Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's recent visit to Sabah and his 'blatant political buy-offs' has angered the opposition.
KOTA BELUD: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s arm-twisting of the kampung folk here with a pledge to give them six asphalt roads in exchange for their votes has “stunned” opposition Sabah Progressive People’s Party (SAPP).
Muhyiddin had reportedly waved the six asphalt roads in the Kadaiman constituency as a carrot to convince villagers here to vote in Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.
SAPP’s Kadamaian division vice-head, Peter Marajin, said the Kadamaian folks were angered by the apparent political inducement.
Muhyiddin revealed last weekend during a visit that he had instructed Rural Development and Regional Minister Shafie Apdal to make the funds available next year and 2014 for the purpose.
SAPP saw the “offer” as a sweetener ahead of elections in a constituency that has seen little development over the last four years.
He said RM45.5 million would be set aside for the six roads, a RM500,000 for a mosque in Usukan and another RM500,000 for repair work for SMK Narinang, while RM10,000 aid would be given to each of several local cultural societies and the SIB Church but made no allowance for the other churches in the constituency.
Marajin said the offer stank of a political buy-off. “Why can’t they just start doing it this year if they are sincere?” he asked in a statement today.
The SAPP supreme council member said the approved projects came with the clause that it would be after the general election and as such, was an crass inducement.
“Is he is so confident that Umno would still be the ruling party after the 13th general election?” he asked.
“Why wait till election time to announce it? This is buying of votes is clear-cut corruption,” he said.
Government bullying villagers
The popular activist lawyer also took exception to Muhyiddin’s excuse that he wished he had a “magic wand” to resolve whatever problems Sabah faced in his speech at SMK Narinang near here.
“We never asked for a magic wand. What we asked was for our rights and autonomy to be respected and restored and that we should manage our own money… the hefty RM40 billion we send to federal coffers every year, but get little in return,” Marajin said.
He also took aim at the BN assembly representative for Kadamaian, Herbert Timbon Lagadan of PBS, which had been in ruling coalition government for 11 years now and who was serving his third term, but yet was still talking about upgrading roads to the kampungs in his constituency.
“He has done nothing to upgrade all the kampung roads for the last 11 years, which means he has failed as a wakil rakyat (elected representative) and the PBS has failed the Kadamaian folks under the BN government.
“Clearly the federal government under Umno had failed the Kadamaian folks for the past 49 years of ‘Merdeka” despite the fact that billions of Sabah funds flow into federal coffers, not to mention billions from Sabah’s oil and gas since 1976.
“The federal government is simply bullying the Kadamaian folks into voting PBS in the coming election with empty promises,” he added.