If indeed the Sabah government is flushed with money, then why haven't the roads in Ranau and rural Sabah not maintained, asphalted or tarred?
State Reform Party (STAR) head of Ranau division, Jalibin Paidi, said it was irresponsible for government leaders to claim they had the money to develop the state and yet did nothing to provide even the most basic infrastructure despite being in power continuously for almost two decades.
He said the government slogan “1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now” should be put into practice in rural kampungs where people were still struggling to eke out a living.
Jalibin added that BN’s failure to do so after saying they had funding only pointed to their inefficiency.
“This slogan must be applied in solving our perennial local problem in Ranau,” he said pointing out that even a heavily used 5km road leading to the kampung of a state minister had not been maintained for years.
“Please upgrade or asphalt the road that connects Kg Pahu and Kg Mohimboyon and Kg Lipantai,” Jalibin said in a statement here.
He further challenged Sabah Minister of Tourism and Environment Masidi Manjun, who is the Keranaan assemblyman under which Ranau falls, to act.
Tar the roads, please
Jalibin said the 5km road has become almost impassable for any vehicle apart from motorcycles but that too would would turn worse as bad weather continued to affect it.
“This government has failed to maintain it for years, what more to upgrade it. It is a shame especially when they claim they have the money to do it.
“If this road is tarred, many in Ranau especially within Keranaan area where Masidi is the representative will benefit. People from as far as Kg Tudan and Kg Himbaan would also benefit from it.
“Even people from Masidi’s own birthplace Kg Terelobou would finally benefit from a good road. What they have to endure now is a shame,” he said and denied that the spurt of complaints against government leaders was due to impending general election.
Currently, residents in the area have no choice but to use a longer route via Bundu Tuhan or the Randagong Road to reach Ranau township.
“If the 5km stretch is asphalted our people will not only travel easily and in comfort but time and money will be saved. This is what we call “people first” if the ruling party understands what we mean,” Jalibin said.
A villager from Tudan, Imi Bansinai, agreed with Jalibin on the condition of the road saying: “If nothing is done to attract the attention of politicians from the ruling party, soon the road might not be passable even by motorcycles.”
‘What a waste of money’
Jalibin also questioned local leaders’ priorities when they went ahead first with a water pipe supply project.
“Not that we don’t want water supply but currently almost all of the affected kampungs in the area have enough gravity water supply and what we need is the upgrading of our roads.
“This water project takes millions of ringgits,” he said and asked if that was the reason the simpler and cheaper road project was not undertaken first.
“The people were never consulted first. Are they prioritising profits to be shared among favoured contractors and Umno politicians, as the normal practice by the current government?”
Jalibin, a former teacher who recently quit his job to be active in STAR, also questioned the logic of spending public money putting up so many “Tak Nak Merokok” signboards, building cabin schoolrooms, installing solar electricity in schools and erecting giant water tanks to harvest rain water for rural schools.