Media Conference Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang
at Tawau on Monday, 21st January 2008:
Abdullah should explain whether the Sabah Development Corridor could
take over Barisan Nasional “Sabah Baru” broken pledge in 1994 to achieve
zero poverty by 2,000, specifying a new date when poverty will be
totally eradicated in Sabah
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced yesterday
that a high-powered Cabinet sub-committee will be set up to carry out
the government’s efforts to eradicate hardcore poverty among all races
When Abdullah comes to Sabah next Tuesday (January 29) to launch the
Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), he should explain to Sabahans what
this high -powered committee means to Sabah.
This is because 14 years ago, in its manifesto to capture Sabah state
power from PBS, the Barisan Nasional pledged to create a “New Sabah” and
promised, among other things, to reduce the poverty level in Sabah from
33 per cent in 1994 to zero in the year 2000.
However, this promise of zero poverty in Sabah by the year 2,000 was
never fulfilled. According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the incidence of
poverty in Sabah in 2004 was the highest of all states in Malaysia at 23
per cent, nowhere near zero incidence and higher than Terengganu (15.4%)
and Kelantan (10.6%).
Sabah had also the worst incidence of
hard-core poverty in 2004 at 6.5% as compared the next three states with
high incidence, i.e. Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%.
Now, eight years after its failure to
honour its pledge to reduce poverty in Sabah to zero in 2000, the Prime
Minister is talking about eradicating hard core poverty by 2010.
When will the Barisan Nasional honour
its 1994 Sabah state general election pledge to reduce poverty to zero
in the state? Will the Sabah Development Corridor take over the 1994
Barisan Nasional broken pledge to achieve zero poverty rates in Sabah by
2000 with a new deadline for zero poverty in Sabah?
Will Abdullah be able to announce the
new date for the reduction of poverty to zero in Sabah when he launches
the SDC next Tuesday?
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman