People's cries falling on deaf ears
Kinabalu, Aug 19, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) told the government to get down to the serious work of substantiating its
high-sounding slogans to salvage whatever little credibility it has
"The 'People First, Performance Now' slogan is sounding less believable by
the day as the people are subject to barrage of empty promises," said
Datuk Richard Yong, the secretary-general of Sabah
Progressive Party (SAPP).
He cited as examples of empty promises the failure of the government in
building a new general hospital for Kota Kinabalu City , addressing the
perennial power supply disruptions throughout Sabah and the amusing delay
in the completion of the intersection in front of the Queen Elizabeth
Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.
"Such foot-dragging simply shows that the government ignores the cries of
the people and makes a laughing stock of the promise of putting the
people's interest above everything, and promising of excellence.
Richard said the power supply problem has been plaguing Sabah since time
immemorial. But instead of empathizing with the people, government leaders
were quick to condemn any demonstration of anger.
"Chief Minister Datuk Musa made another round of promises that the power
supply problem will be dealt with, as if it is within his purview to do
"Why should we believe that Musa can or will do anything when power supply
is entirely the responsibility of Tenaga Nasional? And why should we
believe that Tenaga would have a sense of urgency now when it never had
He insisted that the government should back down on its plans to build a
coal-fired power plant because of great risks to the environment. Instead,
it should seriously explore other mode of power generation, and reverse
its decision to allow Petronas to pipe natural gas from Sabah to Bintulu
(in Sarawak) and use the gas to power new power stations in Sabah .
On the need for a new general hospital in the state capital, Richard
described as 'amazing' how both state and government leaders are still
dragging their feet since the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had half of its
facilities and services disabled more than nine months ago.
"People don't stop needing hospital services because one hospital is
closed. Why can't the government use its might like it did so frequently
spending millions for so-called fast-track projects to put up a new
hospital for the people of Sabah?
"If the government fails to do anything soon, it will go down Malaysian
history as the state whose people survive the longest period without a
"If they don't do anything about the power supply, we will be elevated
from being the state with the most atrocious power supply record to being
a world record-holder, worse than some strife-torn African states and some
banana republics in Latin America!
He said the continued delay in the completion of upgrading works on the
intersection in front of the QEH is amusing because even the project
owner, that is the Public Works Department, had expressed dismay over the
snail's pace with which the works have been progressing.
He alleged that thousands of motorists have been enduring the congestion
and inconveniences caused by the half-finished intersection, which is a
major gateway into and out of the KK City.
"Ordinarily a project delay can be tolerated by the people, but the
slowness of this relatively simple project flies in the face of all the
promises of People First and Performance Now.