an opposition area, because the government is committed in bringing about progress to every sector in the nation, regardless of the constituents’ political allegiance.

Moyog voters are still tax payers and this must not be forgotten by the Penampang government leaders.

And there is also no sense in UPKO claiming to collect money from among themselves to fund urgent needs for the people since John Ambrose, the newly appointed Senator from Penampang has been getting funds from Federal ministries through his good rapport with them.


Isn’t it possible for UPKO leaders to work as diligently as John?

As it is, the tirade drew a lot of unwanted attention but what seems to be apparent, even strange, is that Kapayan was never mentioned considering it is part and parcel of P174 Penampang.

Has Dr Edwin Bosi, the current Assemblyman for Kapayan, lived up to UPKO’s expectations and brought the required developments in the constituency?

I am of the opinion that Moyog is being highlighted because it was an UPKO seat and will again be defended by the party through Mojuntin, who is also the party’s Secretary-General.

Mojuntin had served as Member of Parliament for Penampang, as well as Assemblyman for Moyog, and as the current BN Chairman for Penampang which is a post similar to that of an MP; if there are shortages in the constituency he should stand up for them.

We have seen government departments and other offices, most of all the Penampang District Council, facing the bane of the peoples’ wrath and yet not a finger is lifted by government political leaders to defend the people simply because, according to them, they had chosen to vote opposition candidates.

Terrence Siambun, left, and Darell Leiking.

Even Bernard Dompok, the former Sabah Chief Minister applied this excuse when he lost the Moyog seat to Clarence Bongkos in the 1999 general election. Dompok promised a new Church for the Penampang Catholics, a promise that never materialised after his loss, and when he was asked on the issue he answered that he could not proceed because the people rejected him.

It may be pertinent to state here that when Dompok lost his Chief Ministership, the KadazanDusun quota was still on for more than one year under the rotation exercise and could have been continued by another KadazanDusun leader who won, in that case Wences Anggang who was previously appointed by Dompok to head the Tourism Ministry by virtue of being assistant minister to him.

KadazanDusun people lost their golden opportunity to proceed with matters related to the administration of the state through the KD Party, and of course the promotion of UPKO’s interests for them, simply because of the stupid non-support excuse which can never be swallowed.

Moyog was an opposition constituency for a brief period after the 1999 General Election as it was not long after that the elected representative opted to join the government, through UPKO. So the issue of funds, or the absence of it, to have ever surfaced was nothing but a farce, even nonsensical, and Penampang BN leaders should instead turn proactive and serve the people to the best of their abilities, ensuring that the current government projects allocated in the constituency are properly implemented and completed according to schedule.

Blaming Warisan lawmakers for the so called deprivation of development funds would only put more salt into UPKO’s wounds and enable Warisan, the party they formed, to easily retain the seats.

It is amazing to imagine the scenario where Terrence and Darell could have jumped ship to BN, a move that could have brought so much ‘benefits for everyone’, and if they did, this war on allocations would have never surfaced.

But then again, that would have been the end for Darell and Terrance political careers.

There was an interesting claim by Freddy Ekol that the state of funds in the district would be shown, I really wonder when that will happen.

• Ignatius Matayun is a Penampang resident and reads BorneoToday


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