KOTA KINABALU – A coalition of pro-Barisan Nasional non-governmental organisations (PRO BN NGOs) has hit out at Rafizi Ramli, the MP for Pandan, for politicising the decision of the federal government to build the RM29.2 billion Pan Borneo Highway linking Sabah and Sarawak.
Its president, Zulkarnain Mahdar said Rafizi should have given his full support to the construction of the highway as the people in both states had been waiting for the infrastructure since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
“Politicising the Pan Borneo Highway issue is clearly an unwise move by Rafizi. The Honourable Member should support the construction of the highway by not linking the project with the support of the majority of Sabahans and Sarawakians for Barisan Nasional.
“Whatever development plans implemented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak actually show the maturity of Najib’s administration to develop fairly, especially for Sabah and Sarawak, so as to be at par with the states in the peninsula,” he said in a statement, here, yesterday.
Zulkarnain was commenting on Rafizi’s statement in a news portal which alleged that the construction of the highway without any imposition of tolls proved Najib was placing more importance on votes from Sabah and Sarawak and no longer cared for voters in the peninsula.
Describing Rafizi’s statement as an attempt to inflame the feelings of the people in the peninsula against Sabah and Sarawak, Zulkarnain said the statement could also be considered as an insult to the people of Sabah and Sarawak as it implied they were accepting bribes.
He said Rafizi should be careful before issuing such a statement which involved the socio-economic standard of the people as well as development of infrastructure in Sabah and Sarawak which had lagged behind the development and progress in the peninsula.
Zulkarnain said should toll be imposed on the highway users, many people in Sabah and Sarawak would not be able to enjoy the facility.
He said that questioning the construction of the toll-free highway also proved that Rafizi and the party he represented were not sensitive and sincere to the struggle of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
In this regard, the PRO BN NGO demanded that Rafizi apologise publicly to the people of Sabah and Sarawak over his statement which was deemed insensitive to the feelings of the people of both states.