KOTA KINABALU: Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam is ensuring that the ministry will be transparent in its dealings, especially in the awarding of contracts.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Dr Xavier said that the new Pakatan Harapan government is one that is open and transparent which wants to see all contracts be awarded through an open tender process.
He also disclosed that 95 per cent of contracts in his ministry which were awarded by the previous government were done either through direct negotiation or limited tender.
“That is why in Sabah we have canceled all the contracts and we are now reopening them for open tender,” he said.
Dr Xavier also said that his ministry had submitted development expenditure of projects it listed down to the Economic Planning Unit and Finance Ministry to be included in the national 2019 budget that will be tabled on Friday, Nov 2.
“We will know on Friday whether it will be approved or not. I have requested for additional allocation for development expenditure and reduction in emolument expenditure,” he said, adding Sabah’s needs were included in the ministry’s request for allocation.
“Sabah is an important area for us and the state is always on our radar because there are lot of infrastructure projects that we need to implement. My ministry is in charge of water so we take care of the whole water industry from sewage water to drinking water and also to overcome flooding through the Drainage and Irrigation Department,” he said.
Dr Xavier added that he is meeting Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to discuss about the upcoming national budget and also to see Sabah’s wish list under his ministry.