LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he will not allow criticisms to steer him away from efforts to create a more equitable society.
He said the Government wanted to ensure that development was not only in urban areas, but that every part of the community would reap the benefits from a balanced policy.
“We do not want to benefit only tourists when we declare Langkawi as a duty-free land.
“When we carry out development, we have to make sure that it is implemented fairly.
“I am very happy that the submarine electrical cables at Tuba Island have been installed as I have promised.
“We want to ensure that the people of the island will not be sidelined,” he said when officiating the RM46mil rural electrification project for Tuba Island, located off Langkawi island, yesterday.
The project, announced by Najib during his first visit to the island in October 2012, was to ensure smoother electrical supply that would address the frequent disruption there.
Tuba Island has a population of 5,000.
He also announced an allocation of RM800,000 to repair houses for the poor and another initiative, under Budget 2018, to build a mini stadium on the island.
Najib said projects approved under Tenaga Nasional Bhd would involve the completion of a RM690,000 Tanjung Pandan jetty in May, wiring works for 30 underprivileged homes at a cost of RM60,000, and installation of 38 LED street lights at villages.
He said there were criticisms that cash assistance to the people were dedak (chicken feed) or bribe, citing the RM300 assistance given to fishermen.
“What is wrong with giving out assistance to the fishermen?
“The Government strives for the welfare of the people.
“When we collect GST, we use a portion of it to help the people. This is not bribe.
“This is what I hold onto as prime minister. They can say whatever they want, but I will not budge from my principles.
“The Government under my leadership will help not only those in Tuba Island, but also Langkawi and Kedah as a whole,” added Najib.
Langkawi MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad requested for recreational space for residents, such as a mini stadium, and an allocation to repair homes for the people.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah urged the people to think twice about change and promises offered by “a new political party”, saying that the Government under Barisan Nasional had brought numerous changes to the state.