Salurkan Sumbangan Dana Pilihanraya Anda ke Parti Islam Se-Malaysia Kawasan Kota Tinggi

Salurkan Sumbangan Dana Pilihanraya Anda ke Parti Islam Se-Malaysia  Kawasan  Kota Tinggi
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July 13, 2009

Manek Urai's choice - Oil royalty or bridge?

KUALA KRAI, July 13 — In the final lap of the Manek Urai campaign, the choice is either voting for a new bridge offered by the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat's insistence that voters take the opportunity to pressure the federal government to pay oil royalty to Kelantan.

Throughout the campaign PAS has repeatedly claimed that the federal government owes the state RM1 billion for oil extracted off Kelantan shores since 2004.

At a rally last night, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ridiculed the promise to build a new bridge linking Manek Urai Lama and Manek Urai Baru to replace the 40-year-old single-lane bridge.

“Do not talk about the bridge, give back the RM1 billion and let Tok Guru manage it, they talk about RM6, RM7 million because they think people are stupid,” said Anwar in Sungai Peria near here.

He also slammed the federal government's plan to build new mosques in the rural constituency.

“Manek Urai is not about new mosques, there are enough mosques in Manek Urai,” Anwar told the all Muslim crowd.

DAP's Lim Kit Siang also spoke at what was the biggest Pakatan rally throughout the campaign that caused traffic congestion in the constituency.

Anwar, the PKR de facto leader, told some 5,000 people who attended the rally that he will use PAS's victory in Manek Urai to strengthen Pakatan's demand to the federal government to pay the oil royalty to the state.

“In the next Parliament session me and Lim Kit Siang will stand up and fight for Kelantan's right, for the people of Manek Urai we will pressure the finance minister to explain what happen to the RM1 billion,” said Anwar to shouts of “Allahuakbar” from the crowd.

Just hours earlier Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin promised a new bridge in Manek Urai costing RM7 million to replace the current bridge that accommodates only one car at a time.

But he said the bridge will only be built if BN wins the by-election, giving Manek Urai voters the stark choice of benefitting themselves or putting more pressure on the ruling federal coalition that has lost four straight by-elections in the peninsula to Pakatan.

Pakatan has won five by-elections in the peninsula since Election 2008, including Penanti which Barisan refused to contest, despite promises of development which is seen as an inherent right rather than a gift from a government that has ruled the country since independence.

“It is only a promise, the previous Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the construction of the Second Sultan Ismail Bridge across the Kelantan River, but until now it has not started,” Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat told reporters after the rally.