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PKS to make Keningau capital if it wins polls
Published on: Thursday, March 08, 2018

Putatan: After causing quite a stir by promising that a Bumiputera woman will be appointed as Governor and the State to be run by a Prime Minister assisted by six Chief Ministers, Parti Kebangsaan Sabah (PKS) has announced another pledge, this time to make Keningau the state capital.

Party president Thomas Anggan said PKS will make the interior district the centre of state administration for security reason, if it gets to form the next state government.

"We will make Keningau the capital of Sabah. KK (Kota Kinabalu) will be a trade centre," he said, after chairing the party's supreme council meeting.

He drew comparison with many countries where their capital cities are situated at the centre and not near the coasts.

"To be situated at the centre of the state is ideal for security reason," he said.

The five-year-old opposition party raised eyebrows when it announced its manifesto last month, which spelled out a long list of promises, including major constitutional changes to reinstate Sabah's status as a "negara" (country), title of the Governor as Yang Dipertua Negara from the current Yang Dipertua Negeri. Sabah's Chief Executive would be known as "State Prime Minister" instead of Chief Minister with six Chief Ministers in charge of six new regions.

It also promised that anyone, including women, can be appointed as Governor regardless of religion and race as long as he or she is a native Sabah Bumiputera.

The announcement drew criticism from many people, particularly regarding its promise to make changes regarding the appointment of Governor, where critics insist must be a man and a person whose religion is Islam.

When asked to comment by reporters early last month, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin said he was amused to learn about PKS' grand ambition.

But he was quick to say that under the democratic system, PKS was free to make such promises to the people who he said would know best how to use their judgment.

Still, he pointed out that PKS should not be "funny about things" but instead be serious about what it should be offering to the people.

Thomas, in response, said his party is dead serious about realising its promises if given the mandate by the people to govern the State, which also include the provision of an education aid of RM350 for poor parents of students in pre-schools; RM3,000 for parents having children in higher learning institutions who earn less than RM2,500 per month; scrapping the imposition of GST in Sabah and the cabotage policy.

The 78-year-old former Parti Bersatu Sabah assemblyman for Bingkor in 1985 claimed that from his recent tours across the State, many people he met were supportive of PKS' manifesto.

He also said the party is ready for the next general election, including having finalised its list of candidates.

The party has announced that it will go solo in the next general election and contest in all seats. - Leonard Alaza

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