Archive for the ‘Sabah’ Category


By Datuk Seri Musa Aman

AS leader of this state, I am duty-bound to serve the people and ensure their needs are taken care of.

I accept the fact that there are limits to what I can achieve as the Chief Minister, but I try my best and accept criticisms where due.

But, when false allegations are hurled at the administration that I lead, I will not accept it without defending those who make sure my instructions are followed.

There are leaders who act, and those who pay lip service.

Recently, the opposition accused the Barisan Nasional-led government of clearing more than 100,000ha of forest reserves to be converted into oil palm plantations.

I have dealt with this by setting the record straight at the recently-concluded State Legislative Assembly sitting and reminded the opposition that their responsibility entails more than just criticising the government.

The government is open to suggestions that will bring progress to the state and benefits to the people, even if they come from the opposition.

But, I will not tolerate those who voice out baseless allegations to confuse the people or deliberately exploit issues for political mileage.

For those leaders who are sincere, I told them to come and see me if there are things they do not understand.

Preserving the forest is an important agenda for me.

One of the milestones in Sabah’s conservation effort was when the state resolved to protect the area that harbours the largest orangutanpopulation, as well as other wildlife in Sabah, in 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 our seriousness about conservation.

To reiterate that we mean business, during an official visit by then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Deramakot Forest Reserve in June 2006, I announced that logging would be phased out in Ulu Segama, Malua and Kalumpang the following year.

The eventual halt to logging in the areas would translate to a forfeiture of at least RM1 billion in timber royalties to the state.

The move has led to 240,000ha being placed under Sustainable Forest Management for the conservation of orangutan and reforestation of an area that is also part of the broader Heart of Borneo due to its rich biodiversity.

Efforts have been put in place to recreate healthy and productive forests in these and other forest reserves, each with their own management plans.

In areas not fully protected, extraction of timber is done on a sustainable basis and high conservation value areas, such as watersheds, are protected for their many benefits.

Through Sustainable Forest Management, 53 per cent of Sabah, or 3.9 million hectares, of state land have been permanently set aside as Forest Reserves, Protection Areas and Wildlife Conservation Areas.

The state government has also decided to set aside 30 per cent of its total landmass, or 2.2 million hectares, as Totally Protected Areas, which we hope to achieve in the next few years.

The current 26 per cent has already exceeded the International Union for Conservation of Nature target of 10 per cent.

It must be noted that Sabah has restored and planted forests well over 600,000ha, presumably the largest such undertaking in the tropics.

On top of that, we also have the three natural gems in the form of the Maliau Basin, Danum Valley and Imbak Canyon conservation areas under the full protection of Yayasan Sabah.

The latest development to show our commitment is the scrapping of the proposed Sukau bridge across Kinabatangan river, after considering views about the environmental impact from various quarters, including non-governmental organisations and environmentalists.

The Sabah government has and will continue to promote the state as a 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.

We must grow and enrich our forests with a variety of timber species.

It will be most regrettable if we leave tracts of barren land to the future generation.

Musa Aman is the Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia.


2016 was the best year for Sabah tourism with an arrival of 3,427,908 foreign tourists amounting in a whooping RM7.25 billion in tourism receipts.

First it was the RM7 billion proposed Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) a green township comprising hotels, Eco golf course, the Marina, and the enlarged Prince Philip Park approximately 348 hectares or 3,481,400 square meters to the west of Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Later that year Sabah was allocated another RM11.42 billion to implement several infrastructure projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) 2016-2020 by the Federal Works Ministry, this is just the first phase. The second phase of the 11MP will involve RM8.55 billion for 32 projects, including the ongoing construction of the Pan Borneo Highway and more improvements to infrastructure. The Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah, involving a 706km stretch from Sindumin to Tawau, will be fully-completed by Dec 31, 2021. And then another RM3 billion in MoUs signed by Sabah State Government with private sectors to invest in agriculture and forestry and tourism and manufacturing.

