Monday, May 12, 2008


Sabahans appealing to KL for help: Mojigoh


The cost of living in Sabah is much higher that other states in the country and people here are appealing to the Federal Government to help address the problem. “Necessary steps must taken, including the possibility of subsidising the goods in Sabah to address the high cost of living here,” Putatan Member of Parliament Datuk Marcus Moigoh said. Mojigoh stressed that the matter needs to be viewed seriously as the glaring difference in the prices of goods in Sabah compared to other states, including Sarawak, has caused confusion among the people here. He said this when asked to elaborate on his debate speech on the King’s royal address in the Parliament last week. “If necessary have more subsidies for goods in Sabah to check the escalating cost of living and balance the prices of goods in the State with other states,” he said. In Parliament last week, Mojigoh when debating the motion of thanks, brought up the matter of the high cost of living in Sabah. “The Government must look into this problem which has caused the feeling of oppression among the rakyat in Sabah to the point that they are confused with the situation. “The rakyat in Sabah feel that it is as though they are penalised for supporting the Barisan Nasional (BN),” he said, adding, “It is very clear that there is discrimination here. Instead of being rewarded for supporting BN, we end up being penalised. Mojigoh warned that if the Federal Government failed to address the problem, “then the people of Sabah know how to punish them”. He however added that the matter had been brought to the attention of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad who has promised to look into ways to balance the prices of goods in Sabah and Sarawak with those in Peninsular Malaysia. He also told the House that the cabotage policy which was introduced in 1980 has contributed to the price increase in Sabah.. Mojigoh also brought up the issue of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) which, according to him, will boost the State’s overall economic growth and development as well as generate employment opportunities in the State. “We are aware that many graduates in Sabah are unemployed so it is hoped that they will be given priority to fill up the vacancies generated by the implementation of SDC,” he said. Mojigoh said he was told in Parliament recently of the overwhelming response to the 38,000 job vacancies in the civil service, including the police force and army in the country where 760,840 applications were received but only 141 called up for interviews. “If 30 percent Malays, 40 percent Chinese and 35 percent Indians were accepted from the number of those called up for interview, there is only a 15 percent job opportunity for the Kadazans,” he stressed. Mojigoh also said that recently, he had highlighted the dissatisfaction of Sabahans about them being left out in job appointments in the civil service. “Take for example the 30 new appointments in the Information Department, none of them were Sabahans. Although the work involved may be menial such as holding cameras or attaching cables, it riles us as elected representatives as it reflects the opinion that Sabahans are not qualified for the job,” he said.