Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sabah folks enjoying development under Najib
In less than one year after Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over the leadership mantle, the people in Sabah were already enjoying the development transformation championed by the prime minister.
There are various changes visible all over the state — regardless at village or town.
At the north coast of Sabah, the people of the “cowboy town” known as Kota Belud have every reason to smile as they are enjoying upgraded roads in the villages and schools in the outskirts.
According to the Kota Belud district chief, OKK Tungking alias Amirshah Kantiong, the upgrading project worth RM30 million was started less than a year after Najib became the prime minister.
The same goes to the agricultural project to eradicate poverty, generate economic activities for farmers through the rice bowl programme for Kota Belud and the rural electricity supply project.
“In advocating development for the people, the Prime Minister has mobilised all the elected representatives and community leaders to identify the problems at the grassroot level,” said Tungkin.
The fishermen in the east coast too have every reason to rejoice as people like Hamis Mingkilan, 65, from the fishing village of Kampung Indrasabah Tawau, finally got to see metal roads in their village after waiting for decades.
The metal roads for the fishing villages help the villagers to market their produce — fishes, anchovies and dried fishes — or to ferry agricultural produce like the oil palm to the factories to be processed.
In those days, said Hamis, many of the vehicles plying the route end up getting stuck in the mud especially when it rains. The 12-kilometer laterite route was opened by his grandmother after the Japanese Occupation.
“My own car had ended in the mud many times especially when I returned with my wife from the town at night. I have to leave the car there and return the next day to free the car from the mud,” he told Bernama.
The village was named Indrasabah after his grandmother, Saadullah from the Suluk ethnicity and her friend Indal from the Tidung ethnicity.
Hamis hoped that his village which now enjoys facilities like electricity, mosque and many others, would also see clean water supply as the people there depend on rain water.
Another villager Jamal Abdul Sani, 20, noted that before the road was surfaced those travelling up and down to the town had to bear with the dust, especially during the dry season.
“In those days, to reach the town, it took almost an hour from the Balung town roundabout. Now it only takes less than 20 minutes,” he added.
Najib’s approach in getting to the ground serves as the core principle in serving the people and has boosted the spirit of Sabah’s leaders and the elected representatives.
Meanwhile, the fishermen in several villages in the Batu Sapi Parliamentary constituency in Sandakan are enjoying solar powered lights that make it easy for them to return at night other than providing safety to the villagers who use the jetty in the dark.
This is due to the initiative taken by the Batu Sapi Parliament Member Datuk Edmund Chong Ket who had allocated RM200,000 to finance the solar light system in 15 jetties.
So far, the solar powered lights have been installed at five of the jetties and when the installation is completed in all the 15 jetties, about 1,000 fishermen will benefit from it.
Jamil Ismail, a fishermen in Pulau Tronglit, noted that the lights would help the fishermen there to land their catch at night unlike previously where they had to do it in the dark.
A housewife Suraya Otoh, 26, noted that the solar powered lights were also installed at several homes near the jetty and they no longer need to use the generator.
A private sector employee, Francis Junior Chu from Penampang felt that the government led by Najib have taken into consideration many of the issues relating to Sabah and Sarawak.
“Maybe because Sabah and Sarawak have helped Barisan Nasional(BN) to secure its victory during the last general election...So Najib wants to see these states develop on par with the other states in Peninsula,” he said.
The United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo) President Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said Keruak said Najib’s first year at the helm witnessed many success and has placed the nation’s economy on a more stable position.
“Within the context of Sabah, the effort and approach taken by the federal government like the Sabah Development Corridor(SDC) will bring a paradigm shift for the people,” he added. — Bernama