Archive for the ‘North Borneo’ Category


One thing I want to say about the political outcome is that although it is a backdoor government, it may be bad for the Peninsular Malaysia but very good for Sabah.

At last the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah will be tackled effectively because it was during Dr Mahathir’s time that the illegals problem worsened as Mykads were issued to hundreds of thousands of illegals to bring down the Christian-led PBS government.

Suddenly Sabah had the largest UMNO members after Johor. When this too failed to bring down the PBS Sabah state government because PBS managed to obtain a simple majority of 25 seats in the then 48 seats Sabah State Assembly in the 1994 elections, and PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan sworn in as chief minister of Sabah, however, as a result of defections of PBS assemblymen to the Barisan National, Pairin was forced to resign on 17 March 1994. PBS was left with 5 seats. PBS after 1994 was split into PBRS, AKAR, SAPP and PDS.

So it was UMNO bought over PBS Assemblymen to form Malaysia’s FIRST backdoor government in 1994.

Before that Dr Mahathir removed the Anti-hopping Law because it forbade the elected representatives jumping over to the other side for monetary gains and millions were said to have changed hands. Dr Mahathir defended the removal of Anti-hopping Law saying it was against the freedom of association right of the assemblyman, regardless of the rakyat who voted for the assemblyman.

So when this was happening to Sabah nobody in Peninsular said anything. Why be angry now that a backdoor government was formed at the federal level? And why is Dr Mahathir so afraid that the states including his Kedah will fall due to defections to Muafakat Nasional/Perikatan Nasional?

Dr Mahathir the doctor is getting a taste of his own medicine.


Isu utama yang kian menonjol di media sosial di saat-saat pilihan raya Kimanis kini telah beralih daripada isu PSS kepada tempat lahir asal Shafie Apdal. Media sosial kini kian membara dengan khabar bahawa tempat lahir asal Shafie Apdal adalah Jolo di Filipina. Ini boleh dikatakan kerana ramai yang mempertikaikan polisi Parti Warisan yang kian memihak kepada PATI daripada orang Sabah.

Netizen-netizen kian menyuarakan bahawa Shafie Apdal akan mengumumkan sebuah pulau bagi PATI dan juga untuk membenarkan pam bot serta membenarkan tempat tinggal PATI. Selain itu, terdapat janji daripada Shafie Apdal untuk mengambil 200 ekar laut Tanjung Aru untuk dijadikan tanah bagi pendudk di Pulau Gaya. Dan kini untuk memberi PSS kepada PATI!!

Bekas Ketua Menteri Sabah Yong Teik Lee juga menyuarakan bahawa tindakan Shafie ini menghantar mesej kepada penduduk Filipina untuk berhijrah ke Sabah.

Adakah patut penduduk Sabah dipersalahkan dalam menyuarakan kebimbangan mereka sedangkan semua jawatan utama kerajaan negeri dan badan-badan berkanun diisi oleh penyokong Shafie Apdal daripada kawasannya.

Terdapat kebimbangan di kalangan penduduk berkenaan hala tuju Warisan namun mereka memilih untuk mendiamkan diri.


The question is not just whether it is legally right because even legally it is highly questionable.

Just because the 3 Appeal Court Judges accepted the Preliminary Objection (PO) does not mean they are right. Simply because, according to the lawyer on the other side, they were not given a chance to explain why it is illegal for a Chief Minister to be dismissed by the TYT within 48 hours of appointing him, when the Constitution states that only the Assembly can unseat a CM by Vote of Confidence.

As the Federal Constitution now stands, the Agong cannot arbitrarily dismiss the PM. Neither can any Menteri Besar be dismissed by the respective Sultans without undergoing the due process as laid out in their respective Constitution.

In the case of Sabah, following the May 9th GE14 and almost 48 hours after the election results were announced, and despite the eventual winner who had 29 seats and commanded a simple majority, with and addition of 2 more seats, had the rug pulled out from under his feet despite having been sworn in.

