Malaysia is looking at Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman. Will he take the reins that history has graciously given him to change the future of one of the most poorest state in Malaysia? Some analyst have conducted polls on the popularity of states run by Barisan National state governments and Musa Aman is one of the best. If he wants a place in the history of Malaysis’s fractured politics, he can bid for it. But it is not going to be easy.

One cannot help feeling tickled with the poll predictions that the media toyed with before the results of the Batu Sapi Parliamentary elections came pouring in. Most of them were far off the mark. Sometimes, the media would do well to look into the mirror and accept how poorly prepared it is. Even in Sabah where the majority is illiterate, unemployed and poor, voters can vote for change and hold out a candle of hope for democracy. The golden rule in old-fashioned journalism of yesteryear’s was that if a journalist had his ear to the ground, he would hear the tremors. But in the age of Google and Facebook, the way most journalists get information has changed.

More than anything else, the Batu Sapi Parliamentary election screams at journalists asking them to see beyond stereotyped valuations of sociology, race prejudices and ideology. Politics can often teach us simple truths about how truth is what someone somewhere wants to hide and the rest is all advertising. But journalists went around quoting Anwar Ibrahim and Taiko Yong Teck Lee and pretended it to be analysis. After all, both had mastered the art of offering unsolicited election arithmetic in the last twenty years.

Taiko Yong Teck Lee, the rich kid from Lahad Datu who kept talking of how he was just a lawyer, learnt new lessons when the results came pouring in. He could not use “Sabah for Sabahan” battle cry anymore to win elections as the poor wanted change. They wanted development, roads, schools, employment, law and order. Taiko Yong Teck Lee gave them none of these when he was Chief Minister. The investment that he started with his buddy Datuk Ambrose Lee for Sabahans – ‘Saham Amanah Sabah’ or SAS – got him into international headlines as he advertised himself as so caring for the needs of Sabahans, has been in shambles. Once the ink dried on the headlines, he was not bothered, the shares became worthless papers. When he was out as Chief Minister because of the rotation, he was out because of the Likas Election Petition, foisted his friend, Tham Nyip Shen, within minutes. There are many miracles in Sabah politics, but this had no parallel.

There is no politician in Sabah who used the media like Taiko Yong Teck Lee did. With his typical buffoonery, he attracted both the print and electronic media who ate out of his hands. His shirt, his “stylized” hair cut, his sideburns, his deliberate regional accent, all were lapped up. His rustic jokes and pranks were blown up by the media showing him up to be a lovable people’s leader. The media almost showed him as a social engineer whose only passion was social justice for Sabahans.

But, fifteen years down the road, the state of Sabah was appalling, until Musa aman came into the picture when he was Sworn-In As Sabah’s 13th Chief Minister 27 Mar 2003. It is the poor who have no say while the rich and the politically connected, run a diktat. So do illegals who have gotten Malaysian identity cards compliments to Mahathir, criminals, timber thieves, gangsters and political touts. Sabah’s per capita GDP in 2009 was just RM. 14830 when it is RM. 29569 for Penang. Musa needs to do all he can to get the Federal Government to give him more funds. He will have to reform public administration and insulate the bureaucracy political interference. Only then will he be able to insulate himself from daily governance and concentrate on the larger picture of salvaging his state from the depths it had fallen since joining Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak in 1963.

It is certainly not going to be a cakewalk for Musa Aman. Today, he heads one of the most poorest states of Malaysia that is caught in a whirlpool of political depravity. The state had crumbled before he took over, even Yayasan Sabah could not pay wages to its staff, quasi government bodies like KPD and SLDB were milked dry by top officers. Kidnappings for ransom continued in the east-cost around the seas in Semporna by Abu Sayafs. But after Musa Aman took over the state everything changed, its better now a world of difference. Even the annual real per capita income of Sabah of RM 14000 is about halve of the national average of RM 22000 and its improving.

It is not that Kuala Lumpur ignored the reality of Sabah. There were reports, but not enough. Unless KL politicians travel and live in the interior with the natives, there will only be superficial reports that are basically hearsay of planted stories by vested interests.

Musa Aman’s assurance that he will change the focus in Sabah from politics to economics and development, is heart warming to say the least. He has raised millions of hopes not only in Kota Kinabalu but every corner of Sabah since 2003. He will now have to work against all odds to get to change the way we all see and feel about Sabah.

What the voters in Sabah were looking for is governance. Voters told themselves that it was pointless to waste their votes on anyone or any party that would not give them anything in return. So they voted for change. It is now pointless for political pundits to sit in air-conditioned office and proclaim that the phantom voters and illegals was responsible. Or some ridiculous analysis. We must accept this truth.

And that is the greatest hope for Sabah. The Batu Sapi Parliamentary elections showed us what the poorest of the poor could do when in an election booth. They wanted Musa assurance not so much the PBS which was contesting the seat.The electorate was actually desperate and wanted someone who would rescue them from a present, which seemed to be heading towards a bleak future. They no more wanted to be a part of a failed state. I remember how on one of my visits to shoot news stories in Sekong, I had my cab driver telling me to pack up early as he would not drive at night as the night belonged to the illegals. The bridge I was walking was falling apart.The clinic had no medicines and patients were lucky if they had doctors attending to them. But hundreds of poor people were being transported for a rally in Sandakan. The visual of a poor emaciated woman trying to pick up plastic bottles strewn in a ground after the “ceramah” haunts me as if I saw it yesterday.

