Revive Sabah federal development department, urges state PPBM

Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Noor (seated, centre) speaking to reporters after chairing a party meeting in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PPBM is proposing that the new federal government revive the state federal development department (JPPS) to ensure the people continue benefiting from federal funding and projects.

Its chief, Hajiji Noor, said the JPPS was needed considering that Sabah was now an “opposition state” as it was led by Warisan.

The JPPS, he said, was a platform for the federal government to ensure all federal-related programmes and policies could be implemented smoothly in Sabah.

“Sabah PPBM proposes that the federal government speed up the revival of the JPPS for the successful implementation of all development programmes and projects in Sabah.

“JPPS functions as a representative of the federal government, the intermediary and bridge between the federal and state, like it had been in Kelantan,” he said after chairing the party’s state chapter meeting here today.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had previously said the state would continue to support former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad but, at the same time, would maintain the government-to-government relationship with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s new administration.

Hajiji, who is Sulaman assemblyman, said there used to be a JPPS in the state when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) ruled the state. PBS was then in the opposition while the federal government was in the hands of the Barisan Nasional.

“This JPPS is very important because it is the federal government’s instrument in supervising, monitoring and coordinating the distribution of development allocations at the state-level,” said the former Sabah Umno chief.

He said they were also asking the central government to bring back the federal village development and security committee (JKKK) in Sabah to monitor implementation of projects at the grassroots level.

“Many projects planned by the state government actually involve the federal government. Now that they (state government) is an opposition government, the structure to implement these projects should also change.”

He said Sabah presently had village community management councils (MPKK) and that the state government had the power to appoint its chairmen.

Asked what Hajiji thought about Shafie urging Sabahans to stop the culture of switching allegiance, he said, the Semporna MP was only worried his government would collapse.

“That is his opinion because if people jump (ship), he and his government will fall. We don’t know who will jump but there have been rumours; that’s what we’ve been hearing anyway,” he said.

Previously, when asked if he was worried his elected representatives were being lured to the other side, Shafie said it was time Sabahans shelved the old way of politics.