KUALA LUMPUR -- Najib Tun Razak said the Chinese community in Sarawak should give unstinting support to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next state election so that it will have enough representatives in the state government.
The prime minister said the BN was the best channel for the Chinese and other communities in the state to have a say in the government as the BN was the ruling party.
"Therefore, when we form the state government, God willing, after the election, it is important for the BN government to have participation of elected representatives from the Chinese community," he told reporters after receiving 30 longhouse chiefs from the Belaga District, Sarawak, at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Najib was commenting on Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's remarks that the Chinese community needed to have a strong representation in the state government to ensure that their demands would be considered.
"That is why Pehin Seri (Abdul Taib) made such remarks, to avoid having a small Chinese representation when we (BN) form the state government," said the prime minister.
Commenting on the RM3 million debt faced by the Chung Hua Primary School in Kuching, Najib said the government was still considering the amount of aid to assist the school.
"It is still under consideration. The good news will be announced in due time. I will decide on the amount as soon as possible," he said.
On his meeting with the longhouse chiefs, Najib said the delegation came personally to express their appreciation to him for visiting the Belaga District last month, during which some problems were ironed out.
"They said they will not be satisfied by merely sending a letter but would like to come in person as it is their way of showing the Orang Ulu courtesy when conveying appreciation in the best way," he said.
Najib said among the issues resolved were the construction of a road from Belaga to Bakun, cancellation of outstanding housing loans amounting to RM41 million, building of a hospital and providing electricity supply, as well as some road projects submitted for consideration by the government.
He said the construction of the 59.2km Belaga-Bakun road costing RM62 million would take 18 months and a study was being conducted on the project.
During his visit to Belaga on Jan 15, Najib announced several projects which would benefit of more than 28,000 people in the area.
The Belaga-Bakun road, which would benefit about 15,000 people, would be carried out by the military under the "Jiwa Murni" project.
Najib also opened the Belaga Health Clinic costing RM46 million while a water supply project costing RM35 million for Belaga town will be completed by October 2012.
The prime minister also announced that the federal government had agreed in principle to cancel the balance of payments of housing loans worth RM41 million incurred by about 1,500 families who were relocated from their villages to make way for the Bakun hydroelectric project.