1 politician say yes-another say no. On? Instant noodles are sure addictive! Such public funded goodies are certainly calculated to break the free and fair election rules to gain undue favours for a candidate. Shame!
Never any ‘instant noodles’ project
By Lim How Pim(Borneo Post)
KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday denied that there are such things as ‘instant noodles’ projects in Sarawak.
He insisted that the state Barisan Nasional (BN) had proper development plans covering all constituencies including Batang Ai state seat and that all projects were being implemented based on these plans.
He said in the case of Batang Ai, the state government aimed to transform the rural constituency into a developed area, to tap into its “high tourism potentials”.
“To do that we have to give it not just basic amenities but quality ones as only when infrastructure is of high grade the area can attract tourists,” Johari said when asked to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call to wipe out the practice of announcing ‘instant noodles’ projects during elections.
Last Saturday, Najib said all development programmes and projects would be planned in a holistic manner and implemented based on the people’s need.
“This ‘instant noodles’ approach where we see tractors coming in during elections will be done away with…we won’t be doing this… We should change the approach where all sorts of projects are approved during elections like paving of roads…We will implement what we can implement,” he added.
Johari, who is also Housing Minister, said former Batang Ai assemblyman the late Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot had contributed tremendously towards infrastructural development in the constituency.
He said he was confident that the BN candidate for the Batang Ai by-election would continue where his predecessor had left off, he added.
“We have a calibre candidate who can add on to what has taken place in Batang Ai, and the state government will continue to help develop the area, not ‘mi segera’ (instant noodles) projects.
“Election or no election, we have development plan. We implement what has been planned and this involves the communities and different places, particularly rural areas,” he said.
The Satok assemblyman stressed that the people expected continued progress and higher standard of living which only the BN could guarantee.
RM12 mln for roads in Batang Ai; project state’s priority: Masing
By Churchill Edward and Connie Banji(Borneo Post)
KUCHING: The state has agreed to tar-seal roads within the Batang Ai re-settlement scheme, said Land Development Minister Dato Sri James Masing yesterday.
The cost of upgrading these roads would be around RM12 million, he said when contacted yesterday.
He said the state agreed to implement the project after he had queried why it had not been done after the Public Works Department (JKR) had proposed it under the Ninth Malaysia Plan before. He said he made the query at the Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters in Jalan Bako here on Sunday.
“Now that the state has the fund out of the second stimulus package, I believe the project will begin soon. The government, too, has treated it as a priority, therefore, we will do it first,” he said.
“The tar-sealing project shows that the government is aware of the needs for infrastructural development in the area. I hope it will commence soon,” he added.
According to Masing, the upgrading of these roads was supposed to be done many years ago when the re-settlement scheme first started following the construction of the Batang Ai hydro-power dam.
However, due to some financial constraint, they could not be implemented, he said.
“Part of the second stimulus package should at least be used for the roads at the re-settlement scheme,” he reiterated, referring to the RM1.2 billion that Sarawak will be getting out of Malaysia’s RM60 billion second stimulus package.
According to him, as far as two other key roads in Lubok Antu are concerned, JKR is still bidding for the fund needed for their upgrading.
Another road linking Ulu Sg Engkari and Batang Ai main road would also be built, he said.
“This road, around 18km in length, will make some 25 longhouses within the re-settlement scheme accessible to the major places in Sarawak,” he said.
“It may cost around RM360 million but JKR has yet to bid for the money,” he added.
Masing yesterday was repeating what he had said at a ‘Makan Malam Bersama Pemimpin’ get-together organised by the PRS Youth, in Sibu, on Saturday night.
At that get-together, Masing said he could foresee that people would question why the implementation of the road project was now when the by-election was around the corner.
“The reason is the fund is only available now,” he said to reporters who asked him during the dinner which was attended by, among others, the BN’s potential candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, PRS deputy secretary general Henry Luhat, vice presidents Joseph Mauh, Billy Abit Joo and John Sikie Tayai, the publicity chief Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and PRS Youth Unit chief, Mong Dagang.