Opposition supremo Anwar Ibrahim lauded Wilfred Bumburing and Lajim Ukin's courage to leave their "comfortable positions" in Barisan Nasional.
“I know what I’m talking about. I have been a finance minister for eight years and during my tenure it was “pay, pay” unlike under the current one which is just “debt, debt”,” he said alleging the BN has it wrong everywhere in its governance.
Anwar, who now heads a strong Pakatan Rakyat, made these remarks at a special function hosted by Upko’s deputy president Wilfred Bumburing to announce officially his departure from BN to support Anwar and the Pakatan struggle to oust BN.
About 3,000 people turned up at the function which was held at the compound of Singgah Singgarung Restaurant which is owned by the Bumburing family near here.
In a high-spirited speech, despite the fasting month, Anwar accused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of being unwise and having no political conscience in governance and this was reflected in BN policies on various fronts including the economy and education.
“BN just keep on accumulating debt for the country, reluctant to spend for people’s real needs like for university student’s fee. They claim the country will go bankrupt if we give free education.
“But a PR (Pakatan) government knows that it can be done, as we will spend RM5 billion for this annually. PR (Pakatan) will stop PTPTN (study loans) and give free education until university,” he said adding that this is possible because the government is collecting a huge RM80 billion yearly from the oil and gas sector.
Anwar then randomly pointed to someone in the crowd, one Madius, to calculate “how much RM80 billion minus RM5 billion is” to which the man answered RM75 billion.
“Datuk Wilfred we can make Madius our advisor as he is wiser than Najib. Najib said if we spend RM5 billion on study loan, the country will go bankrupt, but Madius has just given us the right answer that there still is RM75 billion left,” he said to the amusement and applause from the enthusiastic crowd.
‘RM20 bil wastage under BN’
The PKR advisor who is also MP for Permatang Pauh pointed out that there was no country in the world which went bankrupt because its king or leader is caring and helping his own people.
“No country in the kingdoms in China, Japan, Arab, Africa, and Europe that went bankrupt because its king is giving to the people. Have you heard of any?
“But certainly history shows countries have gone bankrupt because leaders were corrupt, stealing money form the people. We are talking about corruption by BN leaders, wastage and leakages…” he said.
Anwar pointed out that according to the Auditor-General Report, wastage by BN government amount to a huge RM20 billion per year, and a Pakatan government is committed to plugging the wastage and saving it to be spent for the people, including Sabahans and Sarawakians.
“Our PR (Pakatan) government in Selangor is giving free water to its citizens, and we even have money to give to families RM2,500 every time a member of a family dies. In Penang every newly born baby will get RM200 from the government. We can do this because we avoided wastage.
“The Kelantan Menteri Besar (Nik Aziz Nik Mat) has been in the post for 22 years and he didn’t even take a single “timber’. He is doing well in helping the people unlike Umno’s ministers who may have RM100 millions over a few years in post,” he said.
He commended Bumburing for having the courage to leave his comfortable positions in BN and said that his action has proven Najib wrong on Sabah.
“I said there are surprises coming from Sabah. This Bumburing and (later in Beaufort) Lajim is just a beginning. This Tuaran function is a turning point for Malaysia.
“The whole country and in fact Asean are watching closely this new turning point,” he claimed.
Free education, higher royalty with Pakatan
In the 40-minute speech, Anwar also reiterated Pakatan’s pledge to honour a 20% oil royalty to the four oil-producing states in Malaysia — Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan.
“What we pledge will be honoured. The day we form the federal government we will lower the price of oil and will give the 20% royalty. There is no issue on this as the federal will still take 80%,” he said in what appeared as simplifying Petronas shares in federal coffer.
He gave the assurance citing Pakatan’s commitment to plug on wastage and stop lavish spending and bring in good governance principles.
“Let me tell you Turkey has no oil and when Prime Minister Teyyep Erdogan, took over the helm, it took him two years before he could provide free education up to university, but when Pakatan take over the government, we already have RM80 billion oil money, and we can implement straight away all our pledges,” he added.
Also in Bumburing’s company today were several Upko’s supreme council members notably lawyer cum senator Maijol Mahap.
Anwar is expected to give speech at Lajim’s house later Sunday evening where even a bigger crowd is awaiting him in Beaufort.