BN threatens to deny RM400m flood mitigation for Sibu

Malaysian Media Monitors’ Diary
6 Mar 2008

The Borneo Post has carried this BN threat to punish the voters of Sibu by denying them flood mitigation measures if they vote for the Opposition: the money for the much-needed projected would be diverted elsewhere if that happened.
The Borneo Post reported this without bothering to get any critical comment from the other side. Neither did it mind publishing the obvious threat and bullying tactics of the BN. Nowhere was it mentioned or reiterated that the money actually belongs to the people and not to the BN.
Parliamentary seats with RM400 mln tag
SIBU: About RM400 million has been allocated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to mitigate the flood which plagues this town every year, but there’s a catch.
The money would be diverted elsewhere if the two Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentary candidates here failed to get re-elected, said SUPP Sibu chairman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh Wong with reference to the DAP’s latest vote-fishing tactic – that of making the flood the main
local issue this election.

The candidates are Datuk Tiong Thai King for Lanang and Datuk Robert Lau for Bandar Sibu.
“There will be no BN representatives to talk on behalf of Sibu if they don’t win,” said Wong at a packed press conference held at SUPP headquarters in Jalan Kampong Dato yesterday morning.
Tiong and Lau were both present at the press conference.
Based on studies carried out by consultants from China and the Drainage Irrigation Department (DID), he said a bund would be built fronting Batang Rajang and Batang Igan to prevent the water from entering the town.
“After numerous studies, the consultants feel that it is not possible to fight nature. So the best solution is to come up with the bund,” he said.
To drive home his point, he held up pamphlets with pictures that show DAP Bukit Assek assemblyman Richard Wong Ho Leng wading in flood waters at Bukit Assek.
“If voters want to play in the water with the DAP assemblyman, so be it. But if they don’t want flood mitigation to be delayed, then they should elect the two BN candidates,” Wong insisted.
Indeed, if anyone who could solve the flood woes, it is the BN government, he said.
“They have already wasted one opportunity and they should not make the same mistake,” he said.
Wong said when the government wanted to develop Bukit Assek and Jalan Tiong Hua a few years ago the DAP leaders campaigned against it and told the people that businessmen would take away their lands and forced them to move.
“The people eventually got convinced by the DAP and now with our plans to mitigate the flood, the DAP fabricate lies against us,” he said.
Lau, in his brief remarks, said the Jalan Tiong Hua and Bukit Assek areas were in dire need of an urban renewal plan.
“Approval of the financial allocation is the first stage. We need constant follow-up, but if both of us lost in the election there will be no BN representatives to do it and development in the constituency would be adversely affected.”
Lau reminded the voters that their future lay in their own hands and they should not throw away the opportunity to bring development to their areas again.