PARLIAMENTARIANS from Sabah and Sarawak joined the growing chorus reminding the Federal Government of its previous promises to the rakyat.
Former Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Anifah Aman (BN – Kimanis)and the outspoken Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan)warned of the “consequences” of any failure by the Government to make good its promises.
Debating on the motion of thanks on the royal address, Anifah said talk of MPs from Sabah switching allegiance to Pakatan Rakyat could be equated to “moving house.”
“What’s the point of moving to a terrace house if one is already living in a bungalow? However, for some of us, there seems to be no pleasure in living in this bungalow. What’s the point of living in a bungalow if one has to sleep beside the toilet?
“Only a few groups living in the bungalow seem to enjoy the benefits,” he said, adding that there were some prominent leaders from Peninsula Malaysia who thought they knew Sabah when they had only been to Kota Kinabalu.
“They ignore the opinions of people like us who have spent time serving our people deep in the interior areas,” he said.
Anifah said he also agreed with a suggestion from Datuk Eric E.Majimbun (BN-Sepanggar) that a ministry be specially set up for Sabah and Sarawak.
“One after another, the promises have been given to us but these have never been fulfilled. Please fulfil your promises so we can also fulfil ours,” he pleaded, adding that despite having been in Malaysia for so long, there were still outstanding problems in the state and that Sabahans were not interested in mere rhetoric or development plans that were confined to books.
Anifah, who turned down a post in this Cabinet, said it was also important to study the reasons why MPs switched parties.
“It’s not important that MPs ‘jump’, what’s important is that our rakyat should also not ‘jump’ in the process,” he said, adding that Sabahan MPs had to voice their grouses so that their voters would not turn against them.
Bung Mokhtar said if the Federal Government could provide basic necessities like water and electricity to the interior areas in Sabah, the voters there were clever enough to decide which party to vote for.
“Backbenchers demand what has been promised to the people. We ‘correct’ the governance. The Government has to take this warning before it is too late,” he said.
Nancy Shukri (BN – Batang Sadong) said although Sarawak was grateful for all that the Barisan Nasional Government had done for the people, “there was still a lot of work.”