I had interviewed Late Pitting Ali just outside his sprawling house and he asked me counter questions to every question asked. There was arrogance in his voice as he mocked every question that came from the feeling that an illiterate and poor populace would never have the courage to stand up and show him the door. Typical USNO mentality.

Musa now has to put the fear of law into those who thought it was land that was created for illegals. He will have to inspire the bureaucracy that has been numbed by years by the Federal. They have to be allowed to get back their self-esteem and pride in building a state and infusing it with their commitment and vision. He will have to seduce industrialists into investing and that is not going to be easy either but so far he has done a fantastic job. There is just too much of cynicism. He will have to sweep in literacy although its in the hands of the federal, as that is one great hope for Sabah. It is just that it will take a decade for the results to show and its showing. Development indices have to start climbing the graph which is climbing from the time he took over, glad to say that.

Musa has to learn how to humor the coalition. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is silently waiting in the wings. It is desperate for more power in the state as it wants to pull Musa down. It knows that its base in the state is slowly eroding and openly criticizing the Chief Minister, stating they did not have confidence in and cannot work with the State leadership. Its president Datuk Liew Vui Keong openly criticized Chief Minister Musa Aman when Liew said that Musa is obliged to look after the interest of Barisan Nasional component parties in exercising his prerogative power, as though Musa does not know this. Liew knows that Musa, as the BN chairman and Chief Minister had the prerogative to chose who he wanted to appoint into his cabinet but Liew ignores this fact because of his dissatisfaction following the appointment of my good friend PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai as the deputy chief minister on March 23. Sure this appointment paved the way for PBS to have two deputy chief ministers in the cabinet, but what else can Musa do, these two were the best, Pairin and Dr Yee. Desperate for tasting power, LDP will want its own agenda addressed and it might not go well with Musa’s plans to run the state. If Musa is not careful, sooner or later, the LDP in its typical style will try to dominate the bureaucracy and other potent centers of power and undermine his leadership in the state.

Musa can look towards Penang chief minister, Lim Guan Eng, who is rapidly changing the face of Penang bringing in investment, creating employment, infrastructure and also working on improving the poor development indices. Guan Eng never even seemed like a politician when he took reins over the state and critics said that he was lucky that his father, Lim Kit Siang, was there for him. But the son has done far better than the father ever did though he was such a seasoned leader and politician.

Musa knows that he carries a heavy weight on his shoulders. He has to tame a bureaucracy that has forgotten how to work. He has to bring in fiscal discipline. He has to take unpopular decisions. He has to be tough in implementing law and order. He has been in power for many years now, and the honeymoon period with the electorate is over. Now, it is time to act with courage and determination.

And with courage and determination he manage to talk to Premier Najib to scrap the plans to build a coal-fired power plant near a Borneo wildlife reserve, a move environmentalists praised as a landmark effort to curtail projects that threaten rain forests sheltering endangered animals. Musa Aman, announced that the federal government had decided not to construct the 300-megawatt coal plant, which many feared would be a major source of pollution.

If not for Musa, the RM 1.7 billion ringgit plant would have been built on the site of an oil palm plantation, about 12 miles from the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, home to Borneo pygmy elephants, rhinoceros and orangutans.

Musa knows very well that Sabah needs to increase its power supply to meet the increasing development, but he also knows that the state cannot afford to put its natural environment at risk. Now he has to seek other ways to fulfill Sabah’s energy demand, which is expected to increase by up to 8 percent annually.

There could be a new dawn in Sabah. Musa has got a chance in a lifetime. If he loses this, history will never forgive him.

Comments
  1. pluto says:

    I can’t trust DAP and all Pakatan leaders.. I don’t trust them to lead our country/state..

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  2. Bei Soo Lang says:

    To: All Sabahans
    From: Bei Soo Lang
    Agenda: The bright future of Sabah is a DAP government by DAP.
    DAP Sabah 2008 General Election Manifesto Based On 8 Core Issues That Sabahans Must Change To Transform Sabah From Being The Poorest And Least Developed State To The Richest And Most Developed State With Adequate Basic Electricity, Water And Security Protection For All

    I wish to announce the formation of the Sabah State General Election Committee headed by Sdr Dr Hiew Keng Chiu and also the outlines of the DAP Sabah 2008 General Election Manifesto based on 8 core issues. Sabah is the worst state to live in Malaysia because it is not just the least developed state but also the most inequitable with not only the poorest people in Malaysia but also with the richest police possessing unaccountable and extra-ordinary wealth of RM 27 million.

    Further it also highlights that Sabah is probably the most corrupt state apart from being the worst managed and worst state to live in Malaysia. Sabah has the second lowest water supply coverage, the highest population growth, the largest number of illegal immigrants (pendatang tanpa izin), the highest poverty incidence, the poorest electricity/energy efficiency and supply as well as the least developed state in Malaysia.

    Sabah has also the highest population growth rate in the country at 3.1% as compared to the national average of 2.3%. Its population jumped by 530,000 or more than 20% in the space of 5 years from 2.6 million in 2000 to 3.13 million in 2005. Former senator Dr Chong Eng Leong from the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), alleged that there are around 1.75 million foreigners in Sabah today, including those in possession of Project Mahathir’s ICs, as compared to 1.5 million genuine locals in Sabah At least 50,000 ICs have been issued to foreigners under the secret ‘Project Mahathir’.

