Sabah needs grant, not loan
June 18, 2012: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has questioned the reason
for not allocating funds to the state government to improve the water
supply in the interior of Sabah instead of a loan.
Melanie Chia, the
Women Chief of SAPP said if the state government was in a strong
financial position it should not require a loan from the federal
"If Sabah's financial position is sound and glorious,
why does Sabah need to be given a loan to do basic infrastructure like
water supply?" she asked when commenting on the announcement by Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in Keningau on Saturday.
He had announced the approval of a RM235
million loan to Sabah for the construction of a new water treatment
plant and upgrading of water pipes in Keningau area to address the
water problem in the interior.
She contended that the federal
government should allocate the funds to the state government, instead
of lending it because the former "had taken so much from Sabah".
Chia, who is also the Luyang
assemblywoman said she was even more upset to read that the Prime
Minister had to approve the loan because Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri
Joseph Pairin Kitingan who is also the MP for Keningau had for the past
months been repeatedly asking him about the matter.
She recalled that at the State Assembly
sitting in 2010, she had asked Pairin who is also the Minister of
Infrastructure Development, on the government's plan to improve the
water supply in the Bingkor and Keningau areas following the
government's announcement to do so in 2007.
"The answer I received from the government then was that the Keningau
Water Supply Project was already approved under the Ninth Malaysia Plan
with an allocation of RM10 million from the federal government to
conduct a feasibility study and detailed design which was expected to
be completed in May 2010 and construction work proposed to start in
early 2011. The implementation of this project was expected to take 24
months at a total cost of RM210 million," she said.
She was surprised that Pairin had to
repeatedly begging the Prime Minister to give the state government a loan
of RM235 million.
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