Prove that previous govt left Sabah’s finances in tatters, NGO tells deputy CM

Gerakan Kuasa Rakyat Malaysia chairman Zulkarnain Mahdar asks what the current government has done for the state since taking power. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: A local NGO today challenged Deputy Chief Minister Jaujan Sambakong to prove his allegation that the previous government had left Sabah in dire economic straits.

Gerakan Kuasa Rakyat Malaysia chairman Zulkarnain Mahdar said Jaujan should provide documents or facts from reliable sources to back up his claim.

Jaujan had been quoted by Malay news daily Berita Harian as saying that the Sabah government is trying to restore the state’s economy, which he said was left in tatters by the previous administration.

But Zulkarnain urged Jaujan to read the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report published on Dec 3 last year which states that Sabah’s financial situation in 2017 was good.

According to the report, the state’s consolidated fund recorded an increase of RM390.64 million or 16.2% to RM2.80 billion in 2017 compared to RM2.41 billion the previous year.

“The 2016 Auditor-General’s Report also stated that the financial position of the state on Dec 31, 2016 was good, with its consolidated fund recording an increase of RM276.74 million or 13% compared to the previous year.

“Interestingly, the 2015 Auditor-General’s Report also stated that Sabah’s financial position was good despite a slight decrease in the consolidated fund,” he told FMT when contacted.

Zulkarnain added that the National Audit Department had awarded Sabah four stars, the highest rating under the Accountability Index.

The Sabah government also was awarded a certificate for achieving no non-compliance for 16 years in a row.

Moody’s International even granted the Sabah government ISO certification for seven consecutive years because of the previous state government’s excellent financial management, he said.

When Musa Aman first took over as chief minister from Chong Kah Kiat in 2003, he said, the state’s reserves were only at RM180 million.

“After 14 years, in 2017, Sabah’s reserves increased to more than RM3 billion,” he said, adding that this information is available through the National Audit Department and had been tabled in Parliament.

He asked what the current government had done for the state and its people since taking power.

“What are the government’s initiatives to reduce unemployment so that we don’t have to listen to the Moyog assemblyman who said she is sick and tired of parents of unemployed graduates?” he said.

He also challenged Jaujan to reveal the projects that had benefited Sabahans throughout Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s nine-year tenure as rural and regional development minister.

Jaujan should also list down the companies contracted to carry out the projects so that the people could judge Shafie’s effectiveness as a federal minister, he added.

“Jaujan said the people are becoming more confident in Warisan’s administration. I wonder who he interviewed and if he made any census to come up to this conclusion.

“If Warisan thinks DAP’s victory in Sandakan is proof of the people’s confidence, they should learn more about politics,” he said, claiming that DAP would have won regardless of whom it fielded.

“Judging the party’s influence through one by-election is illogical.”