During his recent trip to Serian, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave this assurance saying that rural projects in Serian would be given priority under the redistribution of projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Does it mean that before this Serian as part of the Bidayuhland, were not allocated with priority projects. Or was the allocation put on hold until Barisan Nasional retain Serian seat. That's like a black mail.
Badawi also pointed out that problems relating to funds that are still ‘hanging’ will also be looked into and solved. Did he meant that fund for rural projects for Serian was being frozen and it need complaints from the people for him to unfreeze the fund.
The Prime Minister is playing an unfair game and it literally need the Bidayuh to beg for development funds even though they have ensure that the Barisan Nasional have a landslide win in the Bidayuh Parliament constituencies.
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PM assures Bidayuhs will be rewarded
By Samuel Aubrey
TEBEDU: The people in Serian are assured that their strong support for the Barisan Nasional in the last parliamentary election will be rewarded.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave this assurance yesterday, saying that rural projects in Serian would be given priority under the redistribution of projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
“The great support rendered to BN will not be futile, as this will be responded by more developments for Serian. Problems relating to funds that are still ‘hanging’ will also be looked into and solved.
“For this, officers from the agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) will be sent to Serian and also Tebedu to study the situation faced here,” he said at a meet-the-people session at Bandar Mutiara here.
Among the pledges the prime minister made was for the RM60 million SMK Tebedu, expected to be completed in 2010, to have hostel facilities although this was not included in earlier approved plan, and to extend electricity, treated water supply and tarsealed roads to villages in Serian.
“This will be solved as soon as possible. Good schools are vital in stimulating higher academic achievements. (But) in Sarawak, the many schools in the state’s rural areas are in need of electricity, treated water and other supporting facilities,” he said.
Abdullah was responding to requests made by the leaders of the Bidayuh community in relation to the whopping majority win achieved by BN candidate Datuk Richard Riot in Serian in the last general election.
Riot, now serving as Serian MP for five consecutive terms, successfully defended the seat by a majority of 14,000 votes, a whopping win over SNAP candidate Sylvester Belayong in a straight fight.
It was also the biggest majority win achieved by Riot in the past five elections.
Abdullah, as the BN chairman, thanked the electorate in Serian for their loyal support to BN and he promised to seriously consider their requests. He assured he would pay more attention to the needs of the Bidayuh community as they too played a major role in the country’s development and nation building.
“Many Bidayuhs now sit in important positions in the government, notably chief secretary Datu Dr Michael Dosim Lunjew to the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry and State Secretary Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot.
“(Serian MP) Datuk Richard Riot (also a Bidayuh) too enjoy great support from the people in Serian,” he said.
Earlier, Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Michael Manyin, who was the event’s organising chairman, brought to the attention of the PM and the audience the issues facing the Bidayuhs particularly their needs for better infrastructure and facilities.
Widely regarded as the de facto leader of the Bidayuhs, Manyin said there were villages yet to enjoy facilities such as electricity and treated water as well as infrastructure such as tarsealed roads.
Referring to his state constituency of Tebedu, he said there were six villages without electricity and three major roads yet to be upgraded.
“Thus, speaking on behalf of the people here, I hope there will be goodies by the prime minister for the people here,” he said.
Acknowledging that this was Abdullah’s first visit to Tebedu, Manyin urged Bidayuhs in the audience to stand up and give the traditional ‘tera-tera’ welcoming salutation to the prime minister.
“Bandar Mutiara here is the gateway to Indonesia from Sarawak. And I believe that with the goodies to be announced by the Prime Minister, this township will thrive into a major town within the next 20 years,” he said.
Also present were Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Riot, BN elected representatives and senior government officers.