After unexplained lengthy delay, a swearing-in was promised at 8pm, until 11pm Musa was kept waiting to be sworn in. Almost 24 hours after results were announced, and that within 10 hours the next day he was asked to return the Appointment Letter. This lead many people to believe that horsetrading was going on. Which was confirmed when Upko Assemblymen frogged to Warisan side. At the time of the appointment of the CM this was not the case and he was sworn-in, so why did he have to lose his job after being sworn-in? With the new victors, resorting to Statutory Declaration (SD) rather than people’s vote, which is more important.

Similarly, the Prime Minister was made to wait several hours by the previous Agong after PH victory and that he too complained loudly that this should not have happened as people have spoken. In his case, the previous Agong apparently was abroad.

So, if this was unacceptable to the PM, what happened on the 9th May 2018 be acceptable to Sabahans? Fortunately, in the case of the PM, no Pakatan members frogged-over to BN to deny Dr Mahathir and Pakatan Harapan a victory. Perhaps it was due to the margin of seats being wide unlike in the Sabah case. Nevertheless, an unacceptable delay was allowed to happen with the PM being appointed but in Sabah a CM was also being constitutionally appointed. But yet, losing it due to horsetrading, never-mind the constitution, a Law Expert even joked in a seminar in Kota Kinabalu that Sabah politicians can win a medal for frog politics or something like that.

Its a pity that the Appeal Court Judges accepted the PO to deny the aggrieved in court.

The Counsel for the other side claimed on the grounds that any outcome is academic and he  based it on two main arguments :

1) even if Musa succeeded with his appeal there will be no consequence/outcome because Musa can never satisfy the threshold of Article 6 (3) of the Sabah Constitution which expressly states that the TYT appoints a member of the Assembly to be CM who has the command of the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.

2) even if the Assembly is summoned, with the support of only eight out 60 assemblymen factually and mathematically Musa can never win a vote of confidence for himself or a vote against Shafie and unseat him.

Douglas Lind’s contention the case is academic.

However the larger question is not whether the successor commends the majority in the house the present moment, but whether it was Constitutionally correct to ask back from the CM, the letter of appointment. Just because subsequent to the appointment a bunch of politicians leapfrogged. Hence it is a question of whether it was legally right as well as morally right. From my understanding of the Constitution it was both legally and morally wrong and  I remain to be convinced.

My point is that the PM complained about having to wait long before being sworn-in following the GE14 results. In Sabah, a delay also happened in swearing in the CM but with different consequences.

Imagine if the PM was asked by the Agong to return the appointment letter just because some Pakatan Harapan winners decided to frog over to Barisan Nasional?

Would it then be a case of asking the PM to resign and not sacked?

The larger issue is also, does not what happened in Sabah raise the question, if unchallenged in the Federal Court, that to ordinary people like me, the TYT is the only head of state that can decide whether a CM that he had just constitutionally appointed can be dismissed by him within hours of doing so without going through the State Assembly, which is the rightful place to determine this.

By the same reasoning, does it not seem that the Sabah TYT may be seen to have powers that even the Agong and Sultans do not? I stand to be corrected?

Courts should have looked at whether a Sabah TYT enjoys greater powers than the Agong and Sultans in appointing the head of government and to help rectify if indeed this is the case now.

Because this problem is not addressed and peculiar to Sabah, this tendency of a Sabah TYT to delay appointing a CM has created crises on 3 occasions.

In 1985, 1994 n 2018.

Peoples voices not recognised in this 3 instances of Sabah’s political history – 1985, 1994 and 2018. In all 3 instances, the decisions took a different turn and the government was formed by frogging and other means.

In 1985, Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won the Sabah State election with a simple majority of 25 seats. However, PBS was not allowed to form the Sabah State Government by the Istana.

Joseph Pairin Kitingan was kept waiting for more then a day while power grab was underway in the wee hours of the morning. In which, USNO’s 16 seats collaborated with Berjaya’s 6 seats and the Sabah State Government was formed before the sun rose.

