KOTA KINABALU, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob wants Sabahans to continue to support the existing state and federal governments to enable the development agenda in the state to proceed smoothly.
He said the current Barisan Nasional (BN)-ruled government headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was deeply concerned over the need for development in Sabah, thus channelling large allocations for the well-being of the people in the state, be it in urban or rural areas.
"During Tun Dr Mahathir's (Mohamad) era, indeed the budget (for Sabah) was not big. In three Malaysia Plans (RMK), the total development budget for Sabah was RM3.3 billion for 15 years."
"...but when Najib became prime minister, in a single Malaysia Plan, namely in the 11th Malaysia Plan, the budget allocated for Sabah was RM3.4 billion."
"That is why when opposition groups want to appoint Dr Mahathir as prime minister, it is feared Sabah will go back to the old days like how it was, if he (Dr Mahathir) becomes prime minister again," he said when speaking at the ministry's excellent service awards ceremony here today.
At the event, 229 staff of the ministry's various agencies in Sabah received their respective awards. Also present was the ministry's secretary-general, Datuk Borhan Dolah.
Najib's concern for the people and Sabah's development is reflected in his regular visits to the state ? as opposed to the previous prime minister - to listen to the needs of the people and channel the allocations accordingly.
Meanwhile when speaking to reporters later, Ismail Sabri said from the total development budget under his ministry for 2018, almost 24 per cent was allocated to the state.
He said for the rural electricity supply, Sabah received RM220 million, that is 33.08 per cent of the total budget (of the ministry), for the rural water supply RM160 million (38.08 per cent), rural roads (RM253.5 million of 32.14 per cent) and village road projects (RM38 million or 26.2 per cent).
Regarding the monitoring of projects, Ismail Sabri said the ministry and the state government had set up two committees for the purpose.