    Sabah has the largest number of illegal immigrants and those with genuine ICs under “Project M” estimated at nearly 1 million. The extraordinary growth of the Sabah population can be shown that in 1960, the Kadazandusun population was 168,000 and equaled the number of other Bumiputeras. In 2000, while the Kadazandusun population increased to 560,000, the population of other Bumiputeras had grown to 1.1 million.

    Sabah has the worst incidence of poverty at 23% in 2004 as compared to Sarawak’s 7.5% and Kelantan’s 10.6%. The incidence of poverty in Peninsular Malaysia is 3.6% and for the entire country 5.7%. DAP does not understand how the Sabah Development Corridor(SDC) can reduce poverty or benefits ordinary Sabahans.

    For a 18-year SDC that is part of a federal government economic plan that covers the entire state is unusual and an indirect admission of the Sabah State government’s failure in economic management. During its implementation period, 900,000 new jobs are expected to be created with new investments of RM 105 billion, while Sabah’s GDP in the agriculture sector would increase four times to RM17 billion.

    What would happen if the investment target of RM 105 billion is not achieved when the Federal government has only allocated a miserly RM 5 billion? And are the 900,000 new jobs to be taken up not by local residents but by PTIs?

    For this reason DAP proposes a Sabah General Election Manifesto that would allow Sabahans the opportunity to make real changes that can transform Sabah from being the poorest and least developed state to the richest and most developed state with adequate basic electricity, water and security protection for all The 8 core issues are:-

    1. A Sabah State Assembly Select Committee headed by the Chief Minister to evaluate the progress of the 20-point Malaysian Agreement, which led to Sabah combining with Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya forming Malaysia on 16 September 1963, whether it has been fully complied and observed to respect the rights of Sabahans, especially freedom of religion where Christians can not use the word “Allah” and the Mazhu statue is barred from being built because it is against Islam, local sovereignty, rights of Sabahans and control of Sabah resources.

    2. To change and convert the revenue sharing agreement of Sabah’s natural resources from the present low 5% to Sabah with 95% to the Federal government to an equal 50-50 arrangement. Such increase in sharing of revenue is necessary due to the failure of the BN federal and state governments from reducing poverty and ensuring an equal share in Sabah economic benefits to all Sabahans.

    3. Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the rise in PTIs in excess of the local population and check the uncontrolled inflow of illegal immigrants or PTIs with the express objective of punishing those who legalise their stays with PRs and citizenships as well as stopping the present issuance of IM13 and PR status to these PTIs;

    4. Combat escalating crime by doubling the number of police personnel in Sabah, with the increased police personnel tasked with patrolling the streets to protect public safety.

    5. Prevent land grabs by abolishing the amended Section 2 (e) of the Land Acquisition Ordinance which allows “land acquisition by private enterprise or otherwise howsoever” permitting abuses of powers against landowners as well as abolish the 7.5% Sabah oil palm duty on oil palm planters which does not bring them any benefits.

    6. Provide equal employment and contractual opportunities to Sabahans as many Federal projects are carried out by non-Sabahans, upgrading education facilities especially full electrification and internet access that is fully affordable, accessible and available.

    7. Fight corruption with the Sabah State Assembly appointing a Special Corruption Investigator to punish corrupt practices that has caused losses to Sabahans involving top BN leaders and also determine the losses from the RM 500 million Saham Amanah Sabah which has diminished to less than RM 100 million

    8. Save democracy by breaking up zero opposition in Sabah State Assembly. With no local government elections, there is no accountability and transparency and there is a need for checks and balance to deny BN its two thirds majority to prevent a one-party state.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The time has come for Sabahans to wake up by restoring democracy by voting in the DAP to provide a strong and effective opposition to fight for political equality, socio-economic justice and fight for a clean and good governance.

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  3. Bei Soo Lang says:

    KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans’ defeatist mentality is the single biggest challenge to bringing change in the state.

    Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee sees Sabahans facing a bleak future where they will continue to be mistreated under unfair federal policies because of this ingrained “Sabah mentality”.

    “Ordinary Sabahans are defeated mentally… they say even if we (SAPP) win, we still cannot govern.

    “After 47 years we have been brainwashed to believe that we cannot do it on our own.

    “So defeated is the mentality of some that many in Sabah too believe in the BN (Barisan Nasional) leaders’ mantra that Sabah is BN’s perpetual fixed-deposit as far as election is concerned,” said Yong, who is also the president of Sabah Peoples’ Party (SAPP).

    In a candid exclusive interview with FMT recently, Yong said the perceived strength of the ruling BN and its alternative, Pakatan Rakyat, has sunk so deep into the minds of the people that they feared looking further and as such, accepted the shabby conditions in the state.

    (According to a World Bank Report, Sabah, with its abundant natural oil and gas resource, is the poorest state in Malaysia.)

    “Economically speaking, I don’t think ordinary people have money here… it’s the same in the Peninsula. This Chinese New Year, for instance, has been very quiet.

    “The dragon dance companies here received less than half their usual bookings… everything is expensive now,” he said.

    But can the once strong opposition capitalise on the consumers’ angst against rising prices, corruption and land grabs?

    Yong thinks not. He is worried that the opposition will be unable to take advantage of any revolt against the status quo.

    “It is important to have a combined (opposition) force here before the election so that we can remove the (BN) fixed-deposit tag here which in turn influences the people in the Peninsula.

    “But if the polls is called now, we are definitely not ready” he said.

    Two-faced DAP

    Another thing that worries Yong, who is known as “taiko” or master, is the clout DAP has over the Chinese voters.