The schemers of this plan decided they can still form the government by laying claim to the 6 nominated state seat. The then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir was in Scandinavia and his deputy Musa Hitam had ordered the plotters to give up. Joseph Pairin Kitingan was then only sworn in as Chief Minister after almost 48 hours.

In 1994, something similar happened again with Pairin Kitingan and PBS as victims. This time, Pairin also won with a simple majority of 25 seats despite massive frogging by his assemblymen to government side due to the scrapping of the Anti-Hopping Law (The Barisan Nasional government challenged the Anti-Hop Law that was introduced in 1987 by the then PBS State Government in court and had it scrapped).

This time Pairin had to camp for 3 nights outside the Istana as the then TYT claimed he was too sick to open the Istana gates for Pairin to be sworn in. By the time the Istana gates were opened Pairin had already lost many of his Assemblymen and a new Chief Minister was sworn in after about a month. This eventually led to the downfall of the PBS State Government as the PBS election winners had joined Barisan Nasional parties.

In 2018, it happened again following GE14. But this time there was a major difference. While in 1985 and 1994 Pairin was not able to be sworn in instantly after the election results, this time, Musa Aman was already appointed Chief Minister after an unexplained delay of about 48 hours. And despite being sworn in with his Cabinet members, Musa Aman still lost his government to frogging.

This time the Upko boys did the frogging probably on the orders and advise of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and despite pledging that as KDMs they will stick together and decide as a bloc and only leave the BN after consensus among themselves. Five assemblymen from Upko and one MP left BN to throw their support behind Warisan and Pakatan Harapan, a day after the general election.

Their action caused the collapse of the BN government led by former chief minister Musa Aman whose cabinet, which included two Upko assemblymen, had been sworn in less than 12 hours before.

I was there on that night of May 9th in Sri Gaya when Tangau came out and answered a phone call apparently from Dompok asking him to go to Shafie’s house in Luyang. Tangau disappeared from Sri Gaya after this phone call and headed straight to see Shafie in his house, alone, leaving all his UPKO boys with Musa Aman in Sri Gaya. Upko then switched allegiance to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan pact a day after the election.

For how long more must Sabah continue to be the only state where the Assemblymen decides who is to form the government by becoming political frogs and not by the people who voted them?

In the end the CM is appointed through political frogs producing statutory declarations  (SD) instead of the peoples wish being respected.

 

This piece also came out in MALAYSIA TODAY. SEE HERE!!


Peoples voices not recognised in 3 instances of Sabah’s political history – 1985, 1994 and 2018. In all 3 instances, the decisions took a different turn and the government was formed by frogging and other means.

In 1985, Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won the Sabah State election with a simple majority of 25 seats. However, PBS was not allowed to form the Sabah State Government by the Istana.

Joseph Pairin Kitingan was kept waiting for more then a day while power grab was underway in the wee hours of the morning. In which, USNO’s 16 seats collaborated with Berjaya’s 6 seats and the Sabah State Government was formed before the sun rose.

The schemers of this plan decided they can still form the government by laying claim to the 6 nominated state seat. The then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir was in Scandinavia and his deputy Musa Hitam had ordered the plotters to give up. Joseph Pairin Kitingan was then only sworn in as Chief Minister after almost 48 hours.

In 1994, something similar happened again with Pairin Kitingan and PBS as victims. This time, Pairin also won with a simple majority of 25 seats despite massive frogging by his assemblymen to government side due to the scrapping of the Anti-Hopping Law (The Barisan Nasional government challenged the Anti-Hop Law that was introduced in 1987 by the then PBS State Government in court and had it scrapped).

This time Pairin had to camp for 3 nights outside the Istana as the then TYT claimed he was too sick to open the Istana gates for Pairin to be sworn in. By the time the Istana gates were opened Pairin had already lost many of his Assemblymen and a new Chief Minister was sworn in. This eventually led to the downfall of the PBS State Government as the PBS election winners had joined Barisan Nasional parties.

