The deputy prime minister did not speak a word about addressing the issue of illegal immigrants in his brief visit to the state.
The sit-in rally calls for electoral reforms including the purging of “illegals” from the the electoral rolls, an issue that is especially prevalent in Sabah. Najib was in Sarawak and Muhyiddin was in Sabah.
But just as they both left the people in Kuala Lumpur high and dry, so did Muhyiddin when he left Sabah after his day-long visit without a whimper on the much-awaited Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants and the rampant issuance of Malaysian documents to these Muslim immigrants. Earlier this month, Najib did the same thing.
“He avoided holding a press conference…” said one senior journalist who had been waiting to see if Muhyiddin, like Najib, would also cancel his press conference, which is a normal occurrence for any federal leaders concluding their visit to Sabah.
“Alamak, DPM has no PC…” texted another journalist who had been waiting to shoot questions at Muhyiddin on some perennial problems in Sabah.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, had gone to SMK Narinang in Kadamaian, Kota Belud, to meet a gathering of community leaders there and announced projects worth RM45.5 million, mostly for the PBS-held Kadamaian state constituency.
Observers here noted that the project was “to prevent Kadamaian and possibly Kota Belud parliamentary seats from slipping away from Barisan Nasional”.
Muhyiddin also revealed that the Rural Development and Regional Ministry would upgrade six rural roads in Kadamaian next year “and if BN is returned to power” in the 13th general election.
The six stretches of roads in Kadamaian are Melangkap-Gaur-Piasau (RM25 million), Tengkurus-Lahanas (RM5 million), Kaung-Lobong-Lobong (RM2.5 million), Tuguson (RM2.5 million), Tintapon (RM2.5 million) and the Tokulung road (RM2 million).
He also announced RM500,000 each for the repair of SMK Narinang and for building a mosque in Kampung Pangkalan Abai.
Muhyiddin also announced a one-off token allocation of RM10,000 to each of the associations for the Dusuns, Bajaus, and Iranuns in the district. Similar allocations also went to the SIB, an evangelical church, and to an Iranun youth society in Kampung Pantai Mas where the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, comes from.
Opposition making inroads
Meanwhile, Kadamaian assemblyman Herbert Timbon Lagadan in his speech at the school, admitted that the opposition is making inroads into his constituency and feared that the tide might turn against BN in the coming general election.
“The people are beginning to lose hope and are turning to the opposition because they believe they would be able to find solutions to the existing problems.
“The opposition is taking full advantage of this by playing up these issues. They told the people here that to solve the problems here, the BN government needs to be toppled.
“It is time we solved these problems,” Lagadan said.
Muhyiddin also made a walk-about at the multi-ethnic town before proceeding to declare closed the week-long Malaysia Trust Fund Week in Kota Kinabalu. He then left without saying anything more.