KOTA KINABALU: Two contradictory statements by Chief Minister Shafie Apdal in the span of three days has led a Sabah Umno leader to question the chief minister’s abilities and motives.
Semporna Umno chief Ramlee Marahaban, a former state assistant finance minister, said he had been lost for words yesterday when he read of Shafie’s announcement that the state has more than RM3 billion in reserves.
“Just over a month ago, he said there was no reserves, that the state has debts. He even accused the previous BN government of manipulating the accounts calling it ‘creative accounting’. And now he is saying that the state has reserves.
“Only last Monday he said the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project will continue despite pledges from two of his own cabinet ministers to scrap the project.
“I really can’t understand what is going on with this state cabinet. As if something is not right with them,” he said to FMT.
Ramlee accused Shafie of having little knowledge about managing the state, and of making announcements without first verifying the facts.
Although Shafie would not admit he had made a mistake in May when announcing that the state has no reserves, it was enough to show that Shafie, a former federal minister, had little knowledge about state management.
“I have noticed from the start when he simply made decisions or announcements without first verifying facts. He should have been fully briefed about the financial health of the state before telling the world we have only debts,” said Ramlee.
“In fact, all politicians should know all about Sabah first before cavalierly making promises and populist statements to win elections. Parti Warisan Sabah and Pakatan Harapan did just that and now they realise it is not so easy to run a state,” he said.
He said that the previous government of Barisan Nasional had been prudent with the state’s financial management.
Ramlee maintained his previous statement that Shafie was trying to distract the people’s attention by making “incredible announcements”.
Among the fantastic election promises by Warisan and its ally Pakatan Harapan were a pledge to obtain 50% of nett Sabah revenue collected by the federal government, 20% oil royalty, a post of second deputy prime minister for Sabah and Sarawak, and many others.
The state government should concentrate on keeping these promises, he said, instead of conducting a witchhunt and discrediting the previous state government. “Stop making excuses and carry out those promises,” he said.