Friday, March 12, 2010

DPM makes dream come true in Penampang

“It’s like a dream come true. I’ve been craving for a glimpse of our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, all this while,” said Agustine Madayu, a small-time trader at the Tamu (Bazaar) Donggonggon, here.

Mesmerised by his simple and down-to-earth way of greeting ordinary people, Agustine said he did not expect a great leader like the deputy prime minister to pay a visit here and listen to grouses of himself and the other traders.

“Yeah, it’s more of a surprise for us. I have been selling home-made machetes in this Tamu for the last 21 years and I have never met either the prime minister or deputy prime minister, except for the local leaders.

“Today I’m happy because at last I had the opportunity to see him in person and I was really touched by his humility and simplicity,” he told Bernama.

The 57-year old Agustine, one of the traders from Babagon, Penampang, the heartland of the Kadazandusun community in Sabah, shook hands with Muhyiddin while the latter strolled through the packed Tamu Dongonggon.

Muhyiddin (picture) was accompanied by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and Penampang member of Parlimen Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who is state Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, and other dignitaries in the Turun Padang programme.

The Turun Padang programme was in line with the 1 Malaysia concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which, among others, prioritises the interests of the people.

Another trader, Toubis Baragangon, 54, said it was good if other leaders from Kuala Lumpur could visit not only to this tamu but also meet the poor people in the rural areas so that they would better understand their situation and the numerous problems affecting the state.

“I think this is a new era for Malaysia. Our prime minister is really serious in advocating the slogan of 1 Malaysia ‘People First, Performance Now’ as well as uniting the people.

“We hope our leaders will do something to improve our living conditions. Our tamu ground is now packed and we hope that the state government can find a new place for us with ample packing space,” Toubis said.

Muhyiddin and his entourage later had breakfast with the local leaders of Penampang at Maimunah Food Corner in the Donggongan township. Penampang Umno chief John Ambrose handed over more than 200 applications to join Umno to Muhyiddin, who is also the Umno deputy president. — Bernama

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