Wednesday, July 6

Under Pakatan, all villages within forest reserves will be excised – Lajim

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PENSIANGAN: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) has pledged that if Pakatan Harapan were to form the State Government, it will swiftly take measures to excise all villages which currently are still situated within the state forest reserves.

PKR Sabah chairman, Datuk Lajim Ukin, said Keadilan will make sure that as soon as Pakatan takes over the government in the next general election, this would be done swiftly without any more delay.

“What is so difficult about it? We will gazette your kampung areas, we will excise all kampung areas from forest reserves, we give priority to native kampungs first than the forest,” he said.

Lajim made this pledge in his speech when officiating at the annual general meeting (AGM) of Keadilan’s Pensiangan division at Kampung Salarom Taka in Sapulot here Friday.

Lajim, who is also the state opposition leader, reiterated his pledge that a state government under Pakatan Harapan would be a very different government and in stark contrast with the current Barisan Nasional government.

He said the burdening GST, which he likened to ‘cukai kepala’ (head tax) during the colonial times, will be abolished once Pakatan takes over the Federal Government in Putrajaya.

He said the Barisan Nasional through the implementation of GST has also made medicines a lot more costlier on top of almost every goods that the ordinary people need and consume.

“Do you know that out of more than 17,000 medical items, only 2,500 are exempted from GST?” he said, adding that GST could be avoided had the current government exercised prudent financial management of the country.

Lajim, who is also the Klias assemblyman, said Petronas makes RM80 billion profit every year and that Sabah’s oil alone produced RM20 billion worth of production yearly.

“If we just take RM6 billion from this, we would be able to provide free education to our people. Just imagine that,” said the veteran politician speaking off-the-cuff at the very well-attended function.

The former federal deputy minister also cautioned the people that local-based parties may want to promise the same but that they would not be able to carry it out if they don’t work with Pakatan to win the central seat of government in Putrajaya.

He said Usno, Berjaya and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) were all local parties and once were ruling Sabah, but in the end they stumbled and failed. Lajim, however, said that Pakatan has a model of state governments in Selangor and Penang to emulate.

“We will emulate what the Selangor Pakatan state government is doing. We too will provide free water supply, and cash aid of RM2,500 for families that lost a member of their own, among other the policies that we will introduce.

“The monthly welfare aid to old people, the disabled, will be also be increased from the current RM300 to RM550,” he said.

Earlier, Pensiangan Keadilan division head, Raymond Ahuar, who was delighted with the huge turnout at the function, in his speech called on his Murut community not to miss the opportunity to move with the rest of the country which favoured Pakatan to take the helm in the coming election.

“Just remember only a Pakatan federal government can abolish bad policies like GST, and Pakatan has pledged to delete GST. Don’t you want it?, asked Raymond, who is also Sabah Keadilan youth chief who lost narrowly in Nabawan in the last general election.

Also present and speaking at the function were Pahang’s Semambu assemblyman, Chean Chung Lee, and Sabah Woman chief, Johair Matlani.