    Last year’s Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election was an eye-opener for political pundits when most of the Chinese votes went to PKR candidate Ansari Abdullah, a controversial figure, and not to Yong, as many had expected.
    “In Batu Sapi, they proved a point that DAP can move considerable number of Chinese votes,” Yong said.

    He added that men like DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and other DAP Chinese leaders “did a fantastic job of attacking” him instead of BN, two days before the polling.

    Yong said that Batu Sapi is now a reference point on how the opposition shot itself in the foot.

    “I was up against BN and Pakatan’s combined force,” he said, adding that this was why he eventually finished third behind winner Linda Tsen of the BN and PKR’s Ansari.

    Yong said that before the Batu Sapi polls, there was some understanding that SAPP and DAP would “worked together where possible” but things had changed since then.

    “All our relationship now is with Pakatan. We are friends, not Pakatan coalition partners.

    “As far as we are concerned, all DAP leaders were formerly from other parties including SAPP… like Kota Kinabalu MP Hiew (King Chiew) and Jimmy Wong (Sri Tanjung assemblyman)” he said.

    Yong, who himself was once with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for many years before forming SAPP, said that the local opposition is formulating an election plan.

    “Our plan is being crystallised. By March or April, we will have a plan.

    “We are working towards having a one-to-one fight with BN, but I cannot guarantee this 100% because Pakatan has three components (PKR, DAP and PAS).

    “Maybe there will be DAP-sponsored candidates against SAPP this time (too).”

    New twist in Sabah politics

    Yong may be hinting at the possiblity that local opposition parties may band together to form a united front in a new twist to Sabah politics.

    Is it coincidental then that another influential Sabah leader, Jeffrey Kitingan, had recently announced that he will be forming a new political party by March?

    Jeffrey’s United Borneo Front (UBF), an NGO, has already reached some an understanding with leaders in Sarawak Nasional Party (SNAP). SNAP in turn is aggressively wooing Dayak-majority parties to back Jeffrey’s Borneo Agenda.

    In an interview with FMT recently, Jeffrey had hinted that SAPP would be a local partner in UBF’s campaign to collectively wrest 56 seats in Sabah and Sarawak.

    Said Yong: “I am quite familiar with Jeffrey’s struggle but am not very clear on his methodology… his political vehicle… we will know soon.

    “But what I do know is that no peninsular party will survive in Sabah without the support of a local component.”

    Asked what his reading was on the current political climate in Sabah, Yong said the frequent visits by political leaders from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak “points to unease at the top”.

    “Peninsular leaders used to ignore us, now they are coming here so often.

    “There is uneasiness among the BN elite that the Borneo electorate may be seeing a new window of opportunity,” said Yong.

    BN crumbling within

    Yong said that a seemingly calm Sabah is not good for BN, which is already saddled with internal problems. BN Sabah comprises PBS, PBRS, Upko, LDP and peninsula-based MCA and Gerakan.

    He recalled that in 1985 when he was still with PBS “people looked down on us in PBS but in our three-week campaign we created a change”.

    “There are situations here… Upko will not leave BN, but Upko’s grassroots will leave, making it a hollow party.

    “The same with PBS. PBRS is gone. MCA (supposedly a Chinese party) relies on Malay votes and mixed areas,” he said.

    With Sabah and Sarawak together contributing 56 (including Labuan, 57) of the 222 parliamentary seats in Malaysia, many are convinced that the battle for control of Putrajaya will be fought in the Borneo states.

    Most believe that it will be a stalemate in the Peninsula with seats shared equally by BN and Pakatan after the 13th general election.

    Yong, meanwhile, who is known for his wily ways, hasn’t missed a trick.

    His Batu Sapi adventure can be seen as a “testing of the waters” as he moves towards making SAPP relevant in Sabah.

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  4. Bei Soo Lang says:

    I am from Kulim,Kedah.I am hotel software implementation specialist.I spent all my time drinking in all the five star hotels of Kota Kinabalu.Everybody knows me there.I have tons of corruption materials with me.But I won’t give it to MACC as it would end up nowhere.Any one of you can come and see me in the coffee bars.
    I have been in Kota Kinabalu for more thyan 20 years.My aim change the government of Sabah..and help all the natives.

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  5. Bei Soo Lang says:

    January 28, 2010
    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 (Bernama) — The highlights of the Government’s Transformation Plan road map on efforts to eliminate corruption:

    *Increase the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score from 4.5 to 4.9 this year.

    *Increase the TI’s Global Corruption Barometer survey on government actions to fight corruption percentage in answering “effective” from 28 per cent to 37 per cent this year.

    * Increase the number of cases charged versus number of arrests for drug trafficking and possession under the Dangerous Drugs Act from 75 per cent to 80 per cent this year.

    * Increase number of summons settled versus number of summons issued by the police from 50 per cent to 61 per cent and by the Road Transport Department from 60 per cent to 78 per cent.

    * Increase number of cases charged versus number of arrests and detentions under the Immigration law from 53 per cent to 60 per cent this year.

    * Increase tax recovered from under-declared goods from RM9 million to RM21 million this year.

    * Reduce number of audit findings on maladministration of procurement per ministry sampled from 11.2 to 10.6 this year.

    * Increase percentage of trials completed within one year from 8.5 per cent to 30 per cent.

    *To list 80 people in the database of convicted offenders this year from zero.

    To achieve the targets, the government will strengthen and empower compliance units within each enforcement agency — the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), the Royal Customs Department, Immigration Department and the Road Transport Department.

