KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders’ ‘blind’ adulation of Musa Aman’s charge over the state administration is frustrating STAR Sabah chairman Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
Taking to task state BN secretary Abdul Rahman Dahlan over his quick defence of Musa’s administrative skills, Kitingan said that Musa’s successes were more to do with high commodity prices than his economic ability to manage the state.
He said the fact the Musa had announced the ‘highest ever’ state budget of RM4 billion for Sabah was due to the “higher taxes collected from the recent bumper prices in oil and palm oil”.
“It’s not because he (Musa) has any extraordinary qualities as Chief Minister, ” Kitingan said.
He was responding to Rahman’s accusation that Kitingan’s attempts to discredit Musa was mischievous.
Rahman had said in a statement published yesterday that Musa’s government had created 80,000 jobs, presented the highest ever state budget of RM4 billion, accumulated state’s cash reserves of more than RM3 billion, presided over unprecedented economic prosperity and was highly acclaimed as a prudent manager of the state finances by the Auditor General.
Unimpressed Kitingan countered with by saying: “As it is, Musa has not solved a single problem faced by the people, be it poverty, the illegal immigrants, high unemployment, deteriorating rural infrastructure, and the suppressive cabotage policy.
“As proof of this, our youths are still going to Singapore and the peninsula to get employment where they earn higher wages than they would if they worked in Sabah.”
Kitingan said that Musa’s claim of 80,000 jobs for Sabahans was meaningless in the face of the 500,000 Sabahans who were working in Singapore, Johore, the Klang Valley and Penang.
“And even then Sabah’s unemployment rate is still very high. For every one government job advertised in Sabah, hundreds would turn up for the interview.
“If we are in an ‘unprecedented economic prosperity’ why then is the Federation of Sabah Manufacturers still complaining about the cabotage policy, and the Sabah Timber Industry Association is complaining about more sawmills being closed down due to government’s failure to help the industry?” he demanded.
He said Rahman while quick to support his boss had not responded to the specific issues that the opposition had raised all this time.
He challenged Rahman and other BN leaders to talk about these specific issues facing Sabahans rather sidestepping them and talking about so-called successes which have not direct impact in solving the people’s problems.
“As for Musa’s being the best Chief Minister ever, that is highly debatable. And as far as I am concerned even the best of the worst is still the best, ” said Kitingan.