Kimanis and economic future of the voters
Published on: Sunday, February 02, 2020
By: Datuk John Lo
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The whole world, from Timbuktu to Timor Leste, from USA to China, is struggling for economic development or fighting for economic superiority [like USA and China]. In sharpest contrast is the just concluded Kimanis by election. PH coalition has said there is a lesson to be learned, exactly what they have said in the last 5 by election losses. Tun M’s statement that PH might be a 1 term government is the most serious admission so far. BN, in typical unnatural exuberance over another by election victory, has expressed dreams of being returned to power. Up to date score is PH=5 and BN=5.

Speculations of causes for the loss or victory in Kimanis will have sufficient fodder for 1,000 PhDs and keep political analysts busy for a month. These speculations are a matter of concern to the respective political parties and/or the candidates only. What about people of Kimanis? What will become of them and their future? Judging from the campaign speeches in the public domain, nothing much will change. Life goes on for the Kimanis folks as before.

Not being conversant with things politics, I will not venture to guess the reason[s] for voters’ switching their support from PH to BN in such a dramatic fashion. For certain, however, is that voters’ mindset has changed since GE14. No longer will they stick to 1 party all their lives and are not afraid to switch party allegiance quickly. This shows democratic political maturity of the voters.

Many Malaysian including Sabahan politicians have become political sociopaths. Meanings of sociopath from Google are---[a] Glibness and Superficial Charm. [b] Manipulative and Conning. They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. [c] Grandiose Sense of Self. [d] Pathological Lying. [e] Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt. [f] Shallow Emotions. [f] Incapacity for Love [for the people]. My apologies to the true and genuine political leaders.

Clearest sign of the existence of political sociopath are in the last 10 by elections, more so in the just concluded Kimanis one. A review of the campaign speeches by both sides would reveal a lot of emotional/irrelevant issues. Luckily little or no racial/religious issues came up because such issues do not hold water in Sabah. Glaringly missing from both sides is how can the people of Kimanis benefit economically. The biggest losers in this by election is the people of Kimanis. This is what I mean.

Both sides have no credible economic agenda or plan for Kimanis.

It is very clear from the beginning of campaign that both the government and opposition have no idea or have not thought of how to develop Kimanis. Without competing economic plans, the people of Kimanis cannot judge how best they can benefit from their votes. Their yardstick, not surprisingly, is on how much bantuan they can collect. Also, without economic competing ideas, PSS has become the only dominant issue. It has become a one issue by-election. No doubt PSS is important but for the by election to be meaningful for Kimanis people, economic development issues should also be in the forefront.

Both sides have failed to do their homework for economic development of Kimanis.

Very obvious that both sides and their respective candidates lack economic leadership and have not gone into any detail analysis on the economic profile, development issues and potentials of Kimanis. Some of these issues have not been addressed by the government or challenged by the opposition.

Petronas’ contribution for Kimanis. 

There was great fanfare when Petronas announced its plan to develop Kimanis as its landing points for gas. Great expectation was generated and land prices spiralled up. Today, the few small private commercial developments are languishing with no buyers. Nothing much has happened. Petronas’ economic development contribution to Kimanis in particular and Sabah in general has been a gross disappointment. The government of the day should be challenged to increase Sabah’s share of revenue and Petro-chemical projects. Sabah is getting a raw deal and this needs to be rectified soonest. Kimanis can benefit greatly if Petronas can give Sabah an equitable share.

Where is the new KKIA airport?

Many people have suffered losses in land purchases in expectation of KKIA to be located in Kimanis. Lim Guan Eng has said no new airport for Sabah which means no new KKIA to be built in Kimanis. Ignoring the urgent need of a new KKIA, the federal government has deemed fit to build a new airport in north of W Malaysia where has insufficient traffic for a long time. Penang airport is under use. Definitely KKIA which is the 2nd busiest airport and whose capacity is fast saturating, needs to be relocated. The opposition should have challenged the government’s decision not to go ahead with the new airport in Kimanis. If KKIA is to be built in Kimanis, it would generate tremendous amount of economic activities and employments for the locals.

Beautiful Kimanis Beach---why no resort developments?

Kimanis is blessed with a very beautiful long stretch of beach with soft lovely sand. Chinese tourists would swoon and salivate over this beach and its sunset. Sabahan and foreign Investors would beat a path to invest in boutique hotels and/or resorts in Kimanis if only the government can do a bit of planning, provide basic infrastructure to the beach. The private sector will take the cue and Kimanis will have a tourism boom like Tuaran. The government needs to do so very little and the returns for Kimanis would be tremendous. But no political party or its candidate can see the potential of the beach. I cannot understand why the government cannot get around to encouraging tourism on the Kimanis beach fronts.

This is the lowest hanging fruit. It is so easy but nothing has been done. The Kimanis people are entitled to know why the government has failed to bring tourism to this area when Club Med has gone pass Kimanis to much further Kuala Penyu.

What is there for the Kimanis youth? 

Talking about politicians being custodians of the people and their future? I have not seen any political party or its candidate making a statement on how they would create hope, future and jobs for the youth in Kimanis. Youths are our future. If they are not concerned with our youths, what future would they have?

I am encouraged that Sabah government leaders have taken responsibility for the defeat and have withdrawn PSS. This is political maturity. For Sabah to benefit from true economic progress, every constituency leader should be required by the party to be conversant with economic issues and priority at constituency levels. This was lacking in Kimanis. All YBs and potential candidates should be required to show economic leadership, not just “bermain-main” with the economic interest of the voters.


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