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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kelantan government accused of 'planned cheating'

The Star (7/11/2007): Kelantan Umno delegate Datuk Sazmi Miah lambasted the PAS state government during his debate on the presidential speech at the Umno General Assembly.

In a speech largely in pantun-form (traditional Malay poetry), Sazmi said the Kelantan state government had been carrying out “planned” cheating for some time especially when it came to activities that were carried out in forests.

“Thousands of hectares of forest reserves were given up for projects on the pretext the land would be used for gold mining, forest plantations or to grow vegetables.

“But every single time, the land has been used for logging instead.”

After each example Sazmi gave about how the state government had been abusing its powers, he held up a book and said ”Buktinya ada di sini” (the proof is here).

Sazmi, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry parliamentary secretary, said rivers had turned brown and the land had suffered after being "raped" by loggers.

“I want to ask PAS of the thousands of hectares they 'raped', how many jobs were actually created? Of the 54 gold mining certificates given, how many kilograms of gold was mined?

“It has come to a point where even the grass is crying for the lost trees.”

A Selangor delegate called on the Malays not to sell off their land for short-term gains in the wake of the Government’s nationwide implementation of large-scale development programmes.

Datuk Ahmad Kuris Mohd Nor said the Government had done so much for the development of the Malays and they should not throw such opportunities out the window.

The economic standing of the Malays had improved under these policies, but he reminded them that they were still behind in many areas.

“I urge the Government to implement laws to prevent the Malays from selling off their land for the simple reason of getting high profits, while a special agency be formed to help the Malays manage their land.

“The Malays should be advised to keep their land which will benefit future generations,” he said in the debate on the party president’s policy speech.

Ahmad Kuris thanked Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his concern for the people’s livelihood by giving free school textbooks and abolishing examination fees.

Puteri Umno delegate Norhamizah Mat Tahir said the movement would not be apologetic and would defend Umno against its detractors.

She criticised those who claimed that the New Economic Policy (NEP) had benefited the Malays while leaving the other races behind in the country’s development.

“Nine out of 10 of the richest Malaysians in the Forbes magazine list are non-Malays. This means that the NEP had also brought benefits to everyone regardless of race," she said.

Norhamizah also said that racial matters should not be politicised to the extent that the country be destroyed.

“It’s time to say enough is enough. We have given up so many things for others.

“The Umno president should take action against those who try to take advantage of us, otherwise we will initiate our action against those who want to bring down our party,” she added.

Norhamizah suggested that the Puteri Barisan Nasional movement be formed to help the coalition win the general election.

“We hope the party president will not forget our movement leader and consider her as a general election candidate,” she added.


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