KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman said replacing top executives of problematic government-linked companies (GLCs) has paid off.
These firms were now profitable, The Star quoted him as telling the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.
Replying to a supplementary question from Limus Jury (BN-Kuala Penyu), he said the state government had removed the chairmen, boards of directors and chief executives of some GLCs to turn them around.
He gave state-owned insurance firm Progressive Insurance as an example. He said for years the government had to step in and pay the staff salaries but that the company became profitable after its chairman, board of directors and chief executive were replaced.
“It is now paying RM7 million in dividends to the state every year,” he was quoted as saying.
Musa warned executives of loss-making GLCs that the same fate awaited them if they did not improve.
To Limus’ original question, Assistant Finance Minister Ramlee Marhaban said 15 state-linked firms – including Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd, Sabah Development Bank Bhd, Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd and Sabah Credit Corporation – had paid dividends totalling RM286 million to the state government last year.
To a question from Charles Pang (BN-Karamunting), Deputy Chief Minister Raymond Tan said Sabah was taking full advantage of its central location in Southeast Asia by developing the Sepanggar Bay port near here as a transhipment hub.
“The port’s central location in the region will allow it to serve north Asian economic powers such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China as well as Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.”
Musa also said negotiations between Sabah and the federal government on the devolution of powers to the state were proceeding well.
According to The Star, he told Chang Foong Hin (DAP-Sri Tanjung) that a report on this would be tabled at the state Cabinet before being submitted to the national steering committee on state rights.