Sabah think tank saga settled now, says Shafie

Johan Ariffin receiving his appointment letter from IDS chairman Simon Sipaun in November 2018. (IDS pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says the removal of state think tank Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah CEO Johan Ariffin is now settled, following meetings with the latter as well as IDS chairman Simon Sipaun.

He said Johan, whose appointment was not confirmed upon the expiry of his six-month probation period on May 31, would be given another role.

“I called them both, Johan and Sipaun, and it has been resolved. Both are my friends and colleagues, supporters too, but I want a solution where we can come to a better understanding.

“So Sipaun will still be chairman – no change for that. For the CEO, I will discuss and find a solution so that he will have another place to go,” he told reporters after an event here today.

IDS announced Johan’s departure as CEO on June 14. However, Johan himself voiced surprise over the announcement which was made through a press statement.

He said his removal was against the wishes of the board of directors.

He also told FMT in a WhatsApp message that his removal was the result of a boardroom struggle.

Johan said he was CEO of IDS for only two months, not six, as his predecessor Hasnol Ayub was “substantive CEO” until March 31.

However, Shafie denied that a power struggle had taken place, adding that there was no power to begin with.

“IDS is important to the state government as this vehicle can play a better role when we are facing the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“I know the environment is competitive, therefore IDS is important,” he said.