KOTA KINABALU: STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan says Shafie Apdal has only himself to blame for the lack of basic infrastructure, utilities and public amenities in the rural areas of Sabah, noting that Shafie was once the federal minister for rural development.
Jeffrey said the total budget for rural development allocations during Shafie’s ministerial tenure was a “staggering” RM34.6 billion.
He said if Shafie, who is Warisan president, had applied the equal partnership formula, which he is now harping on, he should have allocated one-third of the amount, or RM11.5 billion to Sabah.
“If he had done that, most if not all of the rural infrastructure, utilities and public amenities, such as rural roads, electricity, water, schools and community centres, would have been resolved by now,” Jeffrey said in a statement.
“He must be held responsible for his failure to develop the rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak. What did he do when he was the rural and regional development minister?”
Claiming that Sabah was known for having the highest rates of poverty in the country, he said Shafie had done nothing to improve the rural infrastructure in the state throughout his 25 years in the federal government.
Jeffrey also said the caretaker chief minister only blamed the previous state government, led by Musa Aman, to cover up Warisan’s weaknesses in governing.
He added that Sabah recorded the lowest GDP growth rate at 0.5% when Warisan came into power after the 14th general elections, compared to the nation’s highest rate of 8.2% in 2017.
He said Shafie had blamed this on the Covid-19 pandemic, which only happened in March this year and not 2018 or 2019.
“It is rather unfortunate that there are people, including leaders and people who have held positions of power, fall for his political rhetoric and brand of politics.
“Now, he is trying to hoodwink Sabahans into supporting his Warisan Plus coalition to continue as the government for the next five years.”
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