It is a commentary on the bizarre priorities of our information order that investment commitments totaling $114 billion under Sabah Development Corridor, equaling nearly one fifth of Malaysia’s GDP, are either ignored or put on par with anodyne political statements. This, however, is not the occasion to lament the lack of even-handedness in the treatment of anything remotely connected to Sabah chief minister Musa Aman. It is the time to celebrate something that is fast becoming undeniable: the emergence of Sabah as the investment powerhouse of Malaysia.

In the start of the Cockerel Year, there was a stark contrast between a Sabah bubbling with optimism and the rest of the country despairing over economic mismanagement and missed opportunities. It is not that all the MoUs signed with private sector will be translated into reality. Many will remain paper commitments . But when the who’s who of Malaysia’s industry line up to proclaim their faith in Sabah as a wholesome place for investment, having already put their money where their mouth is, neither Malaysia nor the rest of the world can afford to be in denial.

The proclamations of faith in Sabah are all the more meaningful because they have been made despite some in Kuala Lumpur’s unremitting displeasure with anything that could bolster Musa Aman’s credentials. However, Musa Aman doesn’t usually win awards for being the “Reformer of the Year” or for innovative governance. In fact, he doesn’t even make it to the shortlist. Nevertheless he has invariably secured an unequivocal thumbs-up from those who have a real stake in the emergence of Sabah as a Malaysia economic power house.

Skeptics and naysayers who insist that the rise of Sabah has little to do with the state government, are partially right. Entrepreneurship and business are part of the Musa Aman’s DNA and not because he is Sabahan, and its reason why Sabah has always proudly cloaked itself in the business ethos since Musa took over as CEO of the state. Sabah has registered the highest GDP growth in the past 14 years and owes much of this success to the targeted, business-friendly approach of its government.

In relation to this, four features of ascendancy stands out. The first is quick decision-making—what Musa Aman has dubbed the “red carpet, not red tape” approach, ask corporate philanthropist Datuk Victor Paul, for example, recount how the land allotment and development for the Perdana Park in Tanjung Aru was made possible. Datuk Victor Paul built the multi-million ringgit park all with his own money, there was no such thing as land swap and he build the park entirely as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility and as a gift to the state and the people without any form of payment or reward. Victor Paul completed the whole project in less than two years, a quick-fire decision that has fetched Sabah this park.

The second feature is the curious phenomenon of the near-absence of political corruption at the top. Even Musa Aman’s worst enemies will not deny that the chief minister’s fanatical personal integrity has had a salutary trickle-down effect. Irritated by politically inspired extortion, industry has identified Sabah as a place where it is possible to do ethical business. That’s why when the Sabah Water Department scandal broke out, involving alleged abuse of power in the siphoning of RM3.3 billion of federal funds for water development in Sabah, Musa Aman sent out a tough message against corruption ordered dismissal of corrupt officers from service. The chief minister directed speedier action against the corrupt officials and ordered dismissal of all of them after completing departmental proceedings and other formalities including allowing MACC to deal with it.

Since 2003, Musa Aman’s Sabah has been marked by social and political peace. Particularly important for industry is the absence of political unrest, which unseated Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan in 1994. This is because Sabah has bucked a national trend and is witnessing high growth in many sectors especially eco-tourism and agriculture—last year the sector grew by 9.9%. This means that farmers mainly natives, now have a stake in the larger prosperity of the state and aren’t swayed by populists.

Sabahans and those interested in the state must remember that in the past one such populist, Shafie Apdal had nearly succeeded in selling off stakes in Yayasan Sabah when he was Chairman of North Borneo Timber Berhad (NBT) a subsidiary of YS, when his uncle Sakaran Dandai (now Tun) was Chief Minister in the mid 90s. This share swap ICBS-NBT could have resulted in the Yayasan becoming public listed and native Sabahans losing their birth right of a valuable asset, including Sabah Softwoods Sdn Bhd. However, it was Musa who was serving as CHAIRMAN/CHIEF EXECUTIVE of INNOPRISE CORPORATION (ICSB) then was able to intercept the transaction, ensuring that power remains in the hands of it’s people. Now imagine if such a populist becomes the Sabah Chief Minister.