    Therefore, to tighten compliance monitoring of enforcement agencies and their officers, the government will staff compliance units appropriately, empower units to act under the direct oversight of the agency’s head and an independent commission and establish a supporting framework.

    To reduce the opportunity for corrupt practices to take place at these enforcement agencies, job rotation will be instituted to help prevent enforcement officers from forming collaborative relationships with criminal organisations and also create a league table of performance for all local authorities.

    On the practice of support letters, which are often used to exert influence on civil servants to circumvent standard government policies and processes in obtaining contracts, it will be gradually reduced, with an ultimate goal to eliminate the practice altogether.

    Details of all government procurement contracts will be disclosed where respective ministries are required to publish the information centrally at the e-Government portal, which will display a summary of projects for which procurement is planned and awarded by the respective ministries.

    From this portal, the public will be linked to the respective ministries’ websites for further details on the projects or procurement.

    To enhance the level of transparency in the political funding process, the government will enforce existing laws and conduct study to revamp political funding.

    The government will also propose that politicians and political parties be required to disclose their sources of funding and expenditures to the appropriate agencies.

    The government will also announce zero tolerance policy supported by robust whistleblower protection framework.

    All reported cases of corruption cases will be fully investigated regardless of the position or status of those involved and full disclosure on the details of convicted offenders will be made as an act of deterrence.

    Swift and harsh punishment will be meted out to those who are found guilty of corruption.

    Independence of the key institutions will be strengthened and this will involve a study of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Act to find ways to strengthen its role in providing recommendations for judicial appointments.

    To complete prosecution of corruption cases within one year, particularly for public interest cases.

    In order to ensure swift and efficient prosecution, procedures for the recording of witness statement and the delivery of subpoenas will be strengthened.

    In addition, strict time lines will be enforced on all prosecution processes and procedures. In line with this, the case handling capacity of the courts will also be increased through additional appointments of deputy public prosecutors and the setting up of new special corruption courts.

    The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act will be amended to provide for stiffer punishment based on the severity of offences as currently there is no minimum sentence stipulated if an individual is found guilty of corruption.

    In addition, a harsher penalty structure will also be implemented for convicted public officers (civil servants and members of the administration, legislature and judiciary).

    A name and shame approach in the form of a public database, listing convicted offenders of corruption, will be implemented as an additional deterrent against committing corruption.

    The database will also serve to facilitate employment decisions, especially for sensitive positions involving authority and trust.

    (Source: Bernama)
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  6. Bei Soo Lang says:

    Queville To | May 3, 2011

    The much awaited Tanjung Aru-Tenom railway project in Sabah is doomed to fail because the contractor now wants an additional RM300 million.

    KOTA KINABALU: The multi-million ringgit Sabah Railway project has gone off-track, more than three years after it was due to be completed.

    The contractor who is reportedly unable to complete the RM330 million project is demanding an additional RM300 million to finish the job.

    Sabah opposition figure Kong Hong Ming who disclosed this yesterday wants a full disclosure and explanation from the Transport Ministry.

    Sabah’s sole railway line from Tanjung Aru to Tenom was scheduled to be completed in May 2008.

    Kong, who is a member of PKR’s presidential council, said that the project at the Tenom approach has been at a near standstill since the end of 2008.

    “The 139km railway project serving the West Coast to the Interior of Sabah is doomed to failure.

    “It is unlikely that the people of Sabah will benefit from this important railway project as planned because of the long delay,” said Kong.

    He said that the project is unlikely to be completed unless the government agrees to inject an extra RM300 million to bail out the existing joint venture contractor.

    “The government must explain the delay and also if it will pay the additional RM300 million as demanded by the contractor,” he said.

    Kong, a lawyer and a qualified civil engineer, said that as it is a design-and-build contract, it is against engineering practice, a waste of public funds and abuse of power for the government to entertain the contractor’s request.

    He urged the relevant authorities including federal Auditor General and MACC to audit and investigate the status of this project and its account.

    “There are serious concerns with regards to the overpayment of RM40 million when the project was under the management of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB).

    “The authorities were fully aware of the overpayment and yet trying to justify that it was the main reason causing the delay of work largely for the Tenom approach,” said Kong.

    He accused the government of not supervising the work during the first 18 months of the construction which resulted in the huge overpayments.

    Describing it as unusual and improper, he said the government could have paid for items which were not supposed to be paid for under the contract.
    Government mismanagement

    He also said that despite non-completion of the project, the state railways department has proceeded to put to use the partially completed railway system.

    “There are serious implications, including contractual disputes and most importantly, public safety as well as consequential liabilities in so many aspects,” he warned.
    Kong said this was another important infrastructure project by the federal government that has gone seriously wrong because of mismanagement, which is unacceptable.
    “Similarly, there was no action taken on my complaints on the RM565 million Kalabakan-Sepulut road project.

    “It was contracted out for a sealed road linking Tawau to Sabah West Coast but only a gravel road was constructed instead and at the same price,” said Kong.

    “Since its completion, the supposedly link road between Tawau to Kota Kinabalu is in bad condition and not safe for the people to drive on.

    “The federal government has already agreed to pump in another RM200 million to seal the road, which should have been done under the last contract,” he said.

    Kong said the government should explain why it was spending public money in this way without due diligence.

    “They are making announcements of huge allocations and mega projects for Sabah but the people do not benefit from it because of wasteful spending, corruption, abuse of power and poor delivery system.