In 2018, it happened again following GE14. But this time there was a major difference. While in 1985 and 1994 Pairin was not able to be sworn in instantly after the election results, this time, Tan Sri Musa Aman was already appointed Chief Minister after an unexplained delay of about 48 hours. And despite being sworn in with his Cabinet members, Musa Aman still lost his government to frogging.

This time the Upko boys did the frogging probably on the orders and advise of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and despite pledging that as KDMs they will stick together and decide as a bloc and only leave the BN after consensus among themselves. Five assemblymen from Upko and one MP left BN to throw their support behind Warisan and Pakatan Harapan, a day after the general election.

Their action caused the collapse of the BN government led by former chief minister Musa Aman whose cabinet, which included two Upko assemblymen, had been sworn in less than 12 hours before.

I was there on that night of May 9th in Sri Gaya when Tangau came out and answered a phone call apparently from Dompok asking him to go to Shafie’s house in Luyang. Tangau disappeared from Sri Gaya after this phone call and headed straight to see Shafie in his house, alone, leaving all his UPKO boys with Musa Aman in Sri Gaya. Upko then switched allegiance to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan pact a day after the election.

For how long more must Sabah continue to be the only state where the Assemblymen decides who is to form the government by becoming political frogs and not by the people who voted them?

Lets hope a right decision is made by the Court of Appeal on this November 28th on the appeal of Musa Aman against the High Court ruling over the legitimacy of Shafie Apdal as the Sabah chief minister.

Comparison has been made between Sabah CM row and the Perak Mentri Besar tussle. However it must be stressed that they are entirely different.

In the Perak case, the Sultan acted before the new Mentri Besar was appointed.

In the Sabah case, the worst case scenario happened, despite the CM and the Cabinet already sworn in.

In the Perak case, everyone is the Sultan’s subject and the Sultan has the right.

But in the Sabah case, it does not have a Sultan but only a Governor, who himself is nominated by politicians of the day.


The Warisan-led Sabah Government has agreed to gazette all 90 villages that are in the State’s forest reserve areas. The decision was made at a State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal. They will bring it up at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly sitting this November 2019. The villages included in the districts of Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Tuaran, Tenom, Lahad Datu, Beluran and Pulau Banggi.

Under Shafie Apdal, now they can occupy forest reserves which Musa Aman in the past did his best to save.

Musa Aman even expanded forest reserves during his time, but now Shafie is doing the opposite.

Under Musa, Sabah had a total of 746,564.91ha in fully certified forest reserves, with 675,691.68ha under natural forest management and 70,873.23ha in tree plantations.

And during Musa’s watch, one of the milestones in Sabah’s conservation effort was when Sabah resolved to protect the area that harbours the largest Orang Utan population as well as a diversity of other wildlife in Sabah, at the Ulu Segama and Malua forest reserves. After almost 60 years of continuous logging, this activity was phased out by the end of 2007. While there were some sceptics, it sent a strong message on Sabah’s seriousness about conservation.

To reiterate that Musa meant business, during an official visit by then, Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Deramakot Forest Reserve in June of 2006, Musa, at a press conference announced that logging would be phased out in Ulu Segama, Malua and Kalumpang by 2007. The eventual halt to logging in the areas would translate to a forfeiture of at least RM1 billion in timber royalties to the state.

Many at that time thought Musa trying to “bodek” and was just polishing Pak Lah’s boots who has been known to be somewhat of a nature lover. Lo and behold, logging was eventually phased out in those areas. The move led to 240,000 hectares to be placed under Sustainable Forest Management, for the conservation of orang utans reforestation an area that is also part of the broader Heart of Borneo due to its rich biodiversity.

Yes under Musa, efforts had been put in place to recreate healthy and productive forests in these and other forest reserves, each with their own management plans. In areas that are not fully protected, extraction of timber was done on a sustainable basis and high conservation value areas were protected for their many benefits, included as watersheds.

