Sumber: Daily Express Sabah
Kota Kinabalu: Policymakers have been urged to take into account vital aspects of Sabah and Sarawak when creating and amending policies for the nation to ensure success in their implementation.
Making the call, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said Sabah and Sarawak differ in many ways to the peninsula like the obvious size, racial structure and government administration system.
"I have worked in the peninsula and Sabah in the public sector and thus, I would like to share my vast experiences on the impact of government policies to Sabah as well as Sarawak.
"Some government policies have not met the objectives and aspirations of the people in Sabah because there is misinterpretation on the policies and its amendments.
"Some policies are created or amended as the makers only considered the perspectives in peninsula without taking into account the differences in many aspects of Sabah and Sarawak. Thus the implementation based on such perspective has shown less impact on the people," he said.
Masidi said this at the closing of a seminar on Malaysia's International Policies at the Sabah Federal Administration Complex along Jalan Sulaman, Thursday.
Also present was UiTM Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Ibrahim Abu Shah. The three-day seminar was organised by UiTM with the cooperation of the Sabah government.
Masidi cited the Kinabatangan parliamentary area which was the same size as Pahang and Ranau with Melaka. Thus, such vast differences in the size of certain places in Sabah with some states in the peninsula must also be considered when creating or amending the policies.
Another aspect was the racial structure in Sabah which is very different from the peninsula. "In peninsula, when a Malaysian is a Bumiputera then he or she is perceived as Muslim. But in Sabah we have Bumiputras who are not Muslims.
"Even the names of Sabahans do not really signify their religion because there are some Sabahans who have western names but are Muslims.
Likewise a Malay name in Sabah does not necessarily mean he or she is Muslim.
"Another thing to consider is how the Sabahans have unique families where the Muslims have Christian relatives but are living in harmony. Hence, when there are several policies that benefit the Muslims, then their relatives who are not Muslims would feel hurt and disappointed."
Masidi also pointed out the different government administration system in the peninsula and Sabah.
He said the Sabah Government with 11 ministries practises the Cabinet system on a small scale similar to the Federal Government cabinet system, but states in the peninsula practise the exco system.
"In Sabah, we are spending about RM585 million annually just to pay the salaries of our civil servants and maintenance of vehicles, among others, but like in Perlis, the Government is only spending RM45 million a year for the same purpose and my Ministry is spending RM3 million to pay the salaries of my staff.
"I feel that the policymakers must look into all these differences that I have mentioned and consider the inputs of all to ensure the implementation of government policies runs smoothly and meets the aspirations of all Malaysians," he said.
In a related development, Masidi said the influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah was also caused by the attitude of locals towards economic opportunities in the State.
He said many locals do not prefer to work in the construction and plantation industries as labourers and blue-collar jobs because the work condition is deemed unbearable for Sabahans.
"I have to say 70 per cent of workers in the construction industry in Sabah are Filipinos and 80 per cent in plantations is taken up by the Indonesians.
These immigrants came to Sabah as they see the local people here did not fulfill many employment opportunities here.
"And yet, we keep blaming the Government for allowing the illegal immigrants to work in these two sectors and seize our rights, when in fact, it is our own attitude that lure them to Sabah," Masidi said.
Furthermore, he said, some locals would even harbour the illegal immigrants for their self-interest to escape paying the levy while some would sell or rent their land to the immigrants who capitalise on the land for agriculture.
To resolve these, Masidi said the locals must start respecting the existing law by complying with them, take up the job opportunities in construction and plantations and accept the fact that these immigrants have made quite a vast contribution to the State's development.
Nota: Renungi dan fahami, satu ucapan pemimpin yang sentiasa memahami situasi rakyatnya.