PETALING JAYA: Clean piped water could have been supplied to every household in Sabah, even in rural areas, if not for “locusts” in Sabah politics, according to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
This could have been achieved by the 1990s, if there was no corruption and kleptocracy in the state, he said.
Speaking at an earth-breaking ceremony yesterday for the DAP’s Impian Sabah water project in Bunga Raya district, 20 km from Keningau, Lim mentioned media reports that 60 percent of RM3.3 billion in federal funds for Sabah water projects had been “siphoned off” by corruption.
He said the Keningau project was the most ambitious in Impian Sabah’s programme, at a cost of RM250,000 for a gravity-fed water system to bring clean piped water to five villages. It would benefit some 300 households or 1,500 people.
He said the RM2 billion siphoned off from federal allocations could have been used to fund 8,000 projects like the Impian Sabah Keningau project.
“There is no reason why almost every household even in the rural areas in Sabah could not be provided with clean piped water, not just in 2016 but some two decades ago by the nineties, if there is no corruption and kleptocracy in the State,” he said.
However rural Sabah must now look to 2050 to get the most basic of rural infrastructure facilities like clean piped water, he said, referring to the Budget speech last week announcing a Transformation Nasional Vision 2050.
Sabah people should demand an explanation for why the government had failed to achieve fully-developed nation status under Vision 2020, with facilities such as piped water, electricity, roads and basic health care for every rural household.
“Why must the dream of rural Sabah for basic rural infrastructure facilities be postponed for another three decades to 2050?,” he said.