Saturday, January 18

Boats given to fishermen end up in P’pines, Indonesia


PUTATAN: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin has urged government aid recipients to fully utilise assistance given to them to improve their livelihood.

Yahya regretted that there are many cases of assistance meant to ease the financial burden of the poor fell into the wrong hands, including illegal immigrants.

Speaking at the handing over of 1Malaysia water tank assistance in Pasir Putih here yesterday, Yahya revealed that there were cases in the past where free boats given to local fishermen ended up in the hands of foreigners in the neighbouring countries of the Philippines and Indonesia.

“Many of the boats given to local people were found in the Philippines and Nunukan. This was because the recipients had sold or rented them out to immigrants instead of using the boats for themselves to improve their income,” he said, adding that some of the boats were stolen and taken out of the state.

Yahya, who is also Petagas assemblyman and Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, handed over 1Malaysia water tanks to 94 eligible recipients from his constituency.

At the event he also said the Federal Government had approved an allocation for 30 houses in Petagas under the Poor People Housing Program for this year.

Also present were Putatan District Officer Ag Abd Ghani Pg Yusoff and Petagas Community Development Leader Ali Hussin Sharin.

Earlier in his speech, Yahya also urged the people to continue their undivided support towards the Barisan Nasional and not fall for the opposition’s tactics of using racial sentiment to turn different communities against each other, in their desperate quest for power.

He reminded that it was vital for the multi-racial people of Sabah to protect and further strengthen their unity as it is a prerequisite to continuous development.

“Without unity, strong political will and stability, we would not be where we are today. There would be no development and progress.

“We must learn from what happened in other countries, such as Iraq, where political instability and conflicts have allowed foreign parties with vested interest to take advantage of the situation,” he said.