KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government should listen to the grouses and demands of the people regarding the proposed Papar Dam, says Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking.
The Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president, said his personal opinion on the controversial project was irrelevant as it was the people's opinion that mattered.
Although he has yet to see the design and plan of the dam, the International Trade and Industry Minister said he had spoken with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal on the matter.
According to him, Shafie said he would instruct state Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony to explain the dam to Sabahans.
"As an MP, I always support good things for my district. If my district is not affected, and the people demand it, then yes, I'm okay with it," Leiking told reporters after attending the "Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy" event in Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu on Saturday (July 20).
He said the current government had put a stop to the Kaiduan Dam which was proposed by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
"The previous government wanted to do it, but they too did not dare do it in Penampang.
"There are two types of people in Penampang. There are those who totally oppose the dam, and those who just don't want the dam in their district.
"I think the government must listen to their complaints and what they want."
On a separate matter, Leiking described the addition of 13 state seats in Sabah as a "good thing" and "the way forward".
The Bill to increase the number of state seats in Sabah was passed unanimously at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (July 17). It received the support of all 158 MPs present in the House.
Leiking however said that he would like to see more parliamentary seats added in Sabah, in addition to having one more state seat under his constituency of Penampang.
"Of course, we didn't ask for it this session, but it has been approved by the state. The next step would be to push for another review not just in Parliament, but also the state (assembly).
"I would love to have one more state seat under Penampang. This is the way forward for us as well, because Penampang has quite a large number of residents – about 150,000 people".