Finally, the growth of Sabah has been spurred by a philosophy of “minimum government and maximum governance”. In plain language, this means that the state government has concentrated on creating the infrastructure for growth and left it to the private sector to get on with the job of actual wealth creation.The extent to which this vibrant Sabah capitalism will benefit Musa’s ambitions is difficult to predict. But one thing is certain. As Sabah shines and acquires an economic momentum of its own, more and more businesses will find it worthwhile to channel a major chunk of their new investments into Sabah. Kuala Lumpur may not like the resulting uneven growth but the alternative is not to thwart Sabah by political subterfuge-such as preventing public sector from engaging with the state government and the whimsical use of environmental regulations. Sabah has shown that accelerated and sustained growth is possible when the state plays the role of an honest facilitator, rather than a controller.

Musa Aman didn’t create the Sabahan character; he but he certainly did mould it. He gave it the much needed contemporary thrust as well as an ethical dimension. If more of our politicians focused on these important nuances, Malaysia as a nation will be a much better place.


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By DATUK SERI MUSA AMAN 

SABAH recorded its highest number of tourist arrivals last year. There were 3.427 million visitors, who spent an estimated RM7.25 billion based on receipts generated.

The amount was money paid for flights, rooms, transport, food, services and souvenirs they brought home to remind them of their trip to the “Land Below the Wind”. This contributed an extra 10 per cent to the state’s economy.

For this, I applaud the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, as well as industry stakeholders. Kudos to the minister in charge, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

The remarkable achievement was made possible with hard work and perseverance, as well as the belief that we have what it takes to be a world-class destination.

Hard work — through the aggressive promotional activities carried out by the ministry via its “engine room”, the Sabah Tourism Board under the stewardship of Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

Hard work — by working hand in hand with the related government agencies, private sector, service providers, retailers and communities that depend on tourist arrivals.

Perseverance — by believing that despite the challenges we face, Sabah is gifted with a natural setting that attracts many to its shores, mountains, rivers and jungles.

Perseverance — that despite all the brickbats, we have strived harder to present our charms, host our guests and do our best to serve them while they are here.

Another key factor is how the ministry, along with the board and other agencies, has strategically embraced digital marketing to promote the state. We have come a long way and put in a lot of effort to become a destination of choice.

The state has also received a lot of help from the federal leadership under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has always been in awe of Sabah’s natural beauty.

Infrastructure development and the injection of funds have helped put in place the roads, airport runways, hotels, and electricity and water supply needed to play host to visitors.

To be on a par with world-class destinations, the state has embarked on endeavours, such as the Tanjung Aru Eco Development plan, to rejuvenate the iconic beach in Kota Kinabalu.

Federal approvals for flight arrivals have helped tremendously in boosting tourist arrivals, too.

Last year, four airlines commenced direct flights to Kota Kinabalu International Airport, where today, 13 foreign airlines have direct connections from 16 international locations.

There was a threefold increase in chartered flight arrivals, from 76 in 2015 to 210 last year, bringing in 25,627 passengers.

On our shores, there were 37 cruise and naval ships that called to port in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau, bringing in more than 33,000 visitors.

Our international relations with foreign countries have helped encourage tourist arrivals.

Friendly ties with China resulted in a double-digit growth in arrivals from the country, with 374,939 visitors. There was also an increase in arrivals from South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brunei.

Domestic tourist arrivals are another important factor, with nearly 2.3 million people from other states having made Sabah their holiday destination.

All these will require better roads, communication lines and security. With greater development in the pipeline under the Barisan Nasional government, we can expect better connectivity that will allow more of Sabah to be explored.

