Projects announced by Sabah govt mere continuation of those proposed during my tenure, claims Ismail Sabri

BEAUFORT: Some of the projects announced by the Sabah government were only continuation of those planned when he was federal Rural and Regional Development Minister, claims Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Ismail, who held the portfolio from 2015 to 2018, cited the proposed Kaiduan Dam in Penampang aimed at overcoming water shortage in the future, as one of the projects during his time.

"Kaiduan Dam was approved, but when local communities objected to the project, we had to delay it.

"But today, the current government has continued with the project (under a different name), so all the projects they announced today are not theirs but when I was still the minister, they are just continuing my projects," he added.

The Umno vice-president said this during Barisan Nasional's campaign trail at Membakut old market at Membakut town on Wednesday (Jan 8).

When asked about Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal's statement that the previous Barisan federal government had failed and sidelined Sabah's development, Ismail said it was untrue and slanderous.

"I do not understand why he said those things, if he said failed then he himself failed when he held the position (Rural and Regional Development Minister) previously for seven years.

"When I was rural minister for nearly three years, there was a huge difference in the allocation given to Sabah compared to the states in West Malaysia.

"From a total RM5bil allocated for development across Malaysia, Sabah had gotten RM1.25bil and Sarawak RM1.25bil, and the remainder RM2.5bil were shared among states in the peninsula.

"That means 50% of rural development allocation was given to East Malaysian states, that is a lot. That is why I was surprised with Shafie's statement when he said no development when a huge funding was given," Ismail added.

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