PETALING JAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah has lashed out at Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for allegedly failing to recognise that Sabah’s wellbeing is threatened by graft and abuse of power, not political instability.
Referring to remarks Zahid made in Semporna on Sunday, Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking said the DPM was insulting Sabahans by speaking as if Sabah’s problems would disappear with Barisan Nasional’s re-election to power.
Zahid, speaking to reporters after inaugurating an institution dedicated to the study of the Quran, said Sabahans should learn from the state’s history. He alleged that Sabah experienced political instability when it was ruled by Usno and then Berjaya.
It is usual for BN leaders to speak of political stability as something that can be assured only with the preservation of BN rule and as the prerequisite to solving social, economic and political problems.
But Leiking said Penang and Selangor, ruled by Pakatan Rakyat, were “doing much better” than the BN-ruled states.
He blamed BN for the instability that he said Sabah experienced in the years when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) ruled the state before it joined the ruling coalition.
“Was there anything wrong with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in 1994 when BN decided to rob it of its victory by getting PBS assemblymen to jump to BN?
“Why was the PBS state government deprived of federal funding between 1985 and 1994, with the federal government even creating the Federal Development Office to channel funds for federal projects? Is this Zahid’s idea of a good federal government?”
He said the “real threats” facing Sabah were widespread corruption, power abuse, the federal government’s failure to protect the state’s interests and leaders who had forgotten their oath to serve the public.
He said last year’s seizure of RM114.5 million from the homes of top officials of the Sabah Water Department gave an indication of the seriousness of the corruption problem in Sabah.
He also spoke on the illegal immigrant issue, alleging that the authorities were not acting to resolve it. Despite claims that illegal immigrants were being repatriated, he said, their numbers seemed to be increasing “day by day”.
“One just needs to look around Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding areas and see whether the illegal immigrant problem has been sorted out.”
He recalled Zahid saying last year that there were Sulu commanders in every Sabah state constituency.
“This is a clear admission of the government’s failure to deal with the illegal immigrants, who have embedded and assimilated themselves in the state to its detriment.”
Leiking also noted Zahid’s recent announcement that a committee headed by himself and Chief Minister Musa Aman would investigate the issuing of illegal identity cards in Sabah.
“Does this not mean that Sabah’s electoral roll could be tainted by illegal immigrants who have been given identity cards?”
He said Zahid, in raising the spectre of political instability to persuade voters to choose BN, was insulting the intelligence of Sabahans.
“When Sabahans are tired of the drama and propaganda of a so-called people’s government, they will want change, no matter what it is,” he said.