THE BEST OPTION
Barisan Nasional’s track record has proven that it is consistent in carrying out projects and taking care of the people’s welfare
RECENTLY, when Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was in town, he spoke on the importance of federal and state Barisan Nasional (BN) governments’ relationship.
It was this close collaboration that has ensured the continued smooth progress in Sabah, which many may have taken for granted.
While some critics argued it was due to the elections getting nearer that the government made sure allocations and projects for the people were made known to the public, development programmes for Sabah, in particular, have been consistently rolled out over the years.
Zahid, addressing the people during his Tawau visit, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman’s close ties benefited the people and the state.
“The key to getting assistance from the Federal Government is good chemistry. Their (Najib and Musa) relationship is continually strengthened not for individual benefit, but to ensure the people’s welfare is taken care of — and I am in Sabah as proof of supporting this federal-state ties.
“This is vital to ensure continuity (of development) in Sabah. If there are leaders from this state highlighting federal or state weaknesses, they have a desire to ‘blur the people’s vision’, saying there are too many loopholes in the system. They want to eliminate the people’s trust in the government,” said Zahid.
He admitted that there was no such thing as a perfect government — the point was to strive to do their best.
“We are aware that the time of ‘zero-mistake’ government or government not admitting mistakes has passed, and we are of a new breed.
“Where there are weaknesses, we want to improve for the people. Denial syndrome does not exist in Barisan Nasional,” Zahid said.
“And that is why, as long as the interiors and rural areas need development programmes channelled to them, we need to strengthen the relations between members of parliament and state assemblymen — the federal and state. That is our aim.”
He said this was something the voters should gauge when making a decision on their future, and appreciate what has been implemented and achieved so far.
“So, when you give your support, it would not be for me personally, but to support the Federal Government that has been alongside the state all this while,” he said.
While some Sabah quarters have been demanding for change, they must also think about the future implications. They must ask, will the major projects that have been drawn up be continued with a change in government?
What if the team players of the new government they are rooting for do not see eye to eye and are more invested in personal gains and not the people collectively? These are things the people still have time to ponder on before making their choices.
While there are so many opposition choices out there now for Sabahans, BN’s track record here seems to indicate it would be easier said than done.
In fact, a BN component leader is confident that the coalition will remain strong in the state and would still win handsomely should the state election be called as early as next month.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) acting president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili said the key prerequisite is for the Sabah BN component parties to stay united and work closely to deliver another solid win.
“As I said before, no single party can win Sabah on its own, not even Umno, without the support and cooperation from other component parties,” the energy, green technology and water minister had stressed.
Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Sapawi Ahmad, summing it up, said BN was still the best option for the people, as its line of leaders had consistent struggles.
“It is not being led by disappointed individuals who created their own political platforms after failing to gain what they personally desired while they were in BN.
“Such leaders are using the people to pursue their own interests,” he said, questioning the sincerity of some opposition leaders in Sabah.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi greeting the people in Tawau during his visit to Sabah recently. With him is Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (on Zahid’s left).