Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Pledge to Sabah Christians

Published on: Thursday, February 06, 2014

Putatan: It's no big deal if Christians use the word "Allah" as a translation for God and this attitude of acceptance by Sabahans should be emulated by people in Peninsular Malaysia, said Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Yahya Hussin.

He said gnawing and clawing among each other is not a civilised and smart way to deal with things. "To me, it doesn't matter if non-Muslims use the word 'Tuhan', 'God' or 'Allah'."

With this, he reiterated the existing peace and harmony in Sabah and highlighted its importance during a Majlis Amanat at the Petagas UPKR office, near Giant Hypermarket, here.

Yahya also highlighted his disappointment when they come across problems catering to people's needs. There are things that slow down the progress for us to assist them such as lack of allocation and other problems that cause delays.

"As a result, there are problems we are able to rectify and there are problems we are unable to settleÉat least, not within the expected time frame. And this leads to complaints from the rakyat.

It becomes a mental burden for many of us. We are trying our best."

Yahya said there are requests to campaign and vote for suitable village leaders and JKKK candidates due to complaints that some are not seen fit to perform the duties that they are assigned to do.

He disagreed with the voting system request and called on the current appointed community leaders to be active.

"Sure, it is not possible to tackle all of the problems that exist here and there, but I expect everyone to know what is going on in their respective areas or villages. Please be aware of what is going on in your surroundings and attend meetings. If possible, meetings should be conducted once every two months." He reminded them that problems left unattended would gradually pile up and become bigger.

"And when this happens, you will be struggling to settle each and every one of them." Ignoring people's complaints and requests to fix infrastructures such as roads and drains will only make them upset, he said.

"If you can't settle things 100 per cent, at least, make things better.

If you are unable to do that, the least you can do is take note of every little thing you come across," emphasised Yahya.

"The opposition will use any sign of weakness shown to bring us down. For instance, the price hike issue nowadays."

Yahya also raised the issue of landlords and those residing at squatter houses who are renting out space and rooms to foreigners (illegal immigrants). "JKKK leaders should approach these people in a polite manner to point out what they are doing is unacceptable.

Squatter houses, stilt houses in mangrove areas and those residing nearby rivers are a problem, but it is inhumane for us to demolish these houses.

"To rectify these problems, one of our efforts is building a PPR housing area which is currently in progress in Meruntum.

Those who live in Petagas and Tanjung Aru will be given priority.

It is expected to be completed by end of this year, he said.

He said construction of 2,000 units under the PPR meant for the low income earners, is scheduled to be ready this year.

He said the project, now 70 per cent ready, was implemented to address squatter problems in the district.