Ministry, agencies reminded not to fail BN govt

KOTA KINABALU: The Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKLW) and its agencies were yesterday reminded not to fail the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Its minister, Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, described KKLW and its agencies comprising of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and Community Development Department (Kemas) as frontliners of the government which are the closest instruments the government has for the people.

“So you must play your part since you are the closest to the people. I don’t want frontliners to fail the BN government,” he said.

He added that they must be determined in ensuring the BN government continued to rule Sabah and Putrajaya.

“Continue on working to ensure victory for BN. And during the 14th general election, make sure you and everyone in your family as well as those close to you vote for BN,” he said.

Ismail Sabri then cautioned that the impact of BN losing in the upcoming election would be disastrous for Bumiputeras.

“If BN loses, power will go to the other side. DAP is the dominant party which means all the special rights of the Bumiputeras will be taken away,” he said.

In his speech he also enlightened those in attendance concerning Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister.

Dr Mahathir, he said, seldom visited Sabah and only provided an allocation of RM3.3 billion to Sabah during a period of 15 years (8th Malaysia Plan to 10th Malaysia Plan).

This was unlike the present Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak who provided RM3.4 billion to Sabah during the 11th Malaysia Plan alone and was often in Sabah for visits, he said.

He warned that Sabah would return to the old days under Mahathir if BN lost in the upcoming election.

“The election is drawing near. The Sabah government must continue to be under BN,” he stressed.

He said this at the 2017 Excellence Award ceremony for staff in Sabah under his ministry as well as the agencies under it.

A total of 229 staff members were given due recognition with the award.

Meanwhile, during a press conference held later, Ismail Sabri stated that in terms of budget, Sabah received a huge chunk of it (23.9 percent).

He said for 2018, Sabah’s allocation for rural electricity supply was RM220 million; rural water supply was RM160 million; rural roads was RM253.5 million and kampung roads was RM38 million.

“So if we look at the overall budget, we can see that Sabah received a huge allocation from all rural related projects,” he said.

And in terms of monitoring, Ismail Sabri said two joint committees were established — a supreme committee which is chaired by him and Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman; and a joint working committee which oversees directly all projects undertaken to ensure the issue of projects being abandoned no longer arise.

He said in the past, the Sabah government had complained of projects carried out by KKLW in Sabah that they were not aware of.

“The Chief Minister doesn’t know and the Rural Development Minister does not know. We don’t want that. We will notify the state government concerning whatever projects that will be implemented so that joint monitoring can be carried out. And if there are problems, we will resolve them together. This is how we will handle it from now on,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also said last year, a total of 86 projects were approved for Sabah, six of which were already completed while the rest were in the midst of being implemented.

“None of them are delayed,” he assured.

Nonetheless, he said the ministry and the kampung folks came from two school of thoughts that were distinct from one another.

“For the kampung folks, unless they see things moving on the ground, such as a bulldozer starting work, they don’t view it as being implemented. But for us, the process of implementation starts on approval and during the design process, which the kampung folks do not see.”

“This needs to be understood but it is very difficult to explain,” he said.

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