Through Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), 53% of Sabah or 3.9 million hectares of State land had been permanently set aside as Forest Reserves, Protection Areas and Wildlife Conservation Areas. The State Government under Musa had also decided to set aside 30 per cent of its total landmass or 2.2 million hectares as Totally Protected Areas, in the five years. It had also exceeded the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) target of only 10%.

It must be noted that Sabah under Musa then had restored and planted forests well over 600,000 hectares, presumably the largest such undertaking in the tropics. The Sabah Government then had promoted Sabah as the hub for tropical rainforest research involving renowned international research organisations such as The Royal Society of the United Kingdom, The Nature Conservancy of the United States of America, Sime Darby Foundation, Abraham Foundation, WWF-Malaysia IKEA, Petronas as well as key local higher learning institutions.

From all this we can observe the effort put in place during Musa’s watch for Sabah’s forest conservation and the environment. And now Shafie is doing just the opposite.

As to the rights to land ownership, proper procedures and regulations are to be adhered first. In this case has proper studies been done to gazette villages in State’s forest reserve area by Shafie’s government?

Who is to know who has legitimate claims, compared with spurious demands made by encroachers, timber-thieves and in-comers looking to make fortunes from logging from these State’s forest reserve areas? And even when it is a genuine claim for community customary land, if the demand from that community is to convert natural forest, what should be done? Should the protection of the State’s forest reserve or the rights of the community be the priority?

So why did Shafie rush to gazette all the 90 villages in the State’s forest reserve areas? Or are those villagers in those forest reserve areas Shafie’s vote bank in the East Coast? Or is it to harvest timber in those State’s forest reserves?

Something ponder!


The court declaration that the appointment of Sabah Water Department director Amarjit last year was unlawful has revealed how a thoughtless decision by the Shafie Government has opened a Pandora’s Box with incalculable consequences for the state.

People are now saying we don’t know what other appointments made by Shafie Apdal after taking charge of Sabah Government was illegal or didn’t follow SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). We need another Yong Teck Lee, they are saying.

Even the appointment of a non-Sabahan Sarawakian timber-man Hu Chang Lik @ Hii Chang Lik’s to the president of the Sandakan Municipal Council (MPS) is raising question, with many questioning the state government’s move of giving senior position in the civil service to private citizens.

Was the appointment of Sarawakian Hu Chang Lik as Sandakan Municipal Council President legal?

Hu Chang Lik mysteriously held the position as Sandakan Municipal President for only 1 year, why only 1 year?

And if Hu Chang Lik’s appointment as Sandakan Muncipal Council President is found to be illegal, all decisions made by him as President of Sandakan Municipal Council will also be subject to lawsuits.

Then the appointment of a non-Sabahan from Penang as a nominated assemblyman by the Warisan-led state government which was Never in the history of Sabah. It goes to show they have no respect on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). This is again a blow to Warisan’s slogan of “Sabah for Sabahans” which they stole from Party Bersatu Sabah. Which was also criticised by Dr Mahathir recently. All along it was very clear that the appointment of Nominated Assembly Member is to represent Sabah’s own minorities and not a West Malaysian from Semanunjung.

The appointment of Johan Arriffin A Samad  as the Chief Executive Officer of Institute For Development Studies (Sabah) (IDS) also lasted for only 6 months although Shafie gave Johan all the hopes that he would continue to be CEO. The decision did not depend on the chief minister but with the board of directors of IDS, who voted 6-5 against him. Johan had to leave the IDS abruptly.

Then there is also talk that Shafie could replace Jamalul Kiram the Director of Yayasan Sabah cum Chief Executive Officer of Innoprise Corporation Sdn. Bhd (ICSB) with Former Sabah State Secretary, Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman. It seems Jamalul Kiram did not live up to Shafie’s expectations.

