Saturday, February 26, 2011

State BN raring to go — CM

Taib has list of candidates for all 71 seats but keeps names until opportune time By Peter Sibon

BELADIN (Betong): Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday revealed that the State Barisan Nasional (BN) is ‘ready’ for the 10th state election.

He said he had already received the list of candidates for the 71 seats.

“We are ready. We already have the candidates but I cannot announce their names now,” he told reporters after opening the Al-Amin Beladin Mosque here.

He added that the BN would normally only announce the names before nomination day.

“For PBB, we have identified all candidates for the 35 state seats. But it is our party’s practice not to tell the media the identity of our candidates before the opportune time.”

He had told the media on numerous occasions previously that PBB would field at least 30 per cent or 10 new faces in the coming state election.

Earlier, in his speech, Taib said it was normal for many potential candidates to lobby for seats before elections, but called on those not picked to continue to support the party.

‘We want the best brain from each constituency’

“What we want is the best brain from each constituency to become the people’s elected representative, so they could plan the best way to develop the constituency,” he stressed.

Taib, who is also Minister of Planning and Resource Management, said the government under BN gave priority to the overall development of the people. As such, he chided some western NGOs for being critical of Sarawak’s development plan.

“They said we should not cut our forests but they themselves have chopped off almost 99 per cent of their trees. They want us to preserve our trees for oxygen. Actually the amount of oxygen that our forest produced is more than enough for the 2.5 million people in Sarawak.

“And who are they to tell us what to do? We should not listen to them because we have got rid of our colonial masters more than 40 years ago. These people cannot bully me because I was trained by them,” he said.

Taib read law at the University of Adelaide, Australia, before joining politics in the early 60s.

The chief minister said if the state did not develop its resources, the people would remain poor and uneducated. He revealed that to-date the state had developed two million acres of land for palm oil to provide employment to the people.

Meanwhile, he urged the people to make full use of the mosque as a centre for acquiring knowledge and education.

At the function, Taib approved a RM100,000 allocation for the new mosque and another RM400,000 to complete the main mosque in Pusa.

The new Beladin Al-Amin mosque costing RM1.3 million, can accommodate 1,200 worshippers at any one time.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman and Beting-Maro assemblyman Datuk Bolhassan Di also spoke at the function.

Among those present were Taib’s wife Puan Sri Ragad Waleed Alkurdi Taib, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Datuk Rohani Karim, Assistant Minister of Housing and Urban Development Abdul Wahap Aziz, Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri and Saribas assemblyman Dr Wahbi Junaidi. BERNAMA

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