This is an honest and truthful view of the political situation in
Sabah and a reminder what Jeffry Kitingan was.
Usno and Berjaya govts took better care of poor'
| January 11, 2011
Umno-Barisan Nasional is a poor match to Usno and Berjaya's native-
friendly policies, according to Sabah DAP.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP has conceded that the previous Usno and
Berjaya state governments had better and more effective policies which
helped alleviate poverty and improve the economic status of the
natives in the state.
Placing credit where it's due, state party chief Jimmy Wong said the
"Usno and Berjaya governments had done something unique and
"For example, the low-cost housing started by Usno involving only six
posts was laughed at by many (at that time) but today these six-post
houses are sitting on premium lands and have become expensive
"We can at least praise Usno for lifting the economic status of the
"As for the Berjaya (governemnt), it started giving away 15 acres of
land for every Sabahan.
"This was a brilliant policy and today those people who received,
retained and planted oil palm on these lands are much better off than
many people working in the city and towns.
"These are policies of the past governments that have benefited and
uplifted the standard of living of the people," Wong said.
He said when PBS took over the state administration, it did a huge
"disservice'"to the people by cancelling the policy of giving each
Sabahan 15 acres of land.
"PBS cancelled the policy and instead went on to give away huge tracts
of land to non-Sabahans for oil palm plantations.
"The Umno-BN government today is proud to give away communal lands to
natives which is akin to confining the Red Indians in a 'reserve' in
the United States.
"If the Sabah natives cannot own lands, they will always remain in
poverty and disadvantaged including their children and grandchildren,"
Wong said, alluding to Sabah's poverty level.
According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Sabah is not only the poorest
but had the highest number of abject poverty. This has also been
confirmed by the World Bank report published late last year.
No respect for Sabah and Sarawak
Wong was speaking at a Pakatan Rakyat solidarity dinner in Inanam on
Sunday. Also present at the dinner was the newly-appointed PKR state
chied Pajudin Nordin and Sabah PAS deputy commissioner, Haji Aminudin
A five-member team from DAP headquarters led by Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai
(national DAP election director), Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua
(national publicity secretary), Serdang MP Teo Nei Ching (deputy
publicity secretary), an academician Ong Kian Meng and the party's
national bureau executive director Ooi Leng Hang.
Pua, when addressing the crowd, said: "Sabah and Sarawak did not get
the respect of the federal government when assessed based on the
According to Pua, the two states were only allocated less than 10% of
the total value of the nation's development fund in Budget 2011.
"The federal government intends to spend millions of ringgit on a
useless multi-storey building in Kuala Lumpur while neglecting the
high poverty rate in Sabah," Pua said.
Tan, meanwhile, reminded party leaders of the long and hard struggle
that lay ahead.
He told them that the picture was not as rosy as painted because Prime
Minister Najib Tun Razak was "cleverly using his plans that come in
alphabets" including NEM, NKRA, KPI and others.
"Nevertheless, the country is facing so many problems including price
hikes, creeping inflation, corruption, poor perception of the
judiciary, abuses by the police, human rights issue and poor
international ratings on corruption and free press, to say a few.
"Poverty is a household word in Sabah and it is an issue which the
Umno-BN government finds hard to put a lid on.
"Poverty itself is not an issue as it exists almost in every corner of
"But it becomes an issue when a country blessed with an abundance of
natural resources (like in Sabah) is home to many inhabitants living
in poverty," he said.