MIRI (Nov 23): Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) has pledged that it would do its utmost to develop the areas where its candidates are given the mandate by the people to be their elected representative in the next state election.
Its president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing in a statement yesterday said during his four-day visit to Ba Kelalan and the surrounding areas from Nov 20, the people had expressed their need for basic infrastructure such as internet connectivity, roads, water and electricity supply.
“They have long waited for basic utilities. The remote mountain roads not only affect the supply of daily necessities but also come with high maintenance costs for their vehicles.
“Lack of telecommunication signals robs them of the opportunities and convenience that come with digital network. This is made worse when the children need it for online classes because Covid-19 has prevented physical schooling. Without the network, everyone has suffered,” said Tiong.
He stressed that the minister who is responsible for rural development must have a sense of urgency about the issues and make improvement.
He pointed out that instead of taking a helicopter to visit these areas, the minister should take the road like everyone else and see the problems for themselves.
“The ministers who are responsible for rural development, including construction and upgrading of these basic infrastructure and utilities, have no choice but to get in a 4WD and go into these places and see the conditions that their people are facing everyday!” he said.
He added that as PDP president, he would ensure that the party’s candidates who are elected (in the next state election) continue to perform their duties for the local community and make serving the people as their paramount responsibility.
Commenting further, he said they must continue to supervise those appointed to deliver satisfactory services to the people.
“At the same time, the party’s leaders will do their utmost to support our local elected representatives to develop the area and improve the people’s livelihoods and raise their standard of living,” he said.
On the visit to Ba Kelalan, Tiong said many people in Ba Kelalan have expressed their keenness to see their preferred candidate namely lawyer Sam Laya fielded for the seat.
He pointed out that the local community in Ba Kelalan has come to expect that the candidate for the seat should be someone who is recommended by themselves and someone who has shown commitment and devotion to the local issues.
“They will not bother to support someone from a party that only swoops in during election season to make some empty promises and then disappear until the next election.
“I also want to reassure our friends and residents in Ba Kelalan that we hear the feedback from the ground and will be fielding Sam Laya as PDP’s candidate in the upcoming state election,” said Tiong.
He added that Sam has been close to the community for more than two years, resolving their issues and has been accepted unanimously by everyone.