SEMPORNA: Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal says the amount of allocations given to an area such as Semporna depends on the local people’s needs and not because the minister concerned originates from the area.
He said many remote areas in Sabah like Kinabatangan and Pensiangan received bigger allocations from the ministry compared to Semporna as the people in the two areas required more funding.
“If there are stories saying that only Semporna receives a big allocation, they are not true,” he said at a leader-meet-the-people session in Kampung Siringgit, here, yesterday.
Calling himself a ‘village minister’, Shafie said besides Semporna, there were more than 15,000 villagers in areas from Perlis to Sabah which required the attention and assistance of his ministry to improve their condition.
He said the ministry’s efforts in developing villages nationwide were not limited to providing basic infrastructure like electricty, water and roads but also included improving the villagers’ educational level.
Shafie said through a comprehensive approach, the young in the villages would attain better education, hence will be able to take their families out of poverty eventually.
Later speaking to reporters, he advised the rural communities to be patient as implemening and completing projects would take a little more time because of certain constraints such as the geographical condition, which made it more difficult to bring in equipment and building materials to their areas.
“Just be patient, we in the government do not give up. We will use various means to implement the projects.
“In Sarawak’s and other remote areas, we are using the Blue Ocean Strategy, with the Malaysian Armed Forces using their transport equipment in helping to build houses under the Housing Assistance Programme,” he said. — Bernama