Thursday, January 20

Sabah graft case ‘justifies’ need for devolution of power – Masidi

Masidi Manjun

Masidi Manjun

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Water Department’s “indecently mind-blowing” corruption scandal “justified” the need for decentralization of decision-making power to the state, stressed Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Masidi, who was shocked by the alleged misappropriated funds involving RM3.3 billion worth of federal approved projects, described the incident as “very un-Sabahan”.

“To me, by reading about what had happened in relation to the Sabah Water Department case, you realize the problem is that the state government doesn’t have power to monitor and even doesn’t have a say in deciding how the contracts are to be awarded,” said the minister after launching the Borneo Book Fair 2016 at 1Borneo Hypermall here today (Oct 8).

“Everything was decided in Kuala Lumpur, and I want to say on record that I have said in many occasions that I have advocated the decentralization of decision-making process,” he added.

Masidi noted that the devolution of power had commenced gradually, however, various roadblocks need to be surmounted prior to its necessary fulfillment.

“It slows down implementation of projects because everything has to wait for the guy in KL to make a decision. Two, if anything happens while it is being implemented in Sabah, it has to be reported there before any action can be taken here,” he explained.

“It is not about taking over somebody’s power, it is creating a better system and accounting compliance. Eventually, whether the money comes from the federal or the state, it is the rakyat’s money and the rakyat deserves to get maximum benefit of every cent that is spent in this place,” Masidi concluded.