PENAMPANG, Aug 14 — A Parti Warisan Sabah leader yesterday rubbished the allegation made by the secretary general of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Jahid Jahim that the acting Chief Minister, Shafie Apdal committed an election offence by handing over land titles to villagers all over Sabah in view of the upcoming election.
According to the treasurer general of Parti Warisan Sabah, Terrence Siambun, PBS clearly had run out of issues because the secretary general of that party was politicising a small issue.
“Perhaps Jahid doesn’t read the newspapers hence he has a limited knowledge of the current happenings in Sabah because if he did, then he would have known that the distribution of land titles by Shafie personally to villagers had been on-going since last year.
“But I also want to thank Jahid for raising the question as to why Shafie must deliver the land titles personally instead of asking the District Officer to do it — Jahid had just brought up the question why the East Coast really respect Shafie instead of Musa.
“There is a glaring difference in personality between Musa and Shafie when it comes to how they connect with the ordinary and poor villagers in Sabah. Shafie is very much connected with the ordinary and poor villagers in Sabah and will go to great lengths to sit down and talk with them personally to know how they’re doing and their difficulties.
“Hence, this is the reason why he takes the trouble to hand over the land titles to the villagers all over Sabah because the sheer joy and happiness from these people upon receiving the land titles gives him the strength to continue fighting for them.
“Think about it, even we ourselves feel great satisfaction when we help others who need our help and seeing their joy and happiness gives us the motivation to do more in the future — what more the ordinary and poor villagers who have been denied of their rights to own land for 20 to 30 years now.
“Now compare this with Musa, a rich spoilt elite who thinks that he can come anytime and seize power from Warisan Plus right in the middle of a term — how many of the ordinary and poor villagers ever managed to communicate with him in a personal way?” he said in a statement yesterday.
He also said that no one can claim that the idea of issuing land titles belongs to any leader or party.
“Jahid said that it was Musa’s idea to come out with PANTAS to expedite the issuance of land titles but I beg to differ — it was the ordinary villagers all over Sabah who stood up in anger for being denied of their righs to own land for so long which PBS failed to address from 1986 to 1994 or by Musa from 2003 to 2012.
“And it is much more insulting when giant companies from Malaya get their land applications for thousands of hectares of Sabah land approved within a blink of an eye while ordinary Sabahans are given the controversial communal land titles,” he said.
“Who was the Chief Minister at that time?” he asked.
Siambun also said that Jahid’s suggestion that Shafie should be investigated by the Election Commission proves that Jahid is clueless and really has no idea what is happening in Sabah.
“With Jahid as the Secretary General of PBS, the party is heading into doomsday very soon because ignorant people are leading the party.
“How can Jahid say that Shafie is fishing for votes when the same process of handing over land titles has also been taking place in Sarawak since last year?
“In fact, the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan had just last month handed over land titles to villagers in Kampung Pueh, Sematan and I am sure more similar events will be held in the future despite the Sarawak State Election expected this year.
“If such an act constitutes the offence of vote-buying as Jahid claims, with more Covid-19 cases happening in Sarawak, then why are the top opposition leaders in Sarawak silent about it?
“I advise Jahid to be a responsible Opposition Leader because in this era of connectivity and information, it is difficult to mislead Sabahans,” he concluded. — Borneo Post Online