Baru Bian: I have secured RM1.3 billion worth of projects for Ba’kelalan

Baru Bian (file pic)

KUCHING, Jan 27: Ba’ Kelalan Assemblyman Baru Bian has revealed that he has managed to secure projects worth some RM1.3 billion to the Lun Bawang majority constituency since he has been the assemblyman in the past two terms.

He said among the projects are: the 66km Long Luping to Ba’ Kelalan road was only upgraded after 11th state election in 2011; the SSLR was approved and launched; SK Long Semadoh and SK Trusan were rebuilt/repaired; the Long Sukang clinic was rebuilt; Pa’ Puti Road was upgraded and the Lawas Hospital was re-tendered and launched, and the solar and micro-hydro projects were installed.

“In terms of value, these projects total more than RM1.3 billion surpassing the RM100 million alleged by Datuk Mutang Tagal to have been lost over 10 years,” Baru said in a statement issued here today.

He was responding to Mutang’s statement published by DayakDaily yesterday that Ba’Kekalan must be returned to the fold of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and considered it as a “prodigal son”. He also said that since the constituency was held by the opposition it has lost RM100 million worth of projects.

Baru added that he did not want to brag about achievements and instead let the people compare the achievements in the 22 months when he was a Minister in the Federal Government to the 10 years of alleged losses, and the inaction of GPS in Lawas and the other seats that are ‘in the fold’ for the last 57 years.

“I am aware that GPS is looking at potential candidates for the 12th state election, and I expect that other aspiring candidates will be making statements to please their political masters.

“At the end of the day, it is up to the people to judge and vote for the representative that they believe will have their interests at heart. Whatever it may be, I will always respect the wisdom and rights of voters,” he said.

Baru also rebutted Mutang’s statement by saying that he (Mutang) was questioning the right and wisdom of the voters in Ba’ Kelalan.

“For me, I will leave all these to the wisdom of the Lun Bawang people. I have done many practical things, raised many issues, spoke courageously in the DUN and Parliament for the people of Ba’ Kelalan and Sarawak, and did my best as an ADUN and MP; therefore let the people make their choice.

“They are matured voters now and they know what is happening in the political arena, both state-wide and nationally, so for me let’s pray for guidance and wisdom for all our voters in this coming PRN12,” he said.

Baru also described Mutang’s statement as bemoaning the fact that Ba’ Kelalan has been ‘out of the fold’ for the past two terms.

“(Thus), I am obliged to respond because Mutang gave a warped political perception, whereas in a democratic country such as Malaysia, one is free to vote for a candidate or political party of one’s choice.

“The use of the terminology ‘prodigal son’ implies that those who voted for the opposition candidates and the opposition candidates themselves are ‘politically wayward’, wrong, misled and lost politically, and that only GPS or the party of the day are the ‘right’ or ‘correct’ political party/s,” he said.

Baru said, the statement made by Mutang was misleading and misconceived perception.

“In a democratic country, one has the freedom to vote for and support any political party or its candidates in any election which is provided for and allowed by the laws of the country. So there is nothing ‘prodigal’ about aligning with the opposition parties. Political parties and the balance of power may change, as happened after the 14th general election (GE14), when I became a Federal Minister.

“On losing millions from development funds, if the statement is true, Mutang is just proving the fact that BN/GPS has been a vindictive and unfair Government as they victimised the rakyat for exercising their constitutional rights in an election when the allocation of developments finally is the responsibility of the elected Government. This is one of the reasons I cannot support the BN/GPS parties, and Mutang’s assertion only fortifies my stand,” he said.

On a related issue, Baru said, the MP for Lawas Datuk Henry Sum should also be blamed as GPS had failed the rakyat who voted for him as MP all these years.

“Otherwise Mutang’s argument is illogical and flawed. If as Mutang lamented RM100 million was lost for Ba’ Kelalan, did those seats that are ‘in the fold’ receive RM100 million each? I do not even see that RM100 million in our neighbouring constituency of Bukit Sari, or the other four Orang Ulu state seats which are equally as underdeveloped as Ba’ Kelalan,” he said.

Baru asserted that the motive of his political struggle and the reasons that he was still in politics was clear to his people in Ba’ Kelalan that “Man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”.

“To me, that suggests that projects and developments are not the most important thing in life or even in politics.

“There are other issues equally as important or even more important, i.e. the people’s rights like land rights and religious freedom, faith, truth and justice etc.

“Had any BN/GPS ADUN ever challenged the BN government’s stand that the official religion of Sarawak was Islam?,” added Baru. – DayakDaily