We have anchor attractions, such as the majestic Mount Kinabalu; the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Sakaran and Tun Mustapha marine parks in Kota Kinabalu, Semporna and Kudat, respectively; and, wildlife, such as orangutans at the Sepilok sanctuary in Sandakan and proboscis monkeys in Sukau and Bilit, Kinabatangan.

Other prime destinations include the Maliau Basin, Danum Valley and Imbak Canyon conservation areas.

We have seen new interest developing in adventure hiking trails in Kiulu, Tambunan and Penampang; the food industry, with visitors trying out fresh seafood and local delicacies; tamu grounds; and, cultural events.

Visit Tambunan Year 2017, for example, was envisioned by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to promote the interior district as a tourist destination. The initiative is commendable.

It is our duty and responsibility, as the host, to provide the best we can so that every visitor leaves with pleasant memories and experiences from their trip to Sabah — and return.

**The writer is Sabah chief minister



It appears that a critical mass of the Sabah electorate wants to reward Musa Aman for the good work he has done over the past several years, since he first assumed Chief Ministership in March 2003. Each person this writer spoke to heading for the early polls in Sabah had only good word to say about the chief minister. This is indeed what makes it difficult for a divided Sabah opposition – The United Sabah Alliance (USA) and its four State-based opposition parties namely Star, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Lajim Ukin’s Parti Harapan Rakyat, Shafie Apdal’s Parti Warisan Sabah together with Malaya based DAP, PKR & Amanah, to attack Musa on any of his development agenda. Shafie Apdal himself has characterised Musa’s regime as marked by fourteen years of malfeasance, but could never publicly attack him on the plank of development.

In a big public meeting outside of Sandakan late 2016, Shafie asked those who attended if Musa’s reign as Chief Minister was ever marked by a lack of accountability but the response was cold. In reply Shafie fumed before the crowd: “I have no other motive than to defend the rights of Sabah”, but having held five terms Member of Parliament of Semporna since 1995 and appointed as parliamentary secretary, Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government in 1999, Deputy Minister of Defence from 1999 to 2004, Minister of Domestic, Trade and Consumer Affairs, and later Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, he has yet to prove that. On 10 April 2009, he became the Minister of Rural and Regional Development which coincided with his election to one of UMNO’s three vice-presidential posts. Shafie Apdal is hence the first Sabahan to hold a vice-presidency of UMNO but has done little to “defend the rights” of the varied population of this state.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is an authentic Musa wave in Sabah as is. It is no wonder that divided Sabah opposition groupies are very worried about the general sentiment generated before polling. The local opposition parties anxiety is reflected in the manner in which it is bringing issues like illegal immigrants, the re-issuance of identity cards, and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Elsewhere, near Penampang, Shafie Apdal is doing what he does best – playing the polarisation game. When he said Sabahans will celebrate if the BN is defeated in Sabah, he again betrayed the fact that the party’s desperation has reached newer highs. By invoking BN, Parti Warisan Sabah believes it can consolidate Sabahan votes across all races but the party’s attempts has failed to bear fruit as voters are seen shying away from Shafie Apdal’s new party. In fact, large sections of Sabahans seem to be inclined to give Musa Aman another term.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the founding father of the second largest political party in Sabah, a long serving assemblyman, MP and Huguan Siou (paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community), has indicated an intention to retire from politic but is also complementing the broader sentiment in favour of Musa by holding on to his KDM vote base – to which opposition groupies have mainly tried but failed to break by raising numerous issues including the delayed Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) technical working committee report on illegal immigrants.

The KDMs, emotionally impacted by the down fall of the PBS Government in March 1994, seemed to have put their fullest weight behind the grand BN alliance. Pairin’s meetings are attracting unusually large crowds with hundreds of youths enthusiastically clicking away on their smart phones. I had seen a similar spectacle only during Pairin’s public meetings in Tambunan and Keningau during GE13 polls in 2013.

