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Sabah is the worst state to live in Malaysia because it is not just the least developed but also the most inequitable with not only poorest people in Malaysia but also the richest policeman


Press Statement  

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Sabah is the worst state to live in Malaysia because it is not just the least developed state but also the most inequitable with not only the poorest people in Malaysia but also the richest policemen. The front-page revelation in New Straits Times(NST) of a senior police officer in Bukit Aman being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency for possessing unaccountable and extra-ordinary wealth of RM 27 million. 

According to the NST, the senior police officer is also a director of a company which was awarded a project in April to develop an area in Lahad Datu. When several villagers objected to the project, the senior officer allegedly ordered the villagers to be arrested. This episode is another indictment of the failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi anti-corruption campaign and efforts to clean up the police force. 

Further it also highlights that Sabah is probably the most corrupt state apart from being the worst managed and worst state to live in Malaysia. Sabah has the second lowest water supply coverage, the highest population growth, the largest number of illegal immigrants, the highest poverty incidence, the poorest electricity/energy efficiency and the least developed state in Malaysia.  

This conclusion does not come from the DAP but from a close study and analysis of the Ninth Malaysian Plan with 6 key indicators of shame as follows:

  • Sabah has the second lowest water supply coverage of 75% throughout the state just ahead of the 70% water supply coverage in Kelantan;

  • Sabah has also the highest population growth rate in the country at 3.1% as compared to the national average of 2.3%. Its population jumped by 530,000 or more than 20% in the space of 5 years from 2.6 million in 2000 to 3.13 million in 2005; Former senator Dr Chong Eng Leong from the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), alleged that there are around 1.75 million foreigners in Sabah today, including those in possession of Project Mahathir’s ICs, as compared to 1.5 million genuine locals in Sabah At least 50,000 ICs have been issued to foreigners under the secret ‘Project Mahathir’;

  • Sabah has the largest number of illegal immigrants and those with genuine ICs under “Project M” estimated at nearly 1 million. The extraordinary growth of the Sabah population can be shown that in 1960, the Kadazandusun population was 168,000 and equaled the number of other Bumiputeras. In 2000, while the Kadazandusun population increased to 560,000, the population of other HBumiputeras had grown to 1.1 million;

  • Sabah has the worst energy efficiency with shocking system losses of 19.5%, units sold per employee(Gwh) of only 1.29 and System Average Interruption Duration Index(SAIDI) of 4,109 minutes per customer per year. In other words 4,109 minutes is lost from power interruptions in Sabah each year or almost 3 days out of 365 days. No wonder Sabah is known as the ‘Land With Power Cuts’. This compares unfavourably with TNB’s system losses of 10.5%, 3.05 Gwh units sold and 147 SAIDI or only 147 minutes lost per year in Peninsular Malaysia;

  • Sabah has the worst incidence of poverty at 23% in 2004 as compared to Sarawak’s 7.5% and Kelantan’s 10.6%. The incidence of poverty in Peninsular Malaysia is 3.6% and for the entire country 5.7%;

  • Sabah ranked last on the Development Composite Index (DCI) scoring 90 as compared to the highest of 109.6 of Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Even Kelantan is ahead of Sabah with a DCI of 93.1.

Not only has there been no progress or improvements made, the seventh indicator of the most corrupt state in Malaysia must now be included. Is being the least developed and the most corrupt state in Malaysia the reward to Sabahans for blindly supporting and granting absolute power to BN without any meaningful opposition in the state?  

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The time has come for Sabahans to wake up by restoring democracy by voting in the DAP to provide a strong and effective opposition to fight for political equality, socio-economic justice and fight for a clean and good governance.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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