The 'useless' youth carnival in rural Telupin is just one of the many allegedly sham or non-existent crony projects via which Sabah MPs channel their development funds, claims STAR.
TELUPID: A Sabah MP’s decision to use development funds allocated to him to finance an allegedly failed youth carnival in rural Telupid has enraged locals who are of the view that the money could have been chanelled to better use.
But the Telupid fiasco is apparently ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ with many other similar ‘fundings’ in rural Sabah where accountability is non-existent.
Said State Reform Party (STAR) Beluran divisional head, Pinus Gondili: “This Telupid case is just a tip of the iceberg … this is not the first time we heard of such a mess in spending public money on useless programmes by our government MPs.
“STAR has also heard similar things going on in other districts and parliamentary constituencies where allocations from MP and even ADUN (state assembly representatives) are distributed through cronies for allegedly non-existent projects or programmes or at best useless programmes.
“My colleagues shall expose them in due time,” he said adding that the objectives of the Telupid carnival was not even clearly explained by the MP’s office.
He said the residents of Beluran constituency which includes Telupid are furious about the lack of transparency in the disbursement of the MP’s development funds in the area and this included the money spent on a disorganised “Karnival Siok” in Telupid.
Gondili claimed he had been receiving complaints from the people over the “Karnival Siok” which spanned three days from April 27 to 29, which many alleged was a useless project and a waste of people’s money.
“From the reports that we received, we never knew how much was spent for this three-day Karnival Siok but we were informed that it was an idea hatched to enable the MP to allocate RM4,000 for each of the 12 youth associations around Telupid.
The MP for Beluran constituency is Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee.
“We were told that an officer from the Beluran MP’s office by the name of Melton Martin, who is believed to be an Umno liaison officer in Beluran, managed to convince 10 out of the 12 associations to deduct RM1,000 each from their RM4,000 to be reverted to him for the purpose of organising the carnival.
“The carnival’s organiser, LabukDotFM promised several things including food for the participants for three days, t-shirts, a canopy and exhibition booths. We understand none of these were provided by the organiser,” said Gondili.
According to those involved in the carnival, food and booths were provided by the Telupid Youth and Sport Officer himself.
“The MP must explain to the rakyat the cause of the confusion as the people are furious with the way the event was organised,” said Gondili.
Kiandee could not be contacted for comment.