Sunday, March 28, 2004

Tawau - The Step Child

After the appointment of both state and national cabinets were completed Tawau once again being the biggest loser.

Tawau, the most important town in the east coast of Sabah covers both Tawau and Kalabakan parliamentaries with six state constituencies namely Sri Tanjung, Apas, Balung, Merotai, Tanjung Batu and Sebatik. All the seats were won by BN.

Tawau which is the third largest town in the state is also an important agriculture and aquaculture center. Oil Palm and Cocoa plantations made up most of the agriculture activities while boasted the most number of prawn farming. In addition to that Tawau is also the most important transit point between Sabah and East Kalimantan of Indonesia which brought about millions worth of Ringgit in barter trading.

With such an important role to play and its great contributions to the state's revenue, only one assistant minister was chosen from Tawau is rather unacceptable. Compared to other areas in Sabah which have their voices in the state cabinet and some in the national cabinet, Tawau has once again been left out from the main stream. It is no different from being treated as the step child of the state.

However, this situation has been expected. Tawau, including Kalabakan, has never had any real qualified, educated, dedicated, capable and outstanding leaders. The most it ever had was when Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh was made the Deputy Chief Minister. He however resigned siting personal problem before anything could be done to the people of Tawau. When his old friend Chong Kah Kiat was the Chief Minister he was once again invited into the state cabinet as Minister. The second opportunity too was wasted without much contributions.

There were also other assistant ministers from Tawau who were Datuk Michael Lim Yun Sang (Sri Tanjung), Datuk Dr Patawari Patawe (Merotai) and Datuk Abdul Manan Jakasa (Balung).

Datuk Michael Lim was dumped by the people of Tawau for being one of the biggest political frog who has betrayed his mentor Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan of PBS. He not only made huge profits from the projects he lobbied but also cheated a large number of local businessmen. His debtors are still hunting for him now. He too was a disgrace for the people of Tawau.

Both Datuk Abdul Manan and Dr Patawari did not made any significant contributions to the people of Tawau before they were removed. Datuk Manan opted out during the last election while Dr Patawari was not re-appointed to his previous peosition.

It was widely understood that both Dr Patawari and Datuk Ghapur were not in good terms with Datuk Seri Musa. They were both excluded from the original list of BN candidates. However, due to last minute lobbying and political pressure, they were retained. In such a situation, there was no hope for any cabinet appointments for both of them.

Sri Tanjung state assemblyman Samson Chin Chee Tsu is PBS Vice President. He was also the DAP Member of Parliament of Tawau. He was never a choice for the people in Tawau if not because of his current associations with PBS, the BN component party. If he were to face a stronger contender during the last election, Samson would have lost. Samson is a NPM or non-performance-man.

The fact that DAP candidate Jack Cheah Nget Min or Ayam Chia managed to garner more than 3,000 votes is enough to prove that Samson did not meet the people's expectation. Should Ayam Chia had more resources he would have won handsomely.

The Member of Parliament Shim Paw Fatt is slightly better than Samson. He was lucky to win uncontested. His track of records too have not been good with little to shout about. That of course made him not qualified for any appointment.

The rest of the state assemblymen in Mohamad Kamil Kassim (Tanjung Batu), Liew Yun Fah (Merotai) and Syed Abas Syed Ali (Balung) were there due to some political connections with those in power. The too have nothing much to offer.

It is too late to regret since the people have made their choice.
Blame it on the party leaderships who are selfish and irresponsible in putting up the wrong candidates.
Blame it on the greedy candidates who use all their dirty resources to be YB.
Blame it too to the voters who have opted for 'immediate benefits' and went against their will to make the wrong guys win.
Blame it too to ourselves who have taken things for granted.

When we have bad drivers no one wants to offer them any car to drive.

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