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Clarification – Keningau Admin Centre For Interior Region

“While we welcome the much support for Keningau to be the new administrative capital of Sabah that was carried in the newspapers few days ago, we need to state that STAR Sabah only intends to make Keningau as the administrative centre of a new Interior “internal state” as part of an administration reform plan” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, the STAR Sabah Chief in response to what was erroneously reported that Keningau would be the new capital when STAR Sabah forms the new government.
It is the intention of STAR Sabah to be part a new Sabah government that will bring about reforms and changes and implement new and creative ideas and policies to create a new Sabah that is safe, autonomous and progressive.

As part of the new administration reforms, Sabah ought to be divided into “internal states” equivalent to the 11 States in the Peninsular.

The down-grading of Sabah and Sarawak as the 12th and 13th States and depriving them of much needed focus, attention, priority and development funds is part of the reason why Sabah is now the poorest State in Malaysia with Sarawak close behind.

As a comparison, Keningau district covers an area of 3,533 square kilometres and is larger than the combined 3,505 square kilometres of Perlis, Penang and Malacca.  Keningau is represented by 3 DUNs and 1 MP while Perlis, Penang and Malacca are represented by 83 DUNs, 28 MPs and 1 MentriBesar and 2 Chief Ministers.

Keningau is already backward and less developed compared to even Perlis.  Yet, to rub salt into the wound, recently, the State government and the Prime Minister hadthe audacity to even deprive further development funds by announcing a RM235 million federal loan to develop part of Keningau water treatment.  It is humiliating to Sabahans to further hear that the federal government has spent several billions in grants (not loans) to develop water resources in the Peninsular.

STAR Sabah intends to create 5 internal states or “Regions” and the Interior Division is part of the reforms plan and to be re-named “Trusmadi” with Keningau as the new administrative capital for the Region.   In addition, there will be 2 new AdministrativeTerritories comprising of Jesselton which will include Kota Kinabalu as well as Labuan which will be jointly managed with the federal government.

The creation of the 5 Regions and 2 Administrative Territories will create greater focus in planning and lead to a speedier overall development of Sabah which will also contribute to overall progress and development of Malaysia.

The unintended error of making Keningau as the “new capital” in the news and the support of many Sabahans show that there is a need for change and reforms in Sabah and support for such change and reforms.  It is indeed refreshing to see the support for change and reforms.

Whilst it is sad to see Sabah being the poorest but rich in abundant resources which are taken away or lost in the current system of government, both state and federal, the refreshing support for change and reforms show that there is hope for a new and better Sabah.

“I am very sure that with a change of the federal and state governments, we will see a new Sabah that is safe, autonomous and progressive” concluded Dr. Jeffrey.

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