Wednesday, August 28, 2013

State govt plays politics of cosmetic development, says PKR representative

Posted on August 28, 2013, Wednesday

KUCHING: State PKR information chief Vernon Kedit has accused the state government of practising ‘politics of cosmetic development’ when it comes to developing Betong.

Vernon, who is also PKR Betong branch treasurer, said that development the division had undergone was purely cosmetic as there were still many areas not even supplied with treated water and electricity.

“The state government always talks about politics of development and saying that Betong is very developed. I agree that Betong has developed; we have a ‘mini Putrajaya’ here but only one or two rooms are utilised,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Vernon claimed that many young people from Betong had decided to move to Kuching to seek employment opportunities due to the failure of the government to establish industries there (Betong).

“For us to enjoy development, we must have sustainable industries which provide plenty of job opportunities. Job opportunities lead to more income and greater spending power.
“Yes, we have rubber, kepayang and oil palm estates here but they are not really developed and fully promoted and as a result many of them failed.”

On the part of the PKR leaders in Betong, Vernon said they were now shadowing the ministers from Betong, namely Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah and Assistant Minister of Welfare Robert Lawson Chuat.

“If we come to power, we will develop Betong to its full potential,” he said, adding that Jabu himself knew the potential of Betong but did not know how to handle it.

State PKR vice-chairman, See Chee How, meanwhile said that Betong had the ability to produce many well qualified people but who were not given enough opportunity to contribute to its (Betong) development.

“We have people like Vernon (lawyer) and Noel Changgai Bucking an economist.”

See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, charged that Betong was lacking in development simply because it had political leaders who had overstayed their welcome.

On another matter, PKR Betong branch chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh warned Betong District Council not to prevent members of public from using public places.

He claimed that the council had rejected the branch’s application to make use of a few parking spaces below the PKR Betong office to hold ‘Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri’.

“It’s not a political activity but our application was rejected with the excuse that our activity will create traffic jam. Another excuse given was that it was a rat-control day.”

Abang Zulkifli viewed the council’s action as discriminatory, and hoped that the council will not repeat it in future.

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