Archive for April 30th, 2007

Tourism Minister should support the world’s tallest Mazu (Goddess of Sea) statue project in Kudat

The Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor should support the world’s tallest Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) statue project in Kudat as it will be economically good for Sabah and Malaysia by enhancing the nation’s international tourism competitiveness.

Although Tan Sri Chong Kat Kiat has yet to publicly disclose the reasons for his shock resignation as Deputy Chief Minister and State Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment on April 13, his oblique reference to resigning over “a matter of principle” raises the question as to whether his resignation concerned the interests of the state, his party or individual self.

Public speculation over his resignation had zeroed on two issues, viz:

Firstly, his being forced to “eat dead cat” or unfairly to take the blame for the development of Pulau Sipadan which damaged the unique coral reef of one of the top five diving spots in the world. As a result, it attracted public criticism of the Prime Minister when the Federal Government was embarrassed by the despoliation of the fragile ecosystem of Sipadan which was first exposed and reported internationally by environmental groups. However, it was the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who must bear responsibility for the plans to develop Sipadan.

Secondly, Chong’s differences with Musa over the former’s plan to build the world’s tallest Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) statue in Kudat which will be a tourist and economic boon for the district, Sabah and Malaysia in enhancing our international tourist competitiveness by drawing tourists from China, Taiwan and Japan. Read the rest of this entry »


Curses of 2Cs and 2Is in Sandakan and Sabah

For 12 years from 1978 to 1990, Sandakan was represented by the DAP in Parliament and the people of Sandakan were in the political vanguard in the state and nation in the battle for justice, equality and democracy.

In the past 17 years from 1990 to 2007, the people of Sandakan withdrew from this front-line role for political change in Sabah and Malaysia.

Last year, the wind of political change blew strong and hard in Sarawak when six DAP representatives were elected into the Sarawak State Assembly, fundamentally altering the culture, quality and direction of Sarawak State Assembly proceedings and Sarawak politics.

Many are hoping that this “Sarawak wind of political change” will also blow in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah come the next general election, which is most likely at the end of this year or early next year after Barisan Nasional’s surprise result in the Ijok by-election in Selangor yesterday.

The time has come for the wind of political change to blow again in the “Land Below the Wind” as Sabah was known.

Earlier today, together with the Sarawak DAP Assemblywoman for Pending Violet Yong and Pahang DAP Assemblyman for Triang Leong Ngah Ngah, I visited the new Sandakan market which had been operating for four months.

It was a grandiose “white-elephant” which cost RM34 million or over 60 per cent cost overrun from the original estimate of RM21 million — an outstanding symbol of the lack of municipal good governance in Sandakan and Sabah as well as the lack of accountability, integrity and effective democratic representation.

The cries of the majority of the stallholders in the new Sandakan market that they are sandwiched between high rentals and poor business as a result of bad siting, lack of supportive infrastructure like proper bus service and sub-standard construction despite exorbitant construction costs, had been totally ignored by all the three tiers of government – local, state and national.

The Sabah State Assembly had just concluded its meeting last week but nobody raised the scandal of the RM34 million new Sandakan market in the Sabah State Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »