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Helping the Penans: A RM100m question

 | June 13, 2012

In 2008, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu said that RM100 million had been allocated to develop Penan community and that projects would be completed by 2010.

KUCHING: Several Penan community leaders are demanding to know what happened to the RM100 million that Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu had announced in September 2008.

According to them, the RM100 million was a federal government allocation meant to aid development in the Penan community.

But it has been four years since and the community has not seen the money or any development.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, who was in Baram last week, said several Penan leaders had met him and urged him to raise the RM100-million question.

“A Penan leader pulled out from his file and showed me a paper cutting which quoted Jabu as saying that the federal government had approved an allocation of RM100 million for the development of Penan community.

“The paper cutting was dated Sept 25, 2008,” said Bian, who is also the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.

Bian said that the Penans are asking where the money is now and how it was spent.

“They told me that they have not seen the money, not even a sen,” Bian said.

‘BN delivers’

On Sept 25, 2008, Jabu, who is the chairman of the Penan steering committee, said that the federal government had approved an allocation of RM100 million for the development of the Penan community.

He said the allocation would be used to develop the community to bring them into the mainstream of development, adding that the money would be used for various sectors to improve the living standard of the community.

“The allocation will be spent until 2010, and we thank the federal government for responding to help the Penan community,” Jabu said.

He said the Penans, like other communities, needed to be developed and that the government would always fulfil its promises to the people.

“Unlike the opposition who make empty promises, the BN always delivers what it promised,” he added.


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