Three questions for Abdullah when he launches Sabah Development Corridor on Jan 29

Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman was full of hype yesterday about the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) to be launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on January 29.

Musa claimed that the SDC, which is to span an 18-year period from 2008 to 2025, is “special” and different from other regional corridor developments in the country in that it would extend to the whole of Sabah instead of being confined to only one area.

Musa has however not explained why the Sabah SDC is the last “corridor” to be announced and launched by the Prime Minister, when it should be the first as Sabah has the worst poverty rate in the whole country.

This is one of the three questions Abdullah should answer when he comes to Sabah on January 29 to launch the SDC, viz:

How the SDC will eradicate poverty in Sabah, which is the worst of all states in the country. In the 1994 Sabah state general election manifesto, Barisan Nasional promised a “Sabah Baru” to reduce the poverty level in Sabah from 33 per cent in 1994 to zero in the year 2000.

Although Barisan Nasional has been in power in Sabah since 1994, there was not only no reduction of Sabah poverty rate to zero in 2000, it registered the highest incidence of poverty rate of 23% after 10 years in 2004 – much higher than the two other poverty-stricken states of Terengganu (15.4%) and Kelantan (10.6%).

Sabah also leads the states in 2004 in the notoriety table of having the worst hard-core poverty at 6.5% as compared to the next three states with the highest incidence, i.e. Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%.

The second question Abdullah should answer on January 29 is how the SDC will end the marginalization of the KDM community as the new underclass in Sabah.

Thirdly, how the SDC will uplift the development of Sandakan to be at par with other growth centres.

At present the Sabah Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister both come from Sandakan. But what is the use of having a Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister when Sandakan continues its economic slide as compared to other regions in the state, losing out to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Lahad Datuk.

For over a decade, there has been an out-migration of the people of Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, Lahad Datuk, Tawau and the other regions in Sabah to find a living because of the economic decline in Sandakan.

Let Abdullah address these three questions when he launches the SDC on January 29.

(Media Conference Statement 2 in Sandakan on Sunday, 20th January 2008)

  1. #1 by Tickler on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 7:25 pm

    Perhaps we should also talk about the Petronas selling oil on 5year/10 year forward contracts at something like USD30 per barrel when the price was in that region. (to be verified).
    Which was once publicised as one reason why Petronas-owned MISC bought more tankers (for the shipments).
    We need Petronas to come clean on these forward contract sales, and if there is built-in-mechanism to increase prices at market value.
    This is substantiated by Najib`s statement that oil reserves will be outed by 2011. The previous estimate was up to 2015. Does this mean that 4 years reserves have been `pumped` already to feed the BN?

  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 7:26 pm

    All projects will come to nought in Sabah, so long that the State has a hand on it. Just go back to the Sapangar port project and check how many budgets were allocated and how all these budgets were spent without any result until lately. The cost would be a few multiples of the real cost. Sabah is akin to those African states which used to championed by you know who. It had been reported that only 10% of the amount was actually spent on the projects, the rest? ha! ha! ha!.So YB, do remind them that by the time the so-called economic corridor is complete, the Sabhans will find themselves burdened with unpaid costs.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 8:32 pm

    Someone once said that Sabah also leads the country in one other area – corruption, where tons of money have been siphoned out to pockets of a few people. See how plumb some politicians have become. How they can afford these overseas trips and WHY they are all frequently going to Hong Kong and other places.

    There was a slogan we all heard in the 90s – “Sabahans will show the way” but the all just got lost very early. Then it was “Sabah Baru” that was quickly turned to “Sabah Sapu”. You know what I mean.

    Ah! Sabah! A land of “opportunities”. A state of “winds” (flatulence).

  4. #4 by izrafeil on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 8:42 pm

    Badawi is hoping that the multiplier effect would trickle down to the rakyat, Econ 101 says the multiplier effect is the inverse of savings rate, our savings rate is I think 25%, so each RM1 spent will generate RM4 to the economy. What he forgot is that this trickle down does not exist as the all the contracts are “bolot” by the cronies. Just look at Petronas contracts… 2/3 going to …. (you know who)….

