1Malaysia – Minus Sabah

By LDP Deputy President YBhg Datuk Chin Su Phin

Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has advocated the 1Malaysia concept –“People First, Performance Now”. But, what we see today, the processing and approval for Development Plans in Sabah now takes 6-7 months and sometimes up to one year.

Whenever we come to Kudat, we’re reminded of Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat’s achievement as Chief Minister in bringing physical and economic development and progress to the district.  

But ever since Tan Sri Chong quit his State Cabinet posts and the Chief Minister’s post was taken over by Datuk Seri Musa Aman, the people hardly see any new development taking place in Kudat. This means that Datuk Musa Aman has exacted a political revenge against Tan Sri Chong due to their political differences. 

Recently, we also saw 8 community leaders here were sacked and replaced, while 3 others were appointed to positions which were left vacant due to death of the old leaders, all done without the knowledge of Tanjong Kapor Assemblyman Datuk Teo Chee Kang, who is also the Secretary General of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). There were hidden political agenda in the sacking of these community leaders. Teo and myself had met the Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Hj Hajiji Hj Noor who mentioned to us that technically the said removal and appointment of community leaders should not have happened and that Hajiji promised to act on it within his powers. 

The said removal and appoinment of community leaders was orchestrated by Kudat District Chief Haji Harun Bidin, who was appointed to the post in January 2008 by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman just before the general election in March 2008 replacing the previous District Chief. 

We have a tape recording of Haji Harun going against the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Tanjong Kapor in the 2008 general election. In many gatherings during the campaign period, Haji Harun spoke in the presence of the local grassroot and community leaders asking the people to support and vote for the Opposition candidate. Haji Harun also said that if  the BN candidate Teo Chee Kang were elected as Tanjong Kapor Assemblyman, he would still go against him. 

After the general election, LDP reported Haji Harun to the Sabah BN Chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman and asked Musa to take disciplinary action against Haji Harun for going against the BN, but no action has been taken until today. Again, Datuk Seri Musa Aman did not take any action against Haji Harun for going against the BN spirit in the said removal and appointment of community leaders. 

As a capable leader, Datuk Seri Musa Aman should not be protecting Haji Harun. Instead, he should take drastic actions against leaders who go against the BN and UMNO. If Musa keeps on protecting such leaders, he is unfit to be the State BN Chairman. 

All this while, Development Plan for any project was approved by the Local Council. Now, Development Plans must be sumbitted to the Central Board and State Cabinet for approval. This change of policy has led to a serious red-tape in the processing and approval of Development Plans, apart from causing unnecessary delay and inconvenience to developers. If this practice is not reverted, it will certainly promote bureaucracy and slow down developments in the State. 

Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has advocated the 1Malaysia concept -“People First, Performance Now”. But, what we see today, the processing and approval for Development Plans in Sabah now takes 6-7 months and sometimes up to one year. It is important that Sabah BN Government should implement policies that are practical and efficient for the good and benefit of Sabahans and various economic sectors. 

Regarding Tan Sri Chong’s civil suit over the revocation of the approval to construct the Mazu statue, initially the State Government was represented by the State Attorney-General Datuk Roderic Fernandez but he suddenly resigned midway through the hearing of the case in the High Court. 

The original issue of the case was that the Development Plan of the project  was not submitted to the Central Board for approval. But after Roderic’s resignation, the Defence suddenly focussed on the legality of the Kudat Thean Hou Foundation. No reason was given about the resignation of Roderic who failed to carry out his responsibility as the State Attorney-General as far as the case was concerned. Later on, Roderic was re-appointed to the post, albeit quietly; was there any hidden agenda? 

Recently, UMNO Kudat Division Head Datuk Bolkiah Ismail made a public statement asking for Tanjong Kapor state seat to be given to UMNO in the next election. 

I really pity Datuk Bolkiah as well as to a few other UMNO Division Heads who also demanded for state or parliamentary seats in their respective areas currently being held by other BN component parties to be returned to UMNO. As regard to Tanjong Kapor seat, I know it was not Bolkiah’s personal view. Someone must have provoked him because when he made the statement Kudat District Chief Haji Harun appeared to be very happy. 

Our Prime Minister and BN Chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has also emphasized on the need for all BN coalition partners to cooperate. Najib’s view is also echoed by UMNO Vice President Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein  during his recent visit to Kota Marudu. It is also the wish of all Federal BN leaders for all the BN component parties to work together as a family. But, it’s sad to see that in Sabah BN, we have some extremist like Haji Harun who are bent on destroying the good relations among partners in Sabah BN. 

LDP’s stand against Haji Harun remains firm. We want Haji Harun to be removed as Kudat District Chief. 

The Prime Minister has also stated that the issue of candidates would be deliberated and decided by the BN central leadership. However, certain Sabah UMNO leaders kept on harping on the seat’s issue showing complete disrespect to the Prime Minister and destroying the BN spirit. 

Once again, I urge the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to take drastic action in ridding the BN of leaders who are corrupt and abuse their powers as they are unfit to lead the people and the State.