FOR five years, the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) government gave its best with the noble cause of serving the people and bringing more development into the state.

Peace, prosperity and progress were the keywords in our actions, policies and visions for Sabah. For five years after the 13th General Election we delivered our promises and the state administration is an open book for all to see what has been accomplished.

I am a person who prefers to let facts and my actions be the judge of what I have done. The fruits of our success came with help from my peers in the BN coalition, the civil service that executed our plans, the cooperation we got from the community leaders, the people and my federal counterparts.

I am also grateful we have a prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is in touch with our sentiments and our needs here in Sabah.

We are now heading to the polls, the 14th General Election, and it’s time to let the people decide who they wish to give the mandate of running the state in the new term.

I believe the people will be wise in choosing continuity of what has been delivered to them and the state the last five years instead of far-fetched promises that are not backed by realities and are populist in nature.

The BN coalition led by Umno and its partners in Sabah made up of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasokmogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Gerakan, MCA and MIC are ready to face any brickbats that will come our way — with a proven track record as well as an agenda or Halatuju that has been our guide in what we do.

The last five years we have seen major transformations that were clearly in the offing as Sabah started off the new term with six leaders who were entrusted by the prime minister to hold key ministerial portfolios in the federal cabinet.

Sabah was never sidelined or neglected as far as development allocations were concerned or even our sentiments on issues such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Najib kept his word on restoring the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 with the formation of the Devolution of Authority Implementation Committee to Sabah and Sarawak, co-chaired by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Then, there is the major game changer, the Pan Borneo Highway. For Sabah, RM13 billion will be spent to better connect the state along a 700km stretch from Sindumin to Tawau.

Since 2011, under the 10th Malaysia Plan that ended in 2015 and the 11th Malaysia Plan that is now nearing the halfway mark, RM10.2 billion has been allocated for Sabah.

The Sabah BN government, again with federal allocations, also responded to concerns from native communities on the need to resolve the issue of indigenous communities not having land to call their own despite having lived and toiled on it since the time of their ancestors.

For this, the State Native Land Services programme, or Pantas, was introduced in 2011 to hasten the survey and issuance of land titles to Native Customary Right lands in 2011.
Since then the Land and Survey Department had issued 21,378 titles to lands totalling 36,137.02ha in 92 villages through PANTAS, in recognition of the native customary rights of the indigenous people.

This year, a budget of RM4.104 billion was allocated for Sabah, with a surplus of RM64.89 million. This is the fourth consecutive surplus budget tabled by the state.

To assert the effectiveness of the state’s financial management, Sabah has also recorded a surplus for 16 consecutive years based on the consolidated revenue account since 2001.

Over the years the state finances have also grown from strength to strength. The financial reserve in 2002 stood at RM184 million but with sound financial management the state coffers now boast a healthy sum of RM3.74 billion.

The Sabah BN government has also made it a point to ensure government-linked companies are diligently operated to deliver its objectives.

From 2012 to 2016, RM1.87 billion in dividends were collected from 20 state GLCs as a result of my insistence that the organisations be run with a culture of transparency, accountability and sound financial management.

The federal auditor-general had also accorded the Sabah government with a “Clean-Bill” certification as well as Sound Financial Management, with “AAA” rating for seven consecutive years until 2016.

The Household Income Survey Report 2016 by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia shows the incidence of poverty in Sabah stood at 2.9 per cent, a vast improvement from the 25 per cent in 2002. If given the mandate by the people, Insyallah, the Sabah BN government will bring the rate down to below one per cent in two years.
These are just some samples of how the government takes responsibility to safeguard and enhance the prosperity of the people — it will not rest on its laurels.
When it’s time to cast their ballots, I believe the people will choose wisely.

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/04/355055/bn-continuity-progress

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