  5. #5 by cheng on soo on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 9:09 pm

    Pray hard that msia can find 7 or 8 billion barrels of petrol reserves soon, then all ‘corridors’ can be developed!

  6. #6 by oknyua on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 9:16 pm

    The Iskandar Dev Region IDR (Southern corridor) was announced in 2006. It was launched with much publicity and promotions. Billions of Ringgit are coming from investors; Singaporean, Arab countries, American, etc.

    From the onset I believed the IDR simply because of the people appointed to the committee – people like Andrew Sheng. The question now is, after almost two years what is there to show in the IDR? (“Batu bata pun tak ada.”)

    Subsequent to that we have the Northern Corridor, the Eastern Trengganu-Kelantan corridor, Sarawak Corridor and now the Sabah Corridor. The IDR Corridor, for example, needs massive in flow of investment fund. Before the funds come in, a massive establishment of infra-structures must be there. That includes power, communications, labour, and of course raw materials. One corridor itself could take a period of 10-20 years. Now we have 5 corridors.

    Any person with enough common sense could tell the impossibility of launching and implementing 5 corridors simultaneously. Let me give an example of the Sarawak Corridor at Mukah area. That place is presently jungle, rivers, marshes and NOTHING else. With a population of only 2 million, how on this earth can that corridor be implemented, let alone succeed?

    This corridor nonsense has to stop. The rakyat is more concerned about embezzlement of public funds and corruptions in high places. The public wants accountability of spending, effective implementation of projects and proper redistribution of wealth. The gimmicks must stop. Give the people the real thing.

  7. #7 by necromancer4good on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 9:16 pm

    Pity the Sabahan. Who to blame? No one else other than the dead Tun Mustapha who brought UMNO in. Shame on him and his family. The KDM also have themselves to blame. Their “leaders” were the one frog jumping into BN. Shame on Pairin. He should not be the paramount leader.
    Sabah boleh: Leader in poverty, corruption, legalised illegal immigrants,Tuberculosis, HIV infections…..

  8. #8 by necromancer4good on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 9:33 pm

    If you meet any Pakistani in Sabah, chances are that they have MyKad though they speak little Bahasa Malaysia.
    There is even a village near Beaufort occupied by them. Uncle Kit if you are interested, you might catch the big big fish behind this..might even solve the Project IC for the Sabahan and bring down a regime.
    Credit to DAP.

  9. #9 by adriene on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 10:31 pm

    May I ask the source of the poverty figures you quoted? I am not doubting your source, but I just want to know so that I may look it up for further reference. Thanks.

  10. #10 by Colonel on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 6:56 am

    They really should re-name these “corridors” as corridors of corruption because of the opportunities they offer to corrupt politicians.

  11. #11 by dranony on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 8:09 am

    I think PakLah and BN is simply trying to hoodwink the rakyat into throwing support for the BN, in announcing the “corridors.”

    Declaring a “corridor” would usually mean that such a “corridor,” or region, is the _focus_ of intensive development efforts.
    But declaring the entire country or regions to be ALL corridors ie MSC, IDR, NCER, ECER and now SDC, would mean a lack of focus on a single region.
    Where would be the focus of the development, if the entire country were all such corridors?
    Corridors lead from one room to another. Can your entire house be all corridors?

    These “corridors” would thus appear to be dangled carrots to entice the rakyat to continue supporting the BN.

    We might as well call the whole of Malaysia an entire “giant corridor.”

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 8:35 am

    I have seen many govt programs all over the world in all sort of development effort including such region development effort. The issue of these corridors is actually very complex. Its not necessarily a complete waste of money depending on the conditions and the program.

    Even in our home front, we have seen that the MSC have not been successful but it has not been a complete disaster like perwaja, proton etc.

