SANDAKAN: Every time Barisan Nasional (BN) loses the Parliamentary seat here, Sandakan loses, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman told the Chinese community here yesterday.
Musa said that when the seat was won by the opposition in the last election, a lot of development proposals in Sandakan that were promised by the BN candidate could not be done.
He said more development could have taken place had the Sandakan member of parliament been a BN representative as the MP could propose for allocations from the Prime Minister.
“So every time we lose the seat here, (the people of) Sandakan, lose too. A lot of ‘millions’ (of Ringgit) were gone. I am not against the opposition but thinking of what benefit can we (Sandakan) get from an MP from the opposition? Nothing. We get nothing.
“So why not give your support to the government? I honestly believe that we must work together. I need your help, I need your support. Believe me, if you support me, I will be able to help you. We work together for the good of everyone, for our children and our grandchildren.
“So with an opposition representative what do we get? They did not even talk in parliament? What is the benefit? If we put someone who cannot deliver, we put an opposition representative, we don’t get anything. But if we put a BN candidate (to become the leader) at least we have something good,” he explained.
Musa said this during a program to meet the local Chinese community held at Four Points by Sheraton hotel here.
Representatives of all Chinese associations in Sandakan, business organisations, Sandakan Chinese Chambers of Commerce and local Chinese leaders were also present.
He said that the programme was held for him to meet with the local Chinese community, to get to know each other better as well as exchange ideas and opinions on how to develop Sandakan together.
“I realise that as a Chief Minister, I cannot do this (develop Sandakan) alone, it is impossible. I need help from everyone. We must collaborate and work together,” he said.
Musa started by emphasising the importance of boosting the tourism industry in Sandakan. He took Kota Kinabalu (KK) as an example and said that the hotels, shopping malls and other businesses there are booming as there are tourists, especially those from the mainland of China, going to KK.
“We receive half a million visitors from the mainland of China. With around four million to five million tourists expected to come to Malaysia (from China, South Korea and Taiwan), can you imagine the potential if all these tourists come to Sabah?
“We don’t want them to only go to KK, we want them to go to Sandakan and Tawau. We have all sorts of attractions here (Sandakan), with our Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and other attractions. Our first restriction now is the technical problem of our airport. There is a slight problem with the length of the airport.
“So in the next month or next two months, the project to lengthen the airport runway will begin. By the time the project is completed, there will be more planes coming to Sandakan,” he said.
Musa also shared his personal views on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and said that he is the best Prime Minister we ever had and is a good Prime Minister with a good heart.
“To me, he is the best PM we ever had. When Tun Mahathir Mohamad was PM, he allocated RM1.42 billion for the Eighth Malaysia Plan, and then it was increased to RM2.4 billion for Ninth Malaysia Plan, and now Datuk Seri Najib allocated RM7.68 billion for theTenth Malaysia Plan.
“I tell you, he (Najib) is a good PM. He gave a lot of allocations to Sabah. He is the only PM that thinks Sabah and Sarawak are big states, and should receive bigger funds than the rest of the states.
“The Pan Borneo Highway project costs RM13 billion for the first package and over RM30 billion for the whole project; there is no other PM that dares to put such a high allocation for a project for us. He is a good PM with good heart,” he said.
Also present during the programme were LDP deputy president Datuk Chin Su Phin, Elopura assemblyman Datuk Au Kam Wah, Tanjung Papat assemblyman cum Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Karamunting assemblyman Datuk Charles O Pang; Gum Gum assemblyman cum Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Zakaria Edris, as well as president of the Sandakan Municipal Council, Datuk Ir James Wong.
The programme ended with a dialogue session between Musa and the attendees.