    “This is one of the reasons why Sabah is still lagging behind in many aspects, especially in vital basic infrastructure despite spending billions of development fund in Sabah,” he said.

    py

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  7. Bei Soo Lang says:

    Allegations of government corruption and corporate kick-backs are swirling around a planned 300 MW Chinese coal plant in the Malaysian state of Sabah. While the plan to build the coal plant in Lahad Datu Bay has come up against strong and unrelenting grassroots opposition, the federal government continues to largely turn a deaf ear to opposition, arguing that the energy plant is necessary to power Sabah and stop blackouts.However, critics say the coal plant—which is to be built on the edge of the Coral Triangle and 20 kilometers from Tabin Wildlife Reserve—will damage fish stocks with chlorine and thermal discharges, upend the lives of locals dependent on fishing, and devastate eco-tourism in the region. In addition, the coal plant goes directly against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s agreement at Copenhagen to reduce the country’s carbon emission intensity by 40 percent by 2020.
    Despite these clear concerns—and increasing opposition—sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity say the plant has continued to move ahead due to government nepotism, corruption, and kick-backs. In fact, sources say the federal government has already paid out nearly a quarter of the cost of the coal plant to the contracted company, China National Electric Equipment Company (CNEEC), and that at least one official has seen a significant kickback from this.

    Woe to journalists

    Malaysia is not an easy place to find answers about behind-the-doors government deals. In fact, finding answers in some situations can actually be against Malaysian law.

    “Malaysia has some laws that make it almost impossible for journalists to find out stuff about people in power. Reporters here can be charged if they do get hold of info, and if it is published,” a source told mongabay.com, adding that such charges fall under Malaysia’s Official Secrets Act. A citizen can also be held for up to 60 days without seeing a courtroom if it’s said they threatened national security, according to the Internal Security Act.

    Newspapers are also tightly tied to the government in Malaysia. Under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, newspapers must be issued annual permits by the Malaysian Home Ministry. If a paper reports on something the government is unhappy with it can order the paper to close down within 24 hours.

    “This is why investigative journalism is weak in Malaysia,” another source explains.

    When asked why Malaysian newspapers are ignoring these connections, another source stated simply, “No one dares”.

    Given the difficulty of obtaining information that the government doesn’t want aired, Malaysians are often left with speculation, rumor, and hearsay to offer explanations behind their government’s action. This is the case with the Sabah coal plant.

    “It is like an open secret, but no one can confirm,” a source who wishes to remain anonymous said.

    Is corruption behind the Sabah coal plant?

    Much of the current speculation centers around Tan Sri Leo Moggie, the chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and former MP for 30 years. TNB is the federal energy company which is pushing the coal plant. When a second location for the coal plant was rejected—the plant has been moved once before—Leo Moggie took out an ad arguing in several newspapers in Sabah arguing for a coal plant.

    “The irony is he signed off simply as ‘Leo Moggie.’ there was no mention of him being the chairman [of TNB], or that TNB wanted this plant. This of course, raises questions.”

    Locals have been told that Leo Moggie received a sizable kickback from the deal with China National Electric Equipment Company (CNEEC) for the coal plant.

    “It was speculated that a payment of RM 400 millions been paid upon agreement signed. Some said half of that amount had been kicked back to [Leo Moggie]. One minister said only 10 percent. God knows,” a source says.

    In addition to this allegation, sources say that the deal for the coal plant is aiding Leo Moggie’s family.

    “We suspect his family members control the import of coal from Kalimantan,” said a source. According to published plans, the coal plant will be powered by mines in Indonesian Borneo.

    Another source adds that, “I have heard also that his son, Michael Kallum Moggie, is involved in some coal mine deals in Kalimantan.”

    Several people contacted in connection with this story stated that while nepotism was officially frowned upon in Malaysia, it is commonly practiced.

    To date Malaysian newspapers have not reported on any of these allegations. However, given that Leo Moggie is a board member of the New Strait Times, Malaysia’s biggest newspaper, this is perhaps not surprising.

    Sources also say that the Malaysian government has already paid China National Electric Equipment Company (CNEEC) 400 million Malaysian ringgit ($125 million) in order to build the power plant.

    “They probably signed it thinking that the project would be approved. Coal is after all listed in the country’s five-fuel policy,” said a source.

    Yet the price of the coal plant continues to rise. When first proposed it was estimated a RM 1.1 billion then RM 1.3 billion for the second site, and now RM 1.7 billion. When asked why the plant had jumped RM 400 million from one site to the next, the sources had different answers. One said the rising price of raw materials was largely to blame, while the other said the money was used “[by the government] for buying favors or supports, even speculated for the [Barison Nasional, Malaysia’s ruling party] campaign of last election.”

    To date, many details of the project remain obscured by government and corporate silence. No one knows if the total cost includes the cost of building a transmission line, or the route this transmission line will follow, though it could very possibly cut through rainforest. While the coal will be supplied by TNB Fuel Supplies, officials have also not shared which coal mines in Kalimantan will supply the plant or how long they plan to export coal from Indonesia. Environmentalists fear that if the plant goes ahead, it will spur coal mining in Sabah’s own backyard, upending the state’s last pristine ecosystems.

    According to local activists, it doesn’t have to be this way. Compelled by social, environmental, and economic concerns, the organization Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) recently hired the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at the University of California Berkeley to conduct an energy audit for Sabah. The audit found that power from either biomass or hydropower could provide the same power at a competitive price with coal. Geothermal and solar were slightly more expensive, but greener options.