    It is not a coincidence that the IDR was the first place this idea was mooted. In fact, its the most logical place for such a program. But even IDR may not be successful if its not implemented correctly. The IDR is based on one single bet which is integration of Johor and Singapore economically. The problem with that, until now, there has not been that much work on that and largely a spending spree. The middle-east investor who have invested there are betting it will eventually happen. It is most likely that when the project stalls, the Arab investors will push the goverment to move closer to Singapore which means those who criticize the IDR may be surprised.

    But that said, the other corridors are not in the same league. NCER is about Penang as a stimuli but will Penang be allowed to lead the rest of the states? Its not likely given the poltical warlording that goes on. ECER – its a Petronas project and dependent on Petronas and Federal money to spend freely.

    So what about SDC? We all realize by now Sabah would now be a developed state by now if not runned by BN. The old politicians of Sabah did not see Sabah’s potential thinking they needed Federal help which gave the opening to UMNO/BN. Now its much more difficult since the rich resources have been overly exploited. But there is potential for Sabah but the problem is that its not where the government think it is. The problem with Sabah and SDC is that the government think its the solution and not the problem. What Sabah has got to do is put resources back into the hands of Sabah entreprenuers. From building roads and infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, etc, the role of the government is to get out of the way and enable the businessmen to run it. This means that the warlording ways of old Sabah including the current CM need to be rid off first. Sabah has some fundamental strength but its greatest one are the entreprenuers and businessmen not poltiician-exploiters. Without such a fundamental change in philosophy, SDC would be reduced to political campaign as suggested by Sdr. Lim.

  13. #13 by boomingray on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:08 am

    a survey done last year revealed that POLITICIAN is the most untrust-worthy ppl,even worst than an used-car salesman!

    Indirectly,it is classified into CON category such as CON-sultant,CON-tractor or CON-people!

    Infact,being a politician is just like doing business,you need capital,now you see how much these ppl spent in-order to achieve their goal,Obama:USD1 million,Hilary:?million,McCain:?million…………..if you think they are highly paid as the President of America later then you are wrong,but why they spent the money?Even the foolest ppl will know the answer right?

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:14 am

    All ruling politicians and their cronies and mah chai love corridors.

    All roads lead to Rome. All corridors lead to …………
    the bottomless pockets of some lucky people in Malaysia!

    Happy times are here again!

  15. #15 by k1980 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:44 am

    In the end, all Sabahan kampung houses will have corridors linking them to their pit latrines outside— and Dullah would then proudly proclaim that the Sabah Development Corridor has been successful

  16. #16 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:47 am

    Abdullah Badawi Al-Korridor….middle eastern money again….the Korridor of Korruption.

  17. #17 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:05 am

    History Lesson Form 3 and Form 5:

    Tunku Abdul Rahman : Bapa Malaysia
    Tun Razak: Bapa Pembangunan
    Tun Hussien: Bapa Kebersihan
    Dr Mahathir: (I don’t know – maybe Bapa Lupa)
    Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: Bapa Corridor-corridor

  18. #18 by madmix on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:42 am

    AAB must have been walking along the corridors of a psychiatric hospital when he got the corridors brainwave. In a few years, Malaysia would become a net oil importer and there will be too many civil servants and pensioners with inflated salaries and pensions to feed. where is the money for the corridors coming from?

  19. #19 by BlackEye on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:55 am

    “We might as well call the whole of Malaysia an entire “giant corridor.” dranony

    Looks like some posters complain about anything and everything. If no development comes to Sabah, they accuse the BN government of neglect. When plans are drawn up for their development, they still have something to complain. What in the case of this particular poster is not clear.

  20. #20 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:47 am


    In Malaysian style, corridors are meant for money laundering. The more corridors we have, the more avenues there are for our friends in high places to make money. Sabah corridor means money can flow through to Philippines, to Indonesian Borneo. Southern corridor means money can flow through to Singapore. Northern corridor and eastern corridor mean money can get through to Thailand.

