KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah activist has warned the Warisan-led state government that its choice of a party official who had been under a graft probe to head the Sabah Water Department not only violated the state’s water enactment, but would also not go down well with civil servants.
Armizan Ali, a former Umno Youth exco member, said the appointment of Amarjit Singh, who is the secretary of the Putatan Warisan branch, has caused anxiety and frustration among civil servants.
He said the state should take into consideration the image and integrity of the organisation, especially when it is involved in procurement.
“Amarjit has never worked in the civil service. He is the secretary of Warisan in Putatan and is a suspect in a corruption case involving the department he is now heading,” said Armizan.
Armizam, who heads Persatuan Setiakawan Sabah, said the post of director in the Sabah Water Department was reserved for those with technical capabilities.
“For the sake of integrity of the civil service and the people, the post should be filled by someone with a clean record and who has that image for the public to see,” he added.
He said although Amarjit is an engineer, the state should address issues that could affect the morale of civil servants.
He said under the Water Supply Enactment 2003, officers for water management in the state should be selected from among civil servants only.
He urged the state to review the appointment.
“Otherwise, in the future, we will see many more appointments that will overlook those already in the service for many years,” he said.
Amarjit was detained last year by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) together with Warisan president Shafie Apdal, now the chief minister. He was freed on RM15,000 bail after spending six days in MACC custody.