In many ways Sabah looks so much like a forerunner of events in national politics. Both Musa and Pairin speak the same language and the political grammar converges around a larger strategy of demanding Sabah rights under the Constitution, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report and Malaysia Act. The devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the state was an ongoing process, with the principal objective of addressing and resolving public concern over the erosion of the special safeguards granted to Sabah under the Malaysia Agreement and the Constitution.

Musa Aman articulates this strategy cogently as he says, “We are all Sabahans, who advocated a constant campaign to resolve issues between state and the federal and the Sabah Government has its own “gentler” approach – more effective, better than shouting and demanding” – “The Sabah Way”. When Musa said this a decade ago, the BN was the establishment. Today, the BN, and the forces its represents, have become the establishment, forging a front against the opposition and its divisive politics, the state government believes in consultation not confrontation.

Musa has repeated over the years that the Sabah State Government under his watch believes in diplomacy rather than confrontation and has achieved some excellent results through this approach, particularly in its negotiations with Petronas on oil and gas matters. These include the appointment of a Sabahan to the Petronas board of directors and Petronas undertaking to increase the number of Sabahans at executive and management level. Now there is a clear understanding between Petronas, the Federal Government and the state government as to Sabah State Government objectives.

UMNO is benefiting in Sabah due to the image of Musa Aman as an urbane, decent and efficient chief minister. The visit to Sabah by Wu Bangguo, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, and many other world leaders, confirms that Musa has placed Sabah ahead of many other states, making it the most successful state in Malaysia in attracting private investments. China’s decision to open a consul-general office in Kota Kinabalu confirms the state’s growing importance as a world-class city favoured by tourists and businesses. For the first quarter of 2016, Sabah under Musa Aman managed to attract private investments in the amount of RM10 billion, way ahead of other states. Apart from that, as of September 30, the amount of cumulative investments in the private sector, under the Sabah Development Corridor projects, had reached RM114 billion since its launch in 2008. Among the many reasons include having a stable, business friendly and a prudent government as well as stringent forestry laws and strong conservation programme. Totally Protected Area (TPA) – now covers over 1.5 million hectares of the land area or some 22% of Sabah. The government policy has been launched to achieve 30% TPA by 2025 or 2030 at the latest or over 2.2 million hectares of Sabah under forest.

So tell me, which other state in Malaysia has set aside 22% of TPA including rich agricultural lands and virgin forests at high opportunity costs? Only Sabah under the Aman administration, that’s for sure.



KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Security Working Committee (JKKN) has decided to reopen the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) for commercial activities effective Feb 1.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the JKKN meeting, which he chaired today, also agreed to allow the Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) Complex in Kudat to resume operations for the route to Palawan, Southern Philippines on the same date.

“However, all commercial activities, namely transshipment and normal trade must adhere to the Transshipment Activity Improvement Fixed Operating Regulations issued by the Sabah JKKN.

“On the other hand, Kudat CIQS will operate by observing its standard operating procedures as guidelines for all agencies and relevant parties,” he said in a statement here today.

Musa also said all trade activities involving Indonesian sea products by the fishermen or the coalition of Tawau Fishermen’s Association was now status quo but the landings of the products must be done at jetties or legal locations as coordinated by the Fisheries Department.

“On the ban of pump boats, JKKN decided that the ruling would continue to take effect on status quo which means the use and its ownership are only allowed for Malaysian citizens. Stern action will be taken against non-citizens,” he added. — Bernama

 

(The Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) is a security zone in the Malaysian state of Sabah that was launched by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak on 25 March 2013 following the persistent attacks by Abu Sayaff pirates and militants from the southern Philippines that occurred in the eastern part of Sabah especially after the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff.

[1] It includes the districts of Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

[2] The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) is the main enforcement authority for ESSZONE, chaired by Datuk Seri Musa Aman.)


The Pan Borneo Highway has become a reality only under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said in the past, no Prime Minister “had the guts” to implement the mega project.

