PETALING JAYA: Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking today urged voters to back the party in the Kimanis by-election in order to help Sabah regain control of its gas, citing “missed opportunities” in the past.
Leiking said the previous state government’s decision to allow gas from Sabah to be channelled to another state had caused “great economic disadvantage” not only to Kimanis but to Sabah as a whole.
“We can now see other districts outside Sabah booming in terms of infrastructures and job creations courtesy of our own gas and the perfect example of this is Bintulu (in Sarawak),” he said in a statement.
Leiking, who is federal minister for international trade, said a “major international investor” with plans to turn Sabah into the biggest fertiliser producer in the world had decided to give the state a miss “simply because we have no control over our own gas”.
Leiking, who is Penampang MP, said the investment would have created economic opportunities for up to 5,000 or more people.
If Sabah had control over its own natural gas resources, he said, the state would be less financially dependent on Putrajaya while at the same time contributing significantly to the country in the manufacturing and service sectors.
“Imagine the frustration we Sabahans have to endure when Pengerang, Johor, that has nothing at all had been turned into an oil and gas hub and is now one of the fastest-growing districts in Malaysia while Kimanis, the heart of gas supply in Borneo and Malaysia, is being left out.”
Leiking pointed out that before the court decided on the Kimanis petition filed by Warisan, Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had already been working hard to regain control of the state’s own gas.
The Kimanis by-election, to be held on Jan 18, will be a straight fight between Mohamad Alamin of Barisan Nasional and Karim Bujang of Warisan.
The by-election was called after the Federal Court confirmed an election court decision to overturn the election of Anifah Aman in the general election last year over alleged irregularities.