Under Shafie’s rule, an unprecedented and dire situation has arisen, as key institutions have squirmed under the overbearing pressure of interference. Some have raised the banner of revolt, some have buckled under the weight. Although institutions have always had to negotiate with political rulers, and there have been periods in Sabah’s past when things came to a flash point, but never before has such a sweeping discontent been visible to the people. It poses a danger for the country’s democracy if institutions like the Court and the MACC and the police are pressurised to function for political ends. As the Court of Appeal hearing of the legitimate Sabah CM approaches, many of these institutions are sensing that the Warisan-led state government could be on the losing side, and that has emboldened them to speak up. It is a hint of the shape of things to come.


Will Sukau Bridge 2 Project be Peter Anthony’s next Pot of Gold at the expense of Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Orangutans and Proboscis Monkeys?

Peter Anthony is looking into reviving the Sukau Bridge 2 Project.

Even World’s No 1 environmental icon Sir Richard Attenborough and international environmental NGOs were heavily critical of this project. Sir Attenborough had said that Sabah’s global appeal as an ecotourism will be doomed if the Sukau Bridge 2 Project went ahead.

The UK Guardian newspaper published an article highlighting Sir David Attenborough’s concerns over the proposed bridge that would span 350m across the Kinabatangan River, threatening one of the last sanctuaries of the rare Bornean pygmy elephant.

Musa Aman had scrapped this project. Looks like Musa is the only true defender of the environment. Musa’s track record in saving Sabah’s environment cannot be denied.

The Sukau Bridge Project is RM223mil and split into two phases.

Phase 1 is RM67 million and it involves an approach road followed by a bridge across the Kinabatangan at Sukau.

Phase 2 is RM150 million and it involves upgrading 0.3km of the IOI dirt road before constructing an ambitious 1.38km of elevated bridge featuring a raft of viaducts for animals to cross a forested Lot 3 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in addition to upgrading 1km of dirt road till Kg Moresem.

What Peter Anthony is suggesting is a slap in the face of Shafie Apdal as only yesterday Shafie had issued a stern warning to businesses, that the protection of wildlife in Sabah is absolute, and no compromise on wildlife.

The Kinabatangan Conservation Area is described as “Sabah’s Gift to the Earth” and has been dubbed the “Corridor of Life”.

Lets see if WWF opposes this project again as they did it in the past. In the past, the WWF representative RAHIMATSAH was vehemently against the Sukau Bridge 2 Project but now I hear RAHIMATSAH was recently awarded a project in the Danum Valley and may choose to stay silent.

I also heard last year a couple of soldiers were caught for poaching wildlife in the Danum Valley and so far nothing has come out of it.


This came out today, 15th September 2019 in the Daily Express. See also here n here


As we celebrate the 56th anniversary of our beloved nation, it is time to reflect on the circumstances which led to the formation of Malaysia with Sarawak joining the Malayan states, Sabah and Singapore to give birth to a new federation on Sept 16, 1963.

Watch this video!


Besides the economy, Sabah and democracy are themselves undergoing a stress-test.

It is commonly understood that the most acceptable marker of economic growth of a state is its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Economists, who rarely agree with each other, acquiesce with this economic measure; that is a considerable achievement by itself.

However, since CM Shafie Apdal took charge of Sabah on May 12, 2018, after the defections of Upko assemblymen who after winning their five seats on the BN symbol, flags and manifesto led to the loss of Musa’s majority. Ever since then, Sabah’s GDP has become a subject of controversial discussions, especially since it accompanied several grotesque claims of government achievements that appeared questionable.

While the Opposition decried the GDP chest-thumping roar as akin to cockamamie, the Shafie Government gloated on its spectacular accomplishment, its spokespersons hyperventilating on TV screens and social media.

Something is clearly amiss. Many think Sabah’s data under Shafie is not just cooked but barbecued.

I try to unravel this intriguing conundrum, in brief, by addressing questions that crop up with predictable regularity.

What was the GDP inherited by the present Shafie’s Government from the former Musa’s Government?

It was 8 per cent – healthy, strong and recovering robustly.