    However, if the allegations of government corruption are true—and we may never know for certain—then convincing the government to pursue a different course may prove next-to-impossible even for the most impassioned activists. ”

    Source: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0825-sabah_coal_corruption_alex_oxley.html

    Like

  8. Bei Soo Lang says:

    Why no Sabahan big guns on his hit list..??
    Is he BLIND on one eye,
    I can see only with one eye have of the graft bandits,
    My other eye is blind to Sabahans..
    Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed, the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), has been named one of the 100 influential people in business ethics for 2010 by the New York-based Ethisphere Institute.

    Ranked fourth in the eminent list, he was adjudged for his role in the government and regulatory practices category.

    The other eight categories are thought leadership; business leadership; corporate culture; investment and research; design and sustainability; media and whistle blowers; NGOs; and philanthropy.

    Ethisphere said Abu Kassim, who joined the Anti-Corruption Agency in 1984, has been instrumental in spearheading the anti-corruption programme in Malaysia, which is leading the way in such efforts in South East Asia.

    The anti-corruption crusader, the only Malaysian in the list dominated by mostly Americans and Europeans, has been selected along with 99 others who are said to have made a significant impact in the realm of business ethics over the
    course of the year, said the research-based Ethisphere Institute.

    The institute is an international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.

    It said, although many of those listed deserved a lifetime achievement award, the 2010 list recognised those who made a significant impact, specifically during the year.

    Like

  9. Bei Soo Lang says:

    MACC should come to Sabah,
    I will provide full information and cooperation,
    Any body with information can meet me up in any of the 5 star hotels in KK,
    I manage all the IT there and everybody knows me as ” The IRON Lady from Kulim,Penang “.Get ready for a change of government in Sabah.
    Embattled Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has been urged to put its foot down when dealing with corruption cases involving high ranking government officers such as ministers.

    Calling on the MACC to stand up to the powers that be, Parit Buntar Member of Parliament Mujahid Yusof Rawa said efforts to fight corruption would be futile if the ‘big fishes’ were allowed to get off scot free.

    Mujahid said the Commission’s claim of success in eradicating corrpution was meaningless if it was not able to bring high ranking public servants to court.

    Referring to the illicit money outflow amounting some RM800 billion , Mujahid said such cases obviously involved those with ministerial ranking.

    “The huge loss of money is surely under the category of corruption. It must have involved the ministers.

    “Why MACC has yet to act on those ministers involved?” he asked.

    Confusing

    Mujahid was responding to an announcement by MACC that it had made 944 arrests on corruption cases last year, the highest arrests since its establishment in 1967.

    Out of these, 414 or 43.8 percent of arrests involved those who gave bribes as opposed to those who were at the receiving end.

    MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed had said it was the first time the number of people caught for giving bribes and taking bribes had crossed.

    “This is a good improvement as a result of the government’s effort in creating awareness among the public servants to act against those who give bribes,” he added.

    Mujahid however described the statement as “confusing” as there was no further details about the cases involved.

    “How much corruption was involved in these cases? RM1, RM2, a couple of ringgit, tens of ringgit or hundreds of ringgit only?

    “At the same time, corruption involving ministers is so much more than the amount, but why no action has been taken, no arrest made and no one brought to court,” he asked.

    Like

  10. Bei Soo Lang says:

    Malays are also migrating in hope of landing better jobs abroad as they are being discriminated against by Malaysia’s private sector, says rights group Perkasa.

    The Malay rights group said the issue of brain drain was not limited to non-Malays, accusing the private sector of having “racist” policies in hiring employees.

    “The Malays are leaving the country in droves because they cannot obtain places within the private sector, only the government sector… the private sector chooses employees based on skin colour, and they favour their own race compared to Malays,” said Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali.

    He disputed the findings of a World Bank report published on Thursday which stated that the main factors causing brain drain in Malaysia were policies favouring the Malays.

    “Malays are leaving, they are going to the United Kingdom, Dubai for better prospects… why? Because they can’t even get job opportunities despite being qualified,” Syed Hassan said.

    The Perkasa leader claimed pro-Bumiputera economic policies were not the reason non-Malays were leaving the country.

    “The Chinese, the Indians, they like to leave the country, they are used to leaving their country for better job opportunities.

    “They are leaving because they want better pay in foreign countries… it is not because of discriminatory policies… they have everything they want here, what are they complaining for?” said the Perkasa secretary-general.

    In a Bloomberg news service report, World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens was quoted as saying that foreign investment could be five times the current levels if the country had Singapore’s talent base.

    “Migration is very much an ethnic phenomenon in Malaysia, mostly Chinese but also Indian,” Schellekens told Bloomberg in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

    Governance issues and lack of meritocracy are “fundamental constraints” to Malaysia’s expansion because “competition is what drives innovation,” he said.

    Malaysia’s growth fell to an average 4.6 per cent a year in the past decade, from 7.2 per cent the previous period.

    Singapore, which was expelled from Malaysia in 1965, expanded 5.7 per cent in the past decade and has attracted more than half of its neighbour’s overseas citizens, according to the World Bank. Malaysia has in recent years unveiled plans to improve skills and attract higher value-added industries.

