KOTA KINABALU: Umno has sought to portray Sabah’s ruling coalition as unworthy of the power it holds, saying this is evident in its failure to fulfil its election promises, particularly the pledges made by its dominant partner, Parti Warisan Sabah.
Sabah Umno information chief Kurniawan Naim Moktar said the state administration had no clear idea of how to govern, resulting in neglect of the economy and the people’s welfare.
Speaking to FMT, he said Warisan’s “Sabah for Sabahans” mantra was an empty slogan. He alleged that unemployment in the state was at its highest in years and said the government was not addressing the issue.
“Instead, Warisan recently announced special work passes for foreign workers,” he added.
He also said there had been no serious effort to improve physical infrastructure in the state, citing a failure to fulfil a promise to repair the pothole-ridden Telupid-Sandakan road before Chinese New Year.
He noted that a user of the road lost his right arm after his car collided with a truck on the first day of Chinese New Year.
Naim also scoffed at a claim that the government was cracking down on illegal logging, pointing to photos posted on social media that show trucks hauling logs in the Sungai Pegagau area, which lies within Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s parliamentary constituency of Semporna.
Commenting on the photos recently, Shafie said his government would investigate the matter. “If there is logging, the concession must have been given by the previous administration,” he said.
Naim also accused the government of extravagant spending, saying this showed its unconcern over the deteriorating economy. He cited the installation of new carpets inside executive lifts in government buildings.
“I assume Shafie does not have a group of credible advisors who can counsel him on policy making,” he said. “He should understand that a state needs to have good management guided by good public policies.”
Sources inside the Sabah administration have told FMT that Shafie recently engaged a Sarawak economist to advise his administration. They said the person was instrumental in the formulation of former prime minister Najib Razak’s transformation programme.