SIBU: The opposition has been labelled as ‘teaching a duck how to swim’ for urging the state government to give more priorities to rural folk in term of infrastructural facilities.
PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the government had all along been doing this and continued to strengthen facilities in hinterlands.
Hitting out at PKR Bintulu branch chairman Paul Raja’s call for the government to be more sensitive to problems besieging rural communities, he said the PKR leader must have been blind.
“Or rather choose to be blind or he is just ignorance of what is going on around him. Telling the state government to be more sensitive to problems and difficulties faced by locals in basic infrastructure facilities is just like telling ‘ducks how to swim’.
“This is what the state government has been doing all this years! This is what has been the vision of the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud through his ‘Politic of Development’ advocated when he came to lead Sarawak from 1981,” he told The Borneo Post.
He was asked to respond to Raja’s comment that the ruling government gave less emphasis to basic infrastructure facilities such as electricity and water supplies and roads to allow the people to move about.
Abdul Karim, who is also Asajaya assemblyman and Assistant Minister of Youth Development, said Sarawak almost the size of Peninsula and hence, one did not expect the 5,000 or so villages in the state to suddenly be equipped with everything.
He pointed out it took time to plan and implement vision and development, “unless you have an ‘Alladin lamp’.”
“It is easy to criticise but criticise responsibly and mind you, Rome was not built in one day. Likewise, you don’t expect Sarawak to be developed overnight. It takes time, patience, planning, fund and of course, stability,” said Karim, saying that Sarawak was doing well compared to other states and countries around the world.
Meanwhile Assistant Minister of Welfare Robert Lawson Chuat said the opposition were up to their old tricks again in making wild allegations against the government for the lack of amenities in rural areas.
“Well, this issue has been going on for quite sometimes. But, nobody can deny that BN is planning, implementing all
basic infrastructure and amenities as well as services to rural areas.
“We all know that Sarawak is geographically very vast and wide so, it is not possible to implement in every place in a year. The government budget reflects and shows clearly higher allocations are given each year to construct roads, provide water and electricity supplies to rural areas.
“So, it is not right to accuse the government of neglecting … but it may not be coming at the same time in every place,” said Chuat.
He added there were statistics and facts through various ministries in terms of planning and implementing all basic infrastructure, amenities and services in the rural areas.