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High-level meeting today to resolve water problem: Anwar vows to end Sabah’s woes
Published on: Thursday, June 01, 2023
By: Larry Ralon
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High-level meeting today to resolve water problem: Anwar vows to end Sabah’s woes
Anwar, accompanied by Hajiji, arriving at the 2023 State Kaamatan Festival closing ceremony at the Hongkod Koisaan, KDCA.
PENAMPANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will chair a Federal-State top-level meeting this morning (June 1) to resolve the water supply problem in Sabah together with the State Government.

He said he is serious and determined to quickly resolve infrastructure problems faced by states, including Sabah, and was personally committed to solving Sabah’s woes.

“In a short time (since becoming Prime Minister) I have come to Sabah three times. This is because I want to fulfil my responsibilities. The Chief Minister told me that while the Government under his leadership is strong and cohesive, there are issues that should be resolved well, among them the water supply and roads.

“So I have decided that tomorrow (Thursday) morning I will have a high-level meeting involving the Federal and State governments to resolve the water problem together with the State Government,” he said at the closing ceremony of the Pesta Kaamatan 2023 at Dewan Hongkod Koisaan, Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA), here, Wednesday.

Anwar said many ministers, Members of Parliament and officials of the Prime Minister's Department had also said he (Anwar) should go to the interior of Sabah and see and experience himself the poor road conditions.

“So recently, the allocations for repairing roads were increased, with the biggest chunk going to Sabah. We have asked for immediate action,” he said. 

He said action was being taken to ensure the Pan Borneo Highway project as well as road repair and maintenance works in Sabah could be implemented speedily for the benefit of the people in the State.

“To smoothen the implementation, part of the repair and maintenance works will be handed over to the State Government in accordance with the national financial regulations and policies.

“I want to assure you that the Unity Government is serious and determined to resolve these problems as soon as possible,” he said, adding problems involving education, health and basic infrastructures faced by the people must be dealt with promptly and properly.

Anwar also praised the efforts by Hajiji to settle infrastructure problems in the State, describing him as a good example of a leader who has the people’s interests at heart.

The Prime Minister said when he arrived in Sabah at 1am on Wednesday, Hajiji was so enthusiastic about discussing infrastructure issues that Anwar had to jokingly tell him that he needed time to sleep before resuming their talks.

“Hajiji showed great concern. This is the type of leader we want, not those who ask about projects and share for themselves. But Hajiji asked about additional projects for Sabah people,” he said.

Earlier, Anwar said the Unity Government is determined to make this a new phase of Malaysia that uplifts all the people.

He believed that in a short period of time, Malaysia would be able to bring back the true spirit of unity among the people.

“Today I feel very happy to be able to celebrate an important festival not only for the Kadazan Dusun Murut Rungus (KDMR) community but for all Malaysians in Sabah and the whole country. Events like this are people's events.

“We have ambitions to make Sabah and Malaysia a superior country with a great economy, a strong level of education and technology, but still rooted in our own traditional culture.

“Malaysia is great as long as its people, starting with its leadership, have an open, respectful, tolerant and appreciative attitude because we all have each other's strengths.

“Each has own strength, each has own greatness and each has own beauty, in terms of dance, clothes, diversity and culture. What is the greatness of man if there is no love for each other's diversity?

“This is our wish. I chose to inform the Chief Minister that I want to attend this festival to show that the Unity Government really wants to convince the people that this is a new phase of Malaysia that uplifts all the people in this country,” he said. He added that his presence at the Kaamatan Festival is a symbol, that is, all government leaders and all states in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, that every festival of any tribe and any community in the region is a common celebration that we should honour.

Anwar was also moved when told by Pairin in his speech that he is the first time the Prime Minister to attend the Kaamatan Festival celebration.

He also announced a RM1 million allocation to KDCA for its activities.

“For other requests such as the proposed university college, I will wait until the proposed paper is ready and discuss with the State Government,” he said. Pairin, in his speech earlier, said KDCA requested the consideration of financial and technical assistance from the Federal Government which has already helped other associations and organisations among the Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli.

He said KDCA has approved a piece of land for the purpose of building a university college in Tambunan.

“This noble purpose has already been approved by the previous central government and we really appreciate and thank you for the approval because it aims to help progress in the education and learning of the Bumiputera people in Sabah.

“Although there is still much to be done in the effort to develop the proposed university college, we have full hope for the consideration and approval of the Prime Minister on this matter.

“The details and paperwork are already there, just waiting to be compiled to be sent to the Prime Minister,” he explained.

For that purpose, Pairin said KDCA has registered a foundation called Registered Trustee Huguan Siou Education and Charitable Foundation, which was registered on April 10, 2018.

“This foundation also needs financial assistance from the Government. I expect positive consideration from the Prime Minister. This is because we must care about the future of our community,” added Pairin.     He also said the people of Sabah welcomed the formation of the Unity Government. They are confident and hopeful of the Prime Minister's emphasis, especially on the MA63 implementation. “We are confident and trust that the Sabah Government is in lined with the Unity Government,” he said.  

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