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Press Conference Statement By Lim Guan Eng In Megah D’ Aru Hotel In Kota Kinabalu On 2.2.2008: 

DAP Sabah 2008 General Election Manifesto Based On 8 Core Issues That Sabahans Must Change To Transform Sabah From Being The Poorest And Least Developed State To The Richest And Most Developed State With Adequate Basic Electricity, Water And Security Protection For All 

I wish to announce the formation of the Sabah State General Election Committee headed by Sdr Dr Hiew Keng Chiu and also the outlines of the DAP Sabah 2008 General Election Manifesto based on 8 core issues. 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 with the richest police possessing unaccountable and extra-ordinary wealth of RM 27 million. 

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 (pendatang tanpa izin), the highest poverty incidence, the poorest electricity/energy efficiency and supply as well as the least developed state in Malaysia. 

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 Bumiputeras had grown to 1.1 million. 

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%. DAP does not understand how the Sabah Development Corridor(SDC) can reduce poverty or benefits ordinary Sabahans. 

For a 18-year SDC that is part of a federal government economic  plan that covers the entire state is unusual and an indirect admission of the Sabah State government’s failure in economic management. During its implementation period, 900,000 new jobs are expected to be created with new investments of RM 105 billion, while Sabah’s GDP in the agriculture sector would increase four times to RM17 billion. 

What would happen if the investment target of RM 105 billion is not achieved when the Federal government has only allocated a miserly RM 5 billion? And are the 900,000 new jobs to be taken up not by local residents but by PTIs? 

For this reason DAP proposes a Sabah General Election Manifesto that would allow Sabahans the opportunity to make real changes that can transform Sabah from being the poorest and least developed state to the richest and most developed state with adequate basic electricity, water and security protection for all The 8 core issues are:- 

1.   A Sabah State Assembly Select Committee headed by the Chief Minister to evaluate the progress of the 20-point Malaysian Agreement, which led to Sabah combining with Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya forming Malaysia on 16 September 1963, whether it has been fully complied and observed to respect the rights of Sabahans, especially freedom of religion where Christians can not use the word “Allah” and the Mazhu statue is barred from being built because it is against Islam, local sovereignty, rights of Sabahans and control of Sabah resources.

2.   To change and convert the revenue sharing agreement of Sabah’s natural resources from the present low 5% to Sabah with 95% to the Federal government to an equal 50-50 arrangement. Such increase in sharing of revenue is necessary due to the failure of the BN federal and state governments from reducing poverty and ensuring an equal share in Sabah economic benefits to all Sabahans.

3.   Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the rise in PTIs in excess of the local population and check the uncontrolled inflow of illegal immigrants or PTIs with the express objective of punishing those who legalise their stays with PRs and citizenships as well as stopping the present issuance of IM13 and PR status to these PTIs;

4.   Combat escalating crime by doubling the number of police personnel in Sabah, with the increased police personnel tasked with patrolling the streets to protect public safety.

5.   Prevent land grabs by abolishing the amended Section 2 (e) of the Land Acquisition Ordinance which allows “land acquisition by private enterprise or otherwise howsoever” permitting abuses of powers against landowners as well as abolish the 7.5% Sabah oil palm duty on oil palm planters which does not bring them any benefits.

6.   Provide equal employment and contractual opportunities to Sabahans as many Federal projects are carried out by non-Sabahans, upgrading education facilities especially full electrification and internet access that is fully affordable, accessible and available.

7.   Fight corruption with the Sabah State Assembly appointing a Special Corruption Investigator to punish corrupt practices that has caused losses to Sabahans involving top BN leaders and also determine the losses from the RM 500 million Saham Amanah Sabah which has diminished to less than RM 100 million

8.   Save democracy by breaking up zero opposition in Sabah State Assembly. With no local government elections, there is no accountability and transparency and there is a need for checks and balance to deny BN its two thirds majority to prevent a one-party 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, DAP Secretary-General


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