State Govt leaders more educated and energetic
Published on: Sunday, August 11, 2019

THE Warisan Government’s response to former CM Tan Sri Harris seems to have hit the nail squarely on the head. In his statement published in the Daily Express on 22nd July 2019, Harris urged the State Government to ensure that the Malays (Natives) are not displaced amidst the ongoing transformation and upgrading of Kota Kinabalu as a city. 

Responding through one of its Assistant Ministers, the Warisan Government stressed that Harris might be a visionary in the 1960s but he is now “suffering from failing vision” and seemingly out of touch with the big picture of 2019. 

Some may see this as an apt commentary on an octogenarian who is approaching 90, and well into his sunset years.

The Warisan Government brushed aside Harris’ call when building up ultra- modern buildings at kampungs like Tanjung Aru, Sembulan, Likas and others not to displace the Malays (Natives). Harris warned that if this were to happen without fair and just, the majority of the existing Native residents would be driven out, leading to the polarision of races because ethnic groups will become identified by location. 

This would destroy the unique fabric of Sabah’s society and would not bode well for the future. 

Harris stressed that the Natives can be retained where they are and cited the Lim Guan Sing Plan and Programme introduced by the Berjaya government that managed to develop part of Sembulan, known as Sempelang, and yet retain the native residents in the area. 

Harris said another good model to follow is the development of Kampong Pandan in Kuala Lumpur that was made into part and parcel of the City while making the high rise and modern buildings affordable so that the existing Malay population could remain in the Kampong. 

Another important factor to keep the Malays (Natives) in the city to provide work to clean up roads, drains, etc.

The Warisan Government leaders are young, energetic and are honours degree holders. That is why they were elected to govern the 1.5 million Sabahans. 

Thus, Warisan leaders, being highly educated and young, have no time to listen to an uneducated and about-to-expire man, such as Harris. With just a year in office, the young leaders of Warisan have made tremendous economic progress and by the time they complete their 5-year term in 2022, visitors will be unable to recognise Sabah and may indeed find Kota Kinabalu City as vibrant as the Super City of Dubai.

Awang Jambul


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