Despite Pakatan Harapan having swept into power nearly two years ago at both the state and federal level, Sabah's economy has not only remained sluggish, it has deteriorated.
According to the Statistics Department, Sabah’s GDP growth rate slowed sharply - registering a mere 1.5% growth in 2018, the lowest recorded in nearly ten years.
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and Warisan made various promises prior to the 14th General Election (GE14), including a pledge to alleviate the rakyat’s burden upon winning the elections.
However, despite its successful outing, their promise to reduce oil prices have been overlooked, while the prices of more than 100 items have risen with the implementation of the SST.
One after another, aid and welfare for the underprivileged have been cut back, while the Pan-Borneo Highway project has also fallen into uncertainty.
Since PH came into power, the economy has grown sluggish while the markets are experiencing a slowdown. Nor has the rakyat’s income increased, and cost-of-living burdens continue to climb.
While campaigning for GE14, PH vowed to repay 20% of the oil royalty to oil-producing states, but no progress has been made since taking office.
PH refuses to honour this promise under various pretexts, much to the disappointment of Sabahans.
Not being a beneficiary of Sabah’s funds to develop the state’s economy has caused Sabah’s growth to crack further.
A helpless Warisan could not put up a reasonable fight. The federal government sidelines Sabahans while Warisan has lost its courage even before the polls. Are they Sabahans? Is this the government you want?
The Kimanis by-election is not an election that can change the government. Irrespective whether BN or Warisan wins or loses the by-election, the rakyat should seize this golden opportunity to convey their voices to both the federal and state governments via the ballot box - that people are dissatisfied with their methods of governing.
A pragmatic attitude should focus on improving people’s livelihoods, formulating long-term plans and a complete economic development blueprint to liberate Malaysia and Sabah from the economic downturn.
Therefore, to reach this goal, the rakyat must have a strong opposition MP. Monitoring, checking and balancing the government begins with the Kimanis by-election.
Dr Pamela Yong
Sabah Wanita MCA chairman
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