DAP Sabah to create a “political earthquake” in Sabah in 14th General Election through the ballot box to peacefully and democratically start the process of political change in Sabah and Malaysia
The message I have taken to Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan in the past three days is to call on the people of the Sabah Interior to join the urban voters to create a “political earthquake” in the 14th General Election expected next year through the ballot box to peacefully and democratically start the process of political change in Sabah and Malaysia in order to save Sabah and to save Malaysia for our children and children’s children.
My three-day visit to Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan with National DAPSY leader and Perak DAP State Assemblyman for Canning, Wong Kah Woh, in the company of the Sabah DAP Chairman and MP for Sandakan, Steven Wong, Sabah DAP Adviser and MP for Kota Kinabalu, Jimmy Wong and the Sabah DAP Deputy Chairman and Sabah State Assemblyman for Kepayang Dr. Edwin Bosi, has been an eye-opener for me.
I see the greatest contrasts in Sabah – its great wealth and rich natural resources on the one hand and the abject poverty and shocking socio-economic backwardness of the people, mired in a world-class system of corruption and kleptocracy!
Sabah’s own Watergate scandal has only sharpened and highlighted this immoral and unacceptable contrast in Sabah.
The indictment of three persons, a former Sabah Water Department director, his wife and a former deputy director for 37 money-laundering charges involving RM61.48 million by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court yesterday is the MACC’s biggest case ever.
But this is “chicken feed” considering all the publicity attending the MACC’s arrests and seizures in its Sabah’s RM2 billion Watergate anti-corruption crackdown since early October, as MACC has said that 60 per cent of the RM3.3 billion waterworks projects had been “siphoned off” by corruption.
During the MACC crackdown on Sabah Watergate in the past three months, 28 people were detained during the MACC operation, including 23 divisional and district engineers; seizure of RM190 million in cash, valuables and property from the suspects including the recovery of RM114 million from the top two officials of the Sabah Water Department – including RM53.7mil in cold hard cash that took more than 30 officers 15 hours to count; while MACC recorded statements from 200 witnesses during the investigations.
The MACC investigations had involved 137 MACC officers from its headquarters as well as from various divisions and states.
Malaysians are not impressed at all by the MACC’s results in combating corruption in the Sabah Water Department, although the MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Azam Baki said that more suspects would be charged for corruption offences soon.
Sabah’s own Watergate corruption scandal reminds me of a joke about Trump and corruption in Malaysia, as follows:
Donald Trump wants the white house painted! Trump asked Chinese guy how did you quote? He asked European? He asked Malaysian?
Chinese guy quoted 3 million
European guy quoted 7 million
Malaysian guy quoted 10 million.
1 million for paint
1 million for labour
1 million profit.
He said :
3 million for paint
2 million for labour
2 million profit.
4 million for me
3 million for you
3 million will give it to the Chinese guy to paint.
Trump asked Chinese guy how did you quote?
He asked European?
He asked Malaysian?
“4 million for me, 3 million for you” out of 10 million would put the corruption at 70% of the paint-job, which is in the region of the rampant corruption in Sabah’s Watergate scandal, where 60 per cent of the RM3.3 billion waterworks projects in Sabah had been “siphoned off” by corruption!
I visited Keningau two months ago to inspect the Impian Sabah Keningau Water Project in Bunga Raya district only 20 km from Keningau (fifth largest township in Sabah).
Impian Sabah’s Keningau Water Project is the most ambitious one so far, costing RM250,000 to build gravity-fed water system to bring clean piped water to five villagers, which will benefit some 300 households or 1,500 people.
If 60 per cent of the RM3.3 billion – or some RM2 billion – meant for rural water infrastructure projects had not been stolen by corruption and kleptocracy, it would be able to fund 8,000 projects like Impian Sabah Keningau project to provide gravity-fed water system to bring clean piped water to rural homes for the benefit of 12 million people, i.e. 8,000 x 150 people (some four times of Sabah’s present population).
There is no reason whatsoever why almost every household even in the rural areas in Sabah could not be provided with clean piped water, not just in 2016 but some two decades ago by the nineties, if there is no corruption and kleptocracy in the State.
But rural Sabah must now look to 2050 to get the most basic of rural infrastructure facilities like clean piped water as the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced in his Budget 2017 speech in Parliament on Oct. 21 the abandonment of Vision 2020 and replacement with Transformation Nasional Vision 2050.
This is totally unacceptable, and which is why there is need for a “political earthquake” in Sabah in the next 14th General Election to make it very clear that Sabahans want to wipe out both poverty and corruption in Sabah and Malaysia, and do not want Sabah and Malaysia to be infamous and notorious worldwide as kleptocracies!
In the next general elections, let all Sabahans, regardless of race, religion or region, unite as one Malaysian people to demand the UMNO/BN government explain why it had failed to deliver Vision 2020 to ensure that Sabah and Malaysia achieve the status of a fully developed state, where even rural households would enjoy the most basic of infrastructure facilities like piped water, electricity, roads, quality education and basic health care.
DAP will have two major objectives in the 14th General Election expected next year.
The first is to defend the electoral victories by the DAP in Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau in the 13th General Election, winning not only the two parliamentary and four state assembly seats in 2013, but also constituencies which we missed winning in these areas.
But the second objective is more formidable and challenging, to make a breakthrough in the interior areas, particularly the parliamentary and state assembly seats in Pensiangan, Keningau and Tenom, as we want to ensure more DAP Orang Asal elected representatives – including woman Orang Asal - take their places in Parliament and the Sabah State Assembly.
DAP will continue to work in Pakatan Harapan and with other political parties in Sabah to bring about the dual objective to end UMNO/BN rule in Putrajaya and Sabah.
Discussion with other political parties to reach an electoral agreement will have to be carried out, but I expect the DAP to double the number of Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies to be contested in the 14th General Election as compared to the 13th General Election.
In the 13th General Election, Barisan Nasional would have lost in four parliamentary and eight state assembly seats if not for split votes among the Opposition candidates.
The four parliamentary constituencies are Keningau, Kota Marudu, Pensiangan and Tenom and the eight state assembly seats are Elopura, Melalap, Kundasang, Liawan, Paginatan, Kiulu, Nabawan and Tambunan.
The Opposition must learn from the bitter lesson of losing four parliamentary and eight state assembly seats to Barisan Nasional, not because BN was strong but because the Opposition was too divided.
There are two ways to ensure that Opposition votes are united: Either a one-to-one electoral contest or even if there are three-cornered or four-cornered electoral contests, to ensure that Opposition votes are united in support of the candidate of a credible and principled opposition party.