But, Shafie and his Warisan coalition through their massive propaganda machine spread the canard of apocalyptic doom that “Sabah was on the verge of a collapse”, as fearmongering and manufacturing anxiety suits. In May last year, Chief Minister Shafie Apdal claimed that Sabah was in financial difficulty and the previous Musa administration did not leave RM4 billion reserve as claimed. Shafie, who is also Sabah’s finance minister, insisted that the state’s reserves were in the negative.

Since then, however, the auditor-general’s report for 2017 has indicated otherwise, leading the state’s Opposition to dispute Shafie’s claim.

After confusion and controversy over Sabah’s financial health, state treasurer Rusdin Riman said that the state grew its reserves by over RM4 billion last year-2017.

What about the claim by Shafie that his government is responsible for the miraculous turnaround to make Sabah the fastest growing economy?

It is an absurd proposition that even a kindergarten child will debunk. How can a economy make such a dramatic turnaround within 15 months, one which was being disingenuously trashed by Shafie as a failure just a few months earlier?

The truth is that Sabah moved into the global financial arena taking giant footsteps under the 15-year period of then CM Musa Aman.

Many have called it the golden period of Sabah’s economy, as for the first time ever, we witnessed a 10-year average GDP growth rate of 7.7 per cent and lifted a million people above the poverty line, reflecting the successful model of inclusive growth.

In successive years, between 2003 to 2018 April, Musa’s government reached growth rates of 8 per cent, hitherto deemed unreachable, almost reaching double digit growth levels.

In short, Sabah was much better under Musa than under Shafie now. How do you compare the Musa’s GDP performance over that of Shafie?

There is no comparison whatsoever; GDP went up by over 300 per cent during the 15 years of Musa government. The Musa government performed extraordinarily better compared to the anaemic, almost lackadaisical numbers of Warisan-Upko-PH government.

In fact, Shafie’s government had a great opportunity to build on a strong inheritance from the previous Musa’s government, but wasted a burgeoning growth momentum.

One must remember that the Musa’s government succeeded despite facing Malaysia’s worst economic crisis, recession of 2007-08, low oil prices, drop in timber royalty due to export ban and running a difficult coalition government, and facing repeated sabotage by Shafie at the Federal level and a very difficult Vice President of Umno to deal with.

Why is the ground reality so different from the headlines and the hype?

Under Shafie, what you see is not what you get; there is selective cherry-picking, exaggerated claims, new methodologies adopted to make a sheep look like a lion, and in many cases, data that inspires grave apprehensions about their authenticity. Shafie indulges in a lot of puffery.

Thus, we have this atrocious contradiction where Shafie claims that Sabah is a growing economy, but the farmers are crying under severe rural distress, joblessness, private investments, exports, aggregate private expenditure are all looking dismal.

It hardly needs further assertion that the rural economy, in particular, has crippled small businesses. Lucky for Shafie, there is tourism, thanks to previous Musa’s government for laying the groundwork and logistics.

The damage is still being undone.

Is GDP the only macro-indicator of the health of the economy?

No, it is not, it is just the easiest one. The true health of Sabah is determined through a more detailed biopsy of economic and social indicators, mostly job creation, per capita income, export performance, gross fixed capital formation, reduction in poverty levels, per capita expenditure allocations to health and education.

On all these factors, Shafie has slipped by having both feet on a banana peel. We must not forget that the relevant index for Sabah is Human Development Index. The fact that we have seen an alarming dip in Poverty Index, or the Gender Disparity Index should tell us that this government has merely indulged in headline-hunting, rhetorical speeches, statistical manipulation and massive publicity blitzkrieg.

Besides the economy, Sabah and democracy are themselves undergoing a stress-test due the presence of huge number of illegals immigrants with fake IDs.

About time. Governance in a democracy is like a fishbowl, everyone must know the truth. But under Shafie opacity rules, or as Salman Rushdie would say, there is a lot of chutnification going on. But truth does ultimately win.