Shafie to blame for mess over Water Dept chief’s post, says Sabah Umno Youth

Sabah Umno Youth chief Aziz Julkarnain says he and 27 NGOs had protested against the appointment when it was announced last year.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Youth is not surprised to learn that the Sabah Water Department director, whose appointment was ruled illegal yesterday, continues to receive the backing of the state government.

“So, when chief minister Shafie Apdal chose to ignore the ruling of the High Court that the appointment of the Water Department director Amarjit Singh was unlawful, we were already expecting it,” he said.

Aziz said the chief minister should consider his position on the matter as he had clearly failed to adhere to the law which he had vowed to protect.

He reminded Shafie of his government’s arrogance in ignoring the warnings by the people last year when Sabah Umno Youth, together with 27 NGOs, handed over a memorandum to the state government to protest against the appointment.

The memorandum was sent as the groups believed such action could affect the integrity of government departments and, more importantly, it contravened the state law.

Aziz pointed out that Sabah Umno, at the time, was concerned with the legality of each of Amarjit’s decisions and actions if the appointment was made.

“In this case, the Sabah Civil Service Commission must be firm and courageous in annulling the appointment immediately. This action would help preserve the image of the civil service and lift the morale of our civil servants,” he said.

Besides, he said, Shafie should focus his government’s efforts and resources on improving the quality of the state Water Department instead of defending Amarjit’s position.

At the same time, Sabah Umno Youth also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the possibility of misappropriation of power by Shafie in this case.

Furthermore, he urged the MACC to make public its investigation into the misappropriation of funds worth RM1.5 billion under the rural and regional development ministry in 2017.

“As an independent body, MACC must practise ‘rule of law’, be fair and unbiased in its actions,” he said.

Earlier today, Amarjit told the media that he had been told to stay put and continue his work as the director of the Water Department despite the Kota Kinabalu High Court’s ruling that his appointment to the post was illegal under the state’s Water Supply Enactment 2003.