Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tadau Kaamatan: Sabah looking forward to good 'harvest' with PM's visit

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah leaders are expecting some "goodies" from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during his two-day visit to the state from Saturday to attend the national-level Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival celebrations, The Star reported.
Among the announcements Abdullah is expected to make is the abolition of the controversial Department of Federal Development Sabah (JPPS), set up when the state was ruled under then-Opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah in 1991.Following this, federal development funds are expected to be channelled through the Sabah Development Office, under the Chief Minister's Department that will identify projects needing federal funding.
Barisan leaders said they also expected the Prime Minister to address the long-standing issue of the state's illegal immigrants by setting up a high-powered Cabinet panel to work on the framework of a long-term solution.
He is also expected to announce the immediate standardisation of prices of subsidised goods nationwide that will benefit Sabah and Sarawak consumers who have been paying more than their peninsula counterparts.
Several Sabah MPs said it was crucial for Abdullah to show he was acting on the issues raised. "Sabahans are waiting to see if the Prime Minister really cares about them. We do not expect him to solve all problems overnight, but at least something 'manis-manis' (sweet) must be given," said Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh.
State Barisan leaders also expected Abdullah to announce more federal funding for projects in the state, although they did not anticipate any announcement in connection with their call for higher oil royalty.
"We are expecting some Kaamatan cheer but we don't expect all our requests to be met," said a senior component leader, adding that they did not expect a special Sabah ministry to be set up, if answers in Parliament were any indication.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, when asked if he expected any major announcements from the Prime Minister, said, "Let him come first."
Apart from opening the Ka'amatan national open house where some 30,000 people are expected, the Prime Minister will also visit Sandakan on Sunday to visit the proposed site for the Malaysia International Rainforest Flora and Fauna Show 2009 at the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

update 6/1/2008:

Rich harvest for Sabah - Sabah to reap whole lot of benefits from Federal Government: KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kicked off his two-day visit to Sabah with good news to the people of the state.
The Prime Minister’s “Kaamatan gift” covered a range of areas, many of which are seen by the people in the state as urgently needed to solve the problems they face.

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