    To me, corridors = leakages. You don’t need corridors for development.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:49 am

    What Badawi is doing is simple – carving up the country for his goons. He is telling Musa and Taib, you have your own corridor to “protect”, so don’t harp on the other corridors. Nobody gets left out by Big Ears and everyone has their turf to protect.

  22. #22 by k1980 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 12:20 pm

    Dr Mahathir: Bapa “I can’t remember”
    Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: Bapa Cuti-cuti luar negara

  23. #23 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 12:49 pm

    “What in the case of this particular poster is not clear.”

    BlackEye, have you ever attended any of the meeting involving any one of the corridors? If you had, I can relate one that I had. Thank you.

  24. #24 by k1980 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:09 pm

  25. #25 by dranony on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:26 pm

    oknyua, the correct “Bapa-Bapa Malaysia” are:

    Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bapa Kemerdekaan
    Tun Abdul Razak – Bapa Pembangunan
    Tun Hussein Onn – Bapa Perpaduan
    Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad – Bapa Pemodenan
    Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – Bapa Mertua Khairy

  26. #26 by dranony on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 5:37 pm

    thanks for your comment, and for pointing out that the reason for my complaint was not clear.
    perhaps i shall try again?

    Don’t you wonder if all these “economic regions” and “development corridors” are merely gimmicks to entice voters to vote for BN?
    As some of the other posters here have pointed out, some of the proposals are mainly talk only – with IDR having nothing to show for it even after two years.
    Subsequent to that, in rather quick succession, we have announcements of NCER, ECER, Sarawak Corridor and Sabah Corridor.
    All of these require massive spending.
    Had it been only one or two proposals, like the MSC during Mahathir’s time, where the focus of resources are concentrated, one would be more likely to believe that it is real, and that the intentions are sincere. However, the way the entire country is pronounced to be “all corridors,” one wonders if there is improbability of real substance.

    Oknyua puts it much better:
    “Any person with enough common sense could tell the impossibility of launching and implementing 5 corridors simultaneously.”

    As it is, it just seems like a lot of grandstanding.
    Seems just like an election gimmick.

  27. #27 by BlackEye on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:06 pm

    I think so too. I only asked because you did not substantiate what you said in your first posting on the issue except to say we might as well declare the whole of Malaysia a “giant corridor”. It seemed to me then like you were whining and not much more.

    For that matter, the entire Malaysia Plan, the government projects provide opportunities for politicians and those politically connected to abuse their power to make profits for themselves and their cronies. Why stop with Sabah?

    In some countries it is known as pork-barrel projects.

  28. #28 by undergrad2 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:31 pm

    Yep. In the U.S. it is known as pork-barrel spending – important when it comes to elections.

  29. #29 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 12:05 am

    would some engineering experts please study and compare the cost of our double rail-tracking projects with that of China. The Beijing-Shanghai rail track of 1,318km with 20 tunnels, 20 bridges [ including one each across the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, plus 17 stations along the route is estimated at some rm$100 B and planned to run at 350km/hr. Our track from Ipoh to Padang Besar of less then 300km, along cost some rm$15 B!! Planned to run at 160km/hr!! I believe by the time it is completed, there would be VC of 50%. And how long has this project taken?Still planning I suppose? Or fear that the completed rail would decrease the toll collection? The Chinese know what they wanted and know that road transport for their country would be uncompetitive in the long run. Even many Indian rail experts were taken aback by the rate of their developments. This is a country where everyone thought corruption is their biggest problem; maybe, but it would appear so, but certainly not as bad as ours!! The toll concept with its 10% increase every 3 years will ensure our in-land transport would be the most expensive in ASEAN once they stopped ‘subsidizing’ the fuel cost. Now that we find that Malaysian brains have gone overseas, later we may have to send our maids and labourers too.
    Hence, ALL Malaysians, think of this scenario 10 or 15 years down the road, if you are not careful with your action in the next two months or so.

  30. #30 by Count Dracula on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 5:57 am

    “Now that we find that Malaysian brains have gone overseas, later we may have to send our maids and labourers too.”

    So what remains are brainless Malaysians??

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