Bung slams GRS over ‘divide and conquer’ claim

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has hit out at Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) over its contention that the Madani Village Community programme was a “divide and conquer” ploy to strengthen Umno's influence in the state.

The Sabah Umno chief said the programme was aimed at helping the state government elevate the socio-economy and well-being of communities, especially in rural areas, to uplift the people out from the hardcore poverty bracket.

But even before the programme was implemented in Sabah, Bung Moktar said GRS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who is also the Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief, had come out to slam the effort and Umno.

"Bangkuai is my friend but his knowledge (about the programme) is a bit shallow," he said during a ceremony to hand over Federal Village Development and Security Committee appointment letters at the state Umno building here on Friday (May 17).

"After that, their (PBS) youth chief issued the same statement over divide and conquer.

"The programme is intended to help the people improve their economy, in entrepreneurship and to foster understanding in Sabah because not everyone has positions. That's why we picked representatives from Parti Warisan and Social Democratic Harmony Party.

"I want to ask GRS, how many positions are held by Umno people (in the government)?

"Even allocations to our assemblymen are not given but it’s okay, what we want is to improve the people’s economy,” Bung Moktar said.

Bangkuai had claimed that the initiative by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno president, undermined the existing Village Development and Security Committee which operates under the jurisdiction of the state government.

He contended that such an action contradicted the essence of the Madani concept promoted by the federal government, which is supposed to bolster understanding, cooperation and unity.

Bung Moktar handed appointment letters to representatives from 30 state constituencies including those from Warisan, Social Democratic Harmony Party and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.

Also present were Social Democratic Harmony Party president Datuk Peter Anthony and Warisan vice-president Datuk Junz Wong, among others, who both joined the presentation ceremony.

Bung Moktar said the parties present at the event were those “left out” and “not used” by GRS.

He said the appointment letters for representatives from 43 remaining state constituencies will be given out soon, adding that some 2,400 people will be appointed as committee leaders statewide.

Bung Moktar added that the focus sectors in the programme were food and agriculture, tourism, handicraft making and embroidery, among others.

“We are not the ones dividing the people, that is them (GRS) doing it,” he said.

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Bung Moktar , GRS , PBS , Madani Village


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