    The World Bank conducted an online survey in February of 200 Malaysians living abroad in conjunction with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

    Like

  11. shiro says:

    semoga Musa Aman dapat membangunkan Sabah dalam pelbagai aspek dan terus disokong oleh rakyat

    Like

  12. cobra nair says:

    Musa Aman must go for training under Penang CM Lim G E for 5 days, on how to run a state, followed by all the BN mentri Besars & CMs. Najib please take note.LGE is the best CM in this country.UMNO tried their best in many ways,telling lies to bring down LGE, but they thenselves landed in the drain.They ate thier own shit.Dont be shy to leran from Lim Guan Eng.

    Like

  13. martycruz says:

    of course Sabah still need a lot of funds and time to move forward like other states in this country. but the physical geography and size of this state should be taken into consideration before saying that the government does not seriously develop this state.

    Like

  14. martycruz says:

    to lead the Sabah state government especially when the state faced with many critical problems is not an easy task. under the administration of Musa Aman, there are many positive changes we can see. until today, state and federal governments still continue their strive to bring Sabah out from all of the problems with the aim to make Saban one of the richest state in Malaysia by 2015.

    Like

  15. Risad says:

    Dear Selvaraja Somiah, from your article, you seem to praise Musa Aman for all the good deeds he has done for Sabah since becoming CM in 2003. Can you do me a favor and list 5 projects that directlly has benefited the people in Sabah ? Has he addressed the primary conserns of Sabahans, namely, the presece of illegal imigrants iinthe stste ? How about the security siituation in general in Sabah (because of the illegal pop)? Why are all,save for one or two, heads of government only from the muslim community? What about the open secret that it was Musa Aman and his friend Yahya Kassim(?) with the support of UMNO who has made it possible for these muslim illegal immigrants to become eligable to vote ? Is this not treson to the highest degree?

    Like

  16. mandara says:

    pembangunan di Sabah harus diteruskan. masih byk lagi yang perlu dibangunkan di Sabah.

    Like

  17. Tiada Nama says:

    Banyak pembangunan yg telah dinikmati berbanding pada masa dahulu. tp banyak lagi yang perlu diperbaiki & dibangunkan lagi. Good Luck to CM.

    Like

  18. Faisal says:

    My opinion, that administration under musa better than YTL. YTL nothing development for us. Musa must make people trust with what you do. Fight for our right..

    Like

  19. Faisal says:

    Musa Aman can do the best for Sabahan. We hope Musa will more and more do development for us. Solve any Sabahan problem.

    Like

  20. Oracle says:

    Musa made the right decision in appointing Dr. Yee as the DCM. He deserve it.

    Like

  21. Oracle says:

    LDP should just leave BN. It seems like LDP is not concern about serving the people. All LDP care about it the position.

    Like

  22. Oracle says:

    The issues that Sabah is facing should be solved or else it would be difficult for Sabah to fully develop.

    Like

  23. Oracle says:

    There are still many things Musa need to work on for Sabah to develop.

    Like

  24. mantra says:

    masalah2 di Sabah perlu diselesaikan.

    Like

  25. mantra says:

    harap Musa dpt meneruskan lagi pembangunan di Sabah dan dpt memacu sabah kepada negeri paling maju.

    Like

  26. amir says:

    Kita harap Musa Aman boleh mengambil peluang ini untuk menyelesaikan masalah kekurangan elektrik di Sabah.

    Like

  27. aiz says:

    there are many things that need to be done to develop Sabah. continuous effort is needed. I hope Sabah will continue to move forward and be developed in the future.

    Like

  28. mike says:

    hope that sabah will gain more in the future..

    Like

  29. mike says:

    under Musa admin, sabah more developed than before..and there’s still lots more to do..i believe that Musa will do his job and responsibility as CM..

    Like

  30. mike says:

    YTL cannot be trusted..

    Like

  31. smookiekins says:

    Hope Sabah will be more and more better in future.

    Like

  32. come on says:

    History does play something to our political scenario. But I don’t think it should be viewed as a kind of wall to move further.

    Like

  33. antap says:

    although Sabah now increasingly grow, but still many development need to be carried out in Sabah. hope the musa leadership can more develops Sabah.

    Like

  34. Sim says:

    Looking forward to see Musa transform Sabah into a better place.

    Like

  35. Sim says:

    All the best to Musa.

    Like

  36. ek says:

    everyone can see the changes and development in Sabah.

    Like

  37. pengait says:

    Musa appointment as the Chief Minister came just in time when Yayasan Sabah was on the verge of bankruptcy..Sabah also not in a good position in economy…when he came aboard, Musa salvage the crippling YS and save Sabah economy, thanks to his experience in business…

    Like

  38. Haji Gundul says:

    How can Musa transform Sabah into a better state in Malaysia when all he does is award contracts to his cronies. He is the CM and also Minister of Finance and YB Jimmy Wong called him Vaccuum Cleaner at one sitting of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.

    Also, for Musa to transform Sabah, he has to get rid of the massive presence of illegal immigrants, legalized by KL and some syndicates that KL did not act upon. The legalized illegals are depriving Malaysians Sabahans of their rights and they are the issue that need to be thrashed asap.

    Like

  39. talisman says:

    Dear Malaysians, plese log into:

    Like

  40. […] Musa can look towards Penang chief minister, Lim Guan Eng, who is rapidly changing the face of Penang bringing in investment, creating employment, infrastructure and also working on improving the poor development indices. Guan Eng never even seemed like a politician when he took reins over the state and critics said that he was lucky that his father, Lim Kit Siang, was there for him. But the son has done far better than the father ever did though he was such a seasoned leader and politician.READ MORE HERE  […]

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