SABAHANS now feel that they can stand as tall as their counterparts from the peninsula, thanks to Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said state deputy treasurer Datuk Masidi Manjum.
He said the Prime Minister’s decision to expand Umno into Sabah in 1991 resulted in people there coming out of the “mental shell they had created for themselves”.
“To me, breaking that psychological barrier to enable the people there to shed their inferiority complex is Dr Mahathir’s biggest contribution to Sabah,” he said when debating the motion on economy.
He said the Federal Government had provided RM12.7bil for the development of the state since Barisan Nasional came to power in Sabah nine years ago.
Negri Sembilan delegate Zainuddin Ismail questioned the status of certain government agencies such as Urban Development Authority, Pernas and Korporasi Usaha Bersatu Berhad which were set up to help bumiputras.
Noting that not much was heard from those agencies of late, he said there was a need for them to get back to their basic functions.
Johor delegate Dr Harris Salleh said access to the Internet and web-based activities should be equally accessible to all communities in both the urban and rural areas.
He said those in rural areas would face “digital gap” as they did not have as easy an access to Internet as compared to the urban folk.
Malacca delegate Abdul Ghafar Atan said banks should ease up on the procedures for loan applications for small scale entrepreneurs to help address the problems of illegal moneylenders.
The poem was read out by Sabah Umno deputy treasurer Datuk Masidi Manjun in paying tribute to Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad when debating the economic resolution.
Masidi said the six-line poem reflected the feelings of the people of Sabah towards the Prime Minister.
His poem read:
Ikah tambalut (You are our friend)
Ikah molohingon (You are our leader)
Ikah tapa yah (You are our father)
Ikah no minomosik (You awakened us)
Mantad todop tanaruh (From a long sleep)
Mantad tinipih aiso kopuposon (From a never-ending dream)
After reading the poem, Masidi turned towards Dr Mahathir saying in English: “We salute you sir.”