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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Administrative and Funds Management Reforms Needed – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “The blow-up and ramifications from the MACC swoop on the Jabatan Air Sabah and the seizure of more than RM114 million has fully justified our calls for administrative reforms in the workings of the Federal-funded development projects in Sabah as well the channelling of all development funds to the Sabah government for implementation” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Bingkor State Assemblyman when asked to comment on the hottest topic in social media arising from the MACC action.

Whatever has been practised in the past, there is no justification whatsoever for the Federal government to approve and implement federal projects in Sabah and ignore the Sabah government and not channel the funds to the Sabah government.

The federalization of projects must stop. There is no two ways about it, the Federal government is usurping the authority of Sabah and creating a parallel government in the process.

All the Federal departments and agencies in Sabah which has similar Sabah departments and agencies should be withdrawn immediately and their duties handed over to be carried out by their Sabah counterparts.

At the same time, the funds for all Federal funded projects should be channelled to the Sabah government for implementation and monitoring.

“In addition, the Federal government should let Sabah decide on the use of development funds instead of making decisions on extravagant multi-hundreds of million projects from Putrajaya without in-depth knowledge of local conditions and requirements” added Dr. Jeffrey.

The federal government should not play politics with federal funds and try to leverage the decision of award of projects and use of the development funds. These funds belong to the people of Malaysia and the Umno/BN government is merely the government of the day and trustees and custodians of these funds.

More importantly, when entrusted with the management of the development funds, the State government can chart Sabah’s own development course to meet local needs and requirements which are very different from those in Malaya.  

The present out-dated and centrally-controlled funding has led to lack of oversight and monitoring and perhaps contributed to the reason of the seizure of the RM114 million in cash and assets from the two senior officers of the Sabah Waterworks Department.

As for the case, MACC should be allowed to investigate unhindered with no stones left unturned.   The law should also be allowed to take its own course and the political powers should not interfere and manipulate the investigations and prosecution.

Since the MACC has stepped into the alleged corruption in the Waterworks Department, it should widen its net and investigate the alleged corruption in other State departments, agencies and government-linked companies.

The Sabah government should insist on the administrative and funds management reforms which should be granted as PM Najib has promised autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak as well as devolution of powers.  If not, the lack of coordination will allow the loophole and abuse to be continued and exploited by the federal government and federal leaders.

There should be no more excuses. Transparency, accountability and good governance in Sabah should be the rule of the day.

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