Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MP WRITES: Striving to make Tawau productive - NST

Datuk Chua Soon Bui (BN- Tawau)

MY beautiful Tawau is tainted with social problems.

It feels good to be back in a bigger and more exciting Parliament as the representative for Tawau, but I realise that my job goes beyond debating development plans for the third largest town in Sabah.

While I am all geared up to focus on national issues such as corruption and the delivery system, I am very worried about the illegal immigrants in my constituency.

They are the main cause of high crime rates and health problems like tuberculosis and AIDS.

Many children are stateless in Tawau because of marriages between locals and illegal immigrants.

I need to boldly voice my views to stop the problem, and this can range from pushing for an identity for stateless people or amending the law to prevent illegal immigrants.

At the same time, I want Tawau to be recognised as a food production zone. We have large tracts of land that can be used to plant crops or set up food production industries.

The government can promote Tawau's renowned Noni fruit powder, that is known as a powerful anti-oxidant, or market palm honey as a natural sweetener.

This will boost Tawau's exports because the supply is increased to meet the demand.

We all love chocolates, but how many people know that Tawau can serve as the country's cocoa haven?

I want to use our cocoa industry to sell Tawau as a major tourist attraction.

We also have a lot of oil palm products that can be developed as an alternative energy source, instead of having coal-powered plants that damage the environment.

As a woman MP, I will also play my part to raise awareness on women rights and continue to push for gender equality at all levels.

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