Sabah, Sarawak have high expectations of Ismail

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Sabah, Sarawak have high expectations of Ismail

On the eve of Malaysia Day, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been told to continue working on narrowing the disparity between Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula in terms of development.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Maximus Ongkili says he has high expectations that Ismail will continue the commitment of his predecessors to develop Sabah and Sarawak.

Ongkili, who is Sabah and Sarawak affairs minister, said he fully expected the prime minister to emulate the efforts pushed by Najib Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin.

“He (Ismail) has told me he is committed to keeping and improving the special structure and bridging the gap between Sabah and Sarawak on one hand, and the Malayan states on the other,” he said in a statement to share his list of expectations for Malaysia Day.

“He is aware that there is great disparity between the west and the east (Malaysia) and that there is unhappiness among the youth in both states to really see and experience the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.”

He will be accompanying Ismail on his first official visit as prime minister to Sabah for the official launch of the Malaysia Day celebrations tomorrow.

Ongkili said efforts must be done to set the facts right on the true history behind the formation of Malaysia.

“On this matter, we need to provide historical facts and take out the political and emotional content. We should engage more historians and legal experts,” he said.

He added that the government must correct the small amount of content on the country’s formation in the school syllabus.

He also underlined the government’s need to bridge the economic gap between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

“It is getting harder for us, especially politicians, to justify why there is this huge gap in terms of poverty level, income distribution and physical infrastructure.

“It is hard to explain to young people in the districts why they have to resort to gotong-royong to fix roads and bridges when there is hardly such a need in the rural sector in the peninsula.

“This requires action by the government and a major increase in development funds,” Ongkili said, adding that there was a huge gap between the funds provided and the actual amount that really reached the ground.

He said more Sabahans and Sarawakians were needed in the development planning agencies in the federal government.

“This is so that our own people are involved hands-on to deliver development to our rural sectors,” he said. FMT

Sabah, Sarawak have high expectations of Ismail

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