PETALING JAYA: A Sabah assistant minister has hit out at Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) for its comments on poverty in the state, saying it had ignored facts and figures showing the state government’s achievements under Chief Minister Musa Aman.
Responding to Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr, who had reportedly called Musa a “failed leader”, Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Ramlee Marahaban said Loretto had overlooked the fact that Sabah’s poverty rate stood at 4.1% as of 2014, down from 23.4% in 2004.
In a statement today, Ramlee added that there had been no mention of state government programmes which had “helped turn things for the better”.
“For this year alone, the state has allocated RM394.93 million for poverty eradication programmes in its budget and set itself a target of achieving 1% poverty rate by 2020, at the end of the five-year 11th Malaysia Plan.”
The Bugaya state assemblyman said when Musa took over as chief minister in 2003, he had put together a network of outreach and support programmes that improved the lives of the poor.
For several years now, he said, Sabah had also disbursed RM32 million on an annual basis to assist non-Islamic religious bodies, Chinese schools, independent secondary schools, conforming secondary schools and mission schools.
And in the Auditor-General’s Report for 2016, he said, the financial management of 31 Sabah state ministries, departments and agencies had received an overall “Very Good” rating based on the accountability index.
Slamming Warisan president Shafie Apdal and his party for resorting to “manipulative statements”, Ramlee said Musa preferred to let achievements and ratings speak for themselves.