KOTA KINABALU: Former federal minister Maximus Ongkili has slammed Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin for “hoodwinking” the public on energy development projects in Sabah.
The PBS president said all on-going energy projects in Sandakan were started by the previous Barisan Nasional government, adding that the allocations were approved when he was the minister previously.
Ongkili also pointed out that the BN government approved the return of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to the state government.
He said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Warisan governments had “literally done nothing” in resolving Sabah’s energy needs, especially in Sandakan, since it came to power nearly a year ago.
“Indeed, we were the ones who formed the Sabah Special Projects Planning and Delivery Unit (Sapadu) to plan and implement energy infrastructure projects,” he said.
Ongkili, who is the Kota Marudu MP, said RM2.3 billion was approved to deliver some 70 electricity projects from 2017 to 2019, adding that no new projects had been planned or implemented by the present federal government.
These involved transmission, generation and distribution projects such as the Mowtas, Permai, Bukit Nenas, Batu Sapi and Sim Sim main distribution substations and the transformation project at Tshun Ngen.
“Aside from providing RM2.3 billion, it was the BN Cabinet that approved the return of SESB to the Sabah government.
“This decision has since been stalled by the PH government. So, what has the DAP got to claim for power supply improvement in Sabah?” he said.
As for the gas pipeline project from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan to fire a 300 megawatt (MW) gas power plant in Sandakan, Ongkili said this was a well-planned project that went through a series of consultations with stakeholders.
“Yeo knows too well that the ministry was not a party to the appointment of contractors or the payment of project advance. This was under the purview of the finance ministry.
“So why is she claiming credit for electricity projects in Sandakan? This is a classic case of ‘lembu punya susu, sapi dapat nama’ (taking credit for something you haven’t done).
“It is typical of the federal ministers’ work style … they either play the blame game, claim credit for work they didn’t do, or show plain ignorance,” he said
Ongkili said, however, that one could not blame Yeo, adding: “Just like the DAP candidate for Sandakan (Vivian Wong), who is just a political novice, Yeo is a novice in the government administration.”