“We had asked for the Pan Borneo (highway) in the past, but no PM was brave enough to give it to us. I am not trying to talk bad (about others), but only PM Najib dared to give this to us.

“Barisan Nasional has a good track record and the Pan Borneo Highway is not the only example of their commitment.

“Based on (his track) record, our current PM is the most concerned over our welfare. He has given (Sabah) the most allocation, with thousands of millions, this is not a lie. Thank you sir,” Musa said during the launch of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway Lahad Datu Bypass package here by Najib.

Musa said the support shown includes providing security assets, especially at the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone).

“So, like the (Bahasa Melayu) term, we should not be ‘kacang lupakan kulit’. We should return the favour with our loyalty and support to the government,” stressed Musa.

Meanwhile this morning, launching the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway in Lahad Datu, Najib said he wants the Pan Borneo Highway project to become his legacy and something the Sabah folks will remember him by.

“Because I want to be remembered during my tenure as PM, that I gave this to Sabah. That this project is an effort under my administration for the people of this state,” he said at SMK Sepagaya here.

A total of 372 undocumented migrants from the Philippines were repatriated to Zamboanga by ferry from Sandakan yesterday.

Sabah National Security Council director Rodzi Md Saad said the repatriated individuals were all males, aged between six and 62 years old and they were previously detained at Kota Kinabalu temporary detention centre, he said in a statement today. Since Nov 15, a total 3,765 Filipinos were deported by ferry, he said.

From Jan 1, this year until today, a total of 22,213 Filipinos, Indonesians and other nationalities were deported to their respective countries.

He also said since 1990 until today, as many as 552,154 undocumented migrants have been repatriated and returned voluntarily to their countries from Sabah.

According to Rodzi the repatriation efforts of the illegals are in line with the government’s commitment to continue to root out illegal immigrants from Sabah.

– Bernama


ALWAYS THE SABAH WAY!

Not long back, many provided immense praise to Adenan Satem for deciding to proceed with tabling the motion demanding for the return of State rights. Up until quite recently, some even mocked at Musa Aman for not heeding Adenan’s call to bring the motion of a  Sabah assembly. Everyone was of an expert opinion on the matter. So much hooha all over social media claiming how brave, how smart and how politically correct Adenan was. The kicker is of course, today Adenan makes a 360° and says “we have decided not to pass the resolution demanding our rights after speaking to Najib” whilst claiming “the state government believes in consultation not confrontation to resolve issues between state and the federal”. Strange but true, this is what Musa has been saying all along- that the ‘Sabah Government has its own “gentler” approach, – more effective, better than shouting and demanding’ – The Sabah Way, ladies and gentlemen! As Adenan parrots Musa, one can only see how Musa is well ahead of the game!

http://www.borneotoday.net/sarawak-will-no-longer-pursue-motion-on-state-rights-declares-adenan/

KUCHING – After much bravado and statements in the media, Sarawak will not be pursuing the tabling of a motion on the state’s rights in next week’s state assembly meeting.

This follows Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s assurance that he is willing to discuss the matter, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem who had been pushing for this tough stance since last month.

Citing media reports from Kota Kinabalu last Saturday, Adenan said the Prime Minister is open to discussions if the Malaysia Agreement and Federal Constitution had been misinterpreted.

“In view of what the Prime Minister said, that he is going to be very accommodating to our claims, there is no need for us therefore to pass a resolution in the assembly demanding our rights under the Constitution, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report and Malaysia Act.

“We trust the Prime Minister to do the right thing and we have confidence that he will do it,” Adenan was reported as telling reporters after chairing a state Barisan Nasional pre-council meeting here Wednesday.

He said the state government believes in diplomacy rather than confrontation and has achieved some results through this approach, particularly in its negotiations with Petronas on oil and gas matters.

These include the appointment of a Sarawakian to the Petronas board of directors and Petronas undertaking to increase the number of Sarawakians at executive and management level.

“There is now a clear understanding between Petronas, the Federal Government and the state government as to our objectives,” Adenan said.

He also said the devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the state was an ongoing process, with the principal objective of addressing and resolving public concern over the erosion of the special safeguards granted to Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement and the Constitution.

Earlier this month, Adenan said the state government would table a “comprehensive motion” to restore Sarawak’s rights and status to its position in 1963.

He had said the proposed motion would cover all aspects of the state’s rights, including seeking to reverse the 1976 amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution that downgraded Sarawak’s status from an equal partner in Malaysia to one of 13 states.
The state assembly will meet on Nov 21 to 30.


Chief Minister Musa Aman welcomed the decision by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to allow Malaysian vessels to enter the republic’s waters in hot pursuit of kidnappers.

“This is a positive development towards curbing kidnapping incidents in Sabah,” he said in a statement.

He said granting Malaysian security forces the permission to pursue kidnappers in Philippine waters would increase the chances of nabbing them.

The decision was announced after Duterte’s meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya yesterday.

Musa said Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo’s decision to allow a similar move was a step in the right direction towards curbing cross border crimes.

The chief minister said he was also pleased to note that Duterte has agreed to the gradual repatriation of Filipinos who are staying illegally in Sabah.

“We hope for continued cooperation with both our neighbours, the Philippines and Indonesia, to maintain the peace and security and good bilateral and trade relations,” he added.

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Sabah’s Watergate Scandal is the hottest news in town. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission seized RM114mil worth of assets RM53.7mil in cold cash stashed in houses and offices from two senior Sabah Water Department officials on Oct 4. The duo, a Director and Assistant Director of the Water Department are being investigated for alleged abuse of power and money laundering linked to contracts for RM3.3bil federal-funded projects channelled to the department since 2010.

This MACC seizure has opened many eyes, it is another reason why administrative reforms should be put in place, especially with regard to Federal development funds. This is what Musa Aman has been saying all along years and years ago.

The rural infrastructure allocation system for Sabah needs to be streamlined by the federal government through the channeling of federal funds directly to the state government to enhance the effectiveness of project implementation, particularly rural development projects. The total allocation provided by the federal government to the state for rural development projects is more than RM6 billion for the period from 2010 to 2013, which is approximately RM2 billion per year.

There is no justification for Federal to approve and implement projects in the State and ignore and not channel the funds to the State Government. The Federal Government should not be seen as usurping the authority of Sabah and creating a parallel government in the process.

The funds for all Federal funded projects should be channelled to the Sabah government for implementation and monitoring. State government knows better the ground situation and has in-depth knowledge of local conditions and requirements. Definitely the State government can chart Sabah’s own development course to meet local needs and requirements

The Federal Government should not play politics with federal funds …

In the wake of all this, here is an interesting take by Onn Ariffin. Onn was the former Director of Federal State Liason (USNO) an appointed post by Tun Mustapha in 1987, he was the “brain” behind the parallel government before Umno actually took charge in Sabah. Onn now Datuk, has been part of Sabah politics since the 70s and onetime he was Secretary-General of USNO.

Onn’s piece is in Malay but here it goes…..

ONN ARIFFIN

Tun Mustapha telah melantik saya sebagai Pengarah Perhubungan Persekutuan Negeri (USNO) sebaik sahaja tugas saya sebagai Setiausha Agung USNO tamat dalam tahun 1987.

Jawatan ini tidak mempunyai sebarang rujukan atau penunjuk arah tentang apakah peranan jawatan ini bagi kepentingan party mahu pun negeri.

Yang lebih saya fahami kerana Tun terpaksa menjawab soalan pemberita di Lapangan Terbang dalam sidang media tentang apakah jawatan seterusnya yang akan dipegang oleh Setiausaha Agong yang ada selepas tamat perkhidmatannya.

Jawapan Tun secara sepontan ialah perhubungan antara Kuala Lumpur dan Sabah.
Dari situlah timbulnya tafsiran disesuakan sahaja dengan panggilan nama Pengarah Perhubungan Persekutuan Negeri (USNO) oleh kerana terfikir kemungkin ada sesuatu yang boleh dijalankan untuk memenuhi tuntutan waktu .

Walau pun secara sepontan, namun ada juga kebijaksanaan Tun dalam mengumumkan perlantikan jawatan terebut kerana pada ketika itu pihak Kuala Lumpur merasakan suatu suasana kosong dalam poliitik Sabah setelah PBS mengambil alih Kerajaan Negeri. Lebih dari itu banyak isu-isu yang dibangkitkan sukar untuk dipertahankan kerana ketiadaan pemain tempatan.

Tugas utama jawatan tersebut adalah untuk meningkatkan perhatian rakyat atas kemampuan USNO sebagai kerajaan Alternative di Sabah. Oleh itu usaha utamanya ialah untuk memainkan peranan perang saikologi dan membidas isu-isu party lawan secara terbuka. Pada ketika itu juga dua akhbar kebangsaan yang hampir tutup laman Sabah dan menutup pejabat mereka kembali bergerak aktib. Dalam masa yang sama kita mengambil ikhtiar terselindung untuk mengambil alih Sabah Times walau pun sahamnya saling bertukar tangan, tapi untuk jangka waktu itu ia dapat dipergunakan untuk faedah USNO dan dasar-dasar untuk membawa lembaran pembangunan baru dinegeri ini.

Teringat saya atas pesanan Tun supaya tidak berunding dengan sesiapa pun dalam party atas tindakan-tindakan yang perlu di jalankan oleh Setiausha Agong Party, walau pun dengan Timbalan Presiden. Katanya buat apa sahaja yang perlu dan munasabah kerana pada akhirnya kita akan berhadapan dengan Majlis Tertinggi USNO untuk penjelasan.

Falsafah ini terus terbawa-bawa dalam tugas Pengarah Perhubungan Persekutuan Negeri (USNO) sehingga ia merupakan satu tenaga yang mantap dan kuat dan berperanan besar dalam menyelesaikan beberapa isu yang kadang kala melibatkan Kerajaan Persekutuan. Segala tindakan-tindakan dirahsiakan kerana strategy yang dirangka mestilah berperanan untuk mengukuhkan party.
Antara strateginya ialah mewujudkan kekuatan USNO melalui terbitan Lagu USNO. Mematahkan serangan-serangan Kartun party lawatan, memberikan pandangan atas gerak geri pegawai-pegawai persekutuan supaya bertindak dalam satu pasukan. Antara lain pula mengimbangi Lagu Hand in Hand dengan menerbitkan Lagu Gunung Kinabalu. Disini haruslah saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada Allah Yarham M.Y Ismail kerana telah mencipta lagu tersebut. Lagu tersebut sempat dilancarkan sehari sebelum lawatan Perdana Menteri untuk meresmikan Mesyuarat Agong terakhir USNO. Isteri saya Datuk Dayang Mahani dan Allah Yarham Datuk Norjan Badar turut dalam melancarkan lagu gunung Kinabalu, yang telah disumbangkan kepada RTM sebagai khazanah lagu-lagu patriotic Negara.
Saya cuma berharap pihak RTM sekurang-kurangnya memberikan perhargaaan kepada keluarga Allah Yarham serta kumpulan penyanyi atas sumbangan yang tidak ternilai dari Sabah.

Peranan harian pula termasuk meniliti dasar dan kenyataan-kenyataan kerajaan negeri sambil memberi jawapan dan penjelasan atas kedudukan sesuatu isu.

Oleh kerana perhubungan USNO dengan Kuala Lumpur semakin hari semakin baik, kita telah berjaya membawa masuk sejumlah 2juta ringgit peruntukan pembangunan untuk diagih-agihkan kekawasