Media statement by Dr. Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, 15th March 2011:
"Not Fair to Sabahan"
The additional question raised by me during the question and answer session in Parliament on the 10th March last week received a written reply from the minister. This question was raised following a question asked by the Batu Sapi Member on the reason why the Ring road project in Sandakan under the previous Malaysia Plan 8 and 9 did not proceed as it was planned.
I asked the Minister of Works whether he has the time to come to Sabah to see for himself the real bad condition of the roads in Sabah which needed immediate attention, and whether there are other road projects under the 8th and 9th Malaysia Plan which had not proceeded as plan.
Assistance Minister of Works Dato' Yong Khoon Seng answered in Parliament that he is from Sarawak and he knows well about the condition of the roads in Sabah. He will give a written reply on my question raised.
In his written reply, he said that there is no project under the 8th and 9th Malaysia Plan within the Ministry of Works has failed to be completed with in the 5 years Plan.
The policy of the government on all development projects especially on road building and upgrading of the roads are given due consideration on the financial capability (cash flow) and based on the progress of each project during the 5 years Plan. When some projects involving huge sum of money, they are needed to be carried in stages and in phases. This is because the financial planning of the government must be fair and well distributed through out the nation.
On the part of the uncompleted projects under a 5 years Malaysian Plan, these will be continued in the following plan. For example the project on the upgrading of the road from Kota Belud to Langkon in Sabah is placed under the 9th Plan and it is only for the purpose of feasibility study and design only. The physical work will only start in the 10th Malaysia Plan until the design is completed and the land acquisition process is done under the 9th Plan. This is a common scenario involving all government projects that are launched in the country and including those under the Ministry of Works.
I viewed the cases in Sabah that he feels the Federal Government is not putting emphasis and effort to ensure all urgent development projects are carried out immediately. Without good road system in Sabah, we will not be able to progress together with other states in Malaysia. Many feel that Sabah is at least 15 years behind the Semananjong if not more. In fact we should be given top priority in all development in stead of falling at the end of the pipe line, especially on the funding of all projects. The answer from the Minister already told us that the progress of a project is based on the financial capability of the government. That means we usually don't get our share of the money and may be last. Just ask how long the Sabahan can remain silent on this type of treatment. We are equal partner but without the equal treatment, are we the "second-class" citizens?
* Dr Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu