‘End the parallel govt in Sabah’

[COLOR=#707070 !important]Queville To
| June 6, 2013
Sabah federal MPs and state cabinet ministers must abandon their worship of Umno federal leaders and start thinking and acting in the best interest of Sabah, says Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan.
KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) has called for the Federal Secretary Office (FSO) to be abolished and parallel government machinery in the state dismantlement.

The party’s Sabah chairman Jeffrey Kitingan said such a move would “transform rhetoric into action.”

He reminded Sabahans that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had, during the run-up to last month’s General Election, acknowledged the relevance of the 20-Points Agreement which guaranteed Sabah’s autonomy.

He said that as such the Umno-led Barisan Nasional federal and state governments should respect and implement the Prime Minister’s “Janji DiTepati” (Promised Fulfilled) slogan and start treating Sabah (and Sarawak) as equal partners in Malaysia.

“Do not treat the Borneo states as though they belong to Umno/Malaya and as if Sabah’s wealth and resources are private properties and exclusively managed by Umno,” he said.

The Bingkor assemblyman pointed out that the FSO established in Sabah since 1990, is the equivalent of a parallel government in Sabah.

He claimed that such a set up not only humiliated the state government and treated Sabah as their ‘step-child’, but also controlled the purse strings and projects for Umno’s political power game.

“There is no basis whatsoever to maintain the FSO more so since the state government is effectively controlled by Umno.

“There should be a review of the roles and presence of the federal departments and agencies in Sabah.

“Many of them are merely duplicating the roles of the Sabah government and Sabah departments and agencies so much so that they are killing the local counterparts and depriving Sabahans of job opportunities as they are usually staffed with senior and middle personnel from Malaya,” he said.

FSO straining ties

He contended that there is no necessity for such Federal agencies like Risda, Felda, Felcra, LKIM, Bernas, Mardi, Agriculture Department, MTIB, LGM and many others to be in Sabah, when their roles can be handled more effectively by state agencies like SLDB, Sabah Marine, Sabah Padi Board, Sabah Agriculture, Forestry Department with its Sabah Forestry Institute, LIGS and others.

Jeffrey also claimed that the vision of FSO to be the prime mover towards excellence and accountability of the federal departments and agencies in Sabah had ended up with a contradictory role which made local agencies redundant.

He contended that it would be nobler for the federal government to improve and enhance the performance of Sabah agencies “unless it is the federal intention to have the FSO at all costs and (it) does not bother with the collateral damage of killing local agencies and depriving locals of jobs.”

He claimed that the presence of the FSO contradicts its mission as it does nothing to foster closer relations between the State and federal administrations.

“To better achieve this would be to share the federal government between Malaya and the Borneo States. The FSO can never be a more effective channel than the federal Cabinet,” he said.

He noted that the PM had taken the step in that direction by appointing 11 Ministers and 10 Deputies from Sabah and Sarawak.

He said there was also a need to end the control of projects in the state by Umno, Malayan leaders and their cronies.

“The time has come for the Sabah Cabinet and the Sabah federal MPs to abandon their worship of their Umno/Malaya leaders and start thinking and standing on their own feet and acting in the best interests of Sabah without control from the political masters in Putrajaya.

“They should start with calling for the dismantling of the parallel government in Sabah,” he said.

He added that this is part of the essence of STAR’s struggle and the Borneo Agenda for Sabah and wanting Sabahans to chart their own future and destiny.

“Sabah can be a leading and proud nation within Malaysia once again if proper steps are taken from now,” he said.