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Warisan slams Sabah govt’s non-inclusive disaster management policy

 | August 17, 2017

Warisan’s secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr says all elected representatives in a disaster-hit district should be consulted on matters of public concerns even though they are from the opposition.

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah has slammed the state government for not including opposition elected representatives in the management of the recent flash floods that hit five districts.

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr said all elected representatives should be consulted on public issues and concerns in their constituencies.

He said the recent flood havoc that happened in Penampang and other parts of the state showed the extent of political indoctrination by Umno through the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) within the state government.

“The Penampang district disaster committee/taskforce met on Aug 14, chaired by the district officer and attended by BN divisional chairmen.

“Although the emergency committee was held one or two days after the flash floods in Penampang, it was a non-inclusive meeting as it had omitted the elected parliamentarian and state assemblymen in the district,” said Padua Jr.

He said those present at the meeting included the Penampang BN chief Donald Mojuntin, Penampang MCA chief Francis Goh and Penampang Umno division head John Ambrose.

“This affirmed the suspicion that the machinery of the district is exclusive to these political parties and not to all the people of Penampang, especially their elected representatives.

“The question is, does anyone from these political parties have the locus standi to represent the seats of Penampang, Moyog and Kepayan?” he asked.

The Penampang MP and the assemblyman of Moyog are members of Warisan while the Kepayan state seat is held by a DAP representative.

Padua Jr said the Penampang district council was conveniently turned into a BN meeting place and all the technical officers from various departments gave briefings to the BN component division chiefs.

He proposed that all political and NGO leaders should be included to formulate a solution at the district level for the state government to avoid or reduce flood incidents.

“I have no doubt that John Ambrose should be requested to come because he might be able secure some emergency funds from Najib Razak as he seems to have the ear of the Prime Minister, but how about Donald Mojuntin and Francis Goh who are being touted as possible candidates for Moyog and Kepayan respectively?” he said.

He said the district officer should have called an emergency meeting with all the relevant officers at the district council.

“And as a matter of courtesy, the district officer should have submitted a copy of the minutes of the meeting and a ‘to do’ list to the BN chiefs of Penampang as well as all the political and NGO leaderships.

“They would then hold their own meetings to discuss the minutes of the emergency committee so as to assist all areas in Penampang effectively.”

Padua Jr said the district officer should have acted fairly and inclusively for the sake of the Penampang folks without any political favouritism or fear.

“The floods do not choose who and which political party supporters to affect,” he said.

He said this was the type of government administration culture created by Umno and nurtured by Sabah BN.

“It is our duty as Sabahans to throw out and replace this unacceptable culture,” he said.

“Warisan is of the opinion that an open, fair and inclusive people-centric government is the way forward for Sabah to enable it to achieve progress, the way Penang and Selangor are doing now.”

Padua Jr said he would proposed this policy to be adopted into the Warisan manifesto so that all Sabahans could effectively communicate with the government through their elected representatives.

“While Sabah BN and its affiliates try very hard to close the door of effective and direct people’s participation on matters that relate to public concerns, Warisan will work very hard to tear the wall down that is currently clogging the flow of good administration,” he said.


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