Lack of security affecting Sabah’s economy, says PBS

PBS president Maximus Ongkili (centre) greeting PBS supporters.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) today said the feeling of insecurity among Sabahans as well as investors is affecting the state economy, especially the tourism industry.

In his speech at the launching of the Ranau PBS joint annual general meeting today, PBS president Maximus Ongkili said the public is especially concerned about a recent spate of crimes directly affecting tourism.

“Tourists died as a result of a fish bombing incident. A police boat was attacked by foreign bandits using fish bombs.

“What is happening to our beloved Sabah? Is this the ‘New Sabah’ that Warisan promised?”

Not only that, Ongkili said illegal immigrants in squatter areas are demanding the “right” to apply for identity cards and citizenship. They are even occupying government and private land, he alleged.

He said these people even unashamedly declared they are the leaders of the ruling party.

“These groups go around harassing Land and Survey Department officers, shouting their new slogan ‘Sabah Kita Punya’ (Sabah is ours).

“Sabahans must wake up to these threats and stand up for our rights and future.

“Bear in mind that Sabah is our land. We are the original Sabahans … Sabah Pogun Tokou (Sabah is our land); not the land of illegal immigrants.”

Speaking on the state government’s performance, Ongkili said even after 14 months’ in power, the “Sabah Baru” government still could not match Barisan Nasional’s track record of good governance.

For one, he said this government has no clear direction about where it wants to lead Sabah or how it plans to develop the state.

“They seem to not know how to develop Sabah by improving the state’s economy, lowering prices of goods and services, improving security, reducing the number of illegal immigrants, providing basic rural infrastructure needs, creating employment and uplifting the living standards of the rural people.

“These were clearly their election promises, which are now just ‘janji terang bulan’, a political gimmick to get the people’s votes in the general election.

“There is no news of success stories, or new development programmes and initiatives,” he said.