Thursday, December 02, 2004

NEWS: Thumbs Up for Sabah Security from US Politicians

KOTA KINABALU: A group of nine politicians from the state of Iowa, United States, have given Sabah’s security situation the thumbs-up despite the recent US government’s advisory to the contrary.

The American legislators said the people in Sabah were very friendly and accommodating and that they felt very safe being here.

“I feel very fine and safe here. From what I’ve seen, everybody seems to be friendly and very accommodating,” the group’s leader Patrick Murphy told reporters when met at the lobby of the State Legislative Assembly building here yesterday.

The delegation had earlier observed the proceedings and question and answer session of the ongoing State Assembly sitting.

They arrived here on November 28 under the US-Sabah Legislative Exchange Programme and would leave for home on Dec 8.

Murphy, who is a Democrat representative in the state of Iowa, was asked to comment on the United States’ recent advisory to Americans against visiting Sabah as it was still unsafe for them.

Commenting on the same issue, Murphy’s Republican counterpart Nancy Boettger said Sabahans had been wonderful.

“Starting with the Malaysian Airlines service, they are very gracious and everyone has been very gracious,” he said.

On the US-Sabah Legislative Exchange Programme, Murphy said it was beneficial for both governments.

“It helped us to learn more about constitutional monarchy government.

“It (system) is not exactly the same as in the United States but it is very close. We expect to learn more on how the state government operates under the system (constitutional monarchy),” he said.

Murphy also invited Sabah Assemblymen to go to Iowa in late January or February next year for the same purpose.

“We hope they (Sabah Assemblymen) too can learn how our government works, especially how to make the government more transparent so that the people have access to the government.
“Things will be running differently from usual in Iowa Senate as both Republican and Democrat have 25 representatives each,” he added.

The American delegation will pay a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman today.

Source: New Sabah Times