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PBS leader ticks off ‘arrogant’ Rais

Lately Barisan Nasional leaders have been on the receiving
end of Sabah's wrath.
KOTA KINABALU: When the opposition accuses Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders of arrogance, it is expected. But when a fellow BN leader starts doing the same, it means something is really wrong.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Dr Yee Moh Chai is the latest to describe a federal leader as “arrogant” and “out of touch” with the people.

He singled out Information, Communications, Arts and Culture Minister Rais Yatim for ignoring Sabahans and the state BN government leaders despite their pleas for assitance.

Yee’s main gripe is Rais’ lethargic attitude in addressing the low-penetration Internet broadband rate in Sabah despite a year having passed since he pledged to achieve a minimum 30% penetration by 2010.

Yee, the state Resource Development and Information Technology Minister, who was recently appointed a deputy chief minister, is irked by Rais’ promises at various meetings to address the problem but has failed to act on them.

Speaking to reporters here, Yee, in an unprecedented attack, lashed out at Rais for breaking his pledge.

“Rais knows about this but he pretended not to (listen)… we have been telling him about it.

“During the meeting, he (Rais) said okay but after that nothing was done,” Yee said, adding that the way Rais works “is tantamount to being arrogant”.

Yee said while the national broadband penetration rate was 50% (in 2010), Sabah’s remained the lowest in Malaysia.

Some say it hovers at 15% which is why the ministry set a target of 30% by end of last year.

Yee, who has been keeping a low-profile since PBS rejoined BN in 2002, now wants Rais to acknowledge his failure.

“I have flown to Kuala Lumpur to discuss with Rais on ways to improve broadband service in Sabah.

“He should instruct his men to work on how to improve the ICT services in Sabah and not simply shed his responsibility,” said Yee.

Angry users

Broadband mobile users in Sabah have been complaining that Rais’ ministry has allowed service providers to cut cheaper broadband service packages from five days to two days, thus limiting access to the Internet to poorer subscribers.

The change has infuriated many broadband flexi-users in Sabah but their complaints have so far been met with silence.

Just days ago, another PBS deputy president, Maximus Ongkili, was accused of being arrogant when he defended himself for failing to look after the poverty-stricken residents in his constituency.

Ongkili challenged the opposition to build more houses for the poor in his constituency of Kota Marudu since they had highlighted the problem by building a house for a impoverished native who had been living with her three children in a dilapidated shack in Matunggong, Kota Marudu.

“How many houses can you build? I have built 90 houses and 50 more in Matunggong,” Ongkili said and was roundly condemned for his insensitivity.

Many pointed out that PKR leader Christina Liew, who came to the rescue of widow Rosnia Marambal, does not have access to public funds and government backing unlike Ongkili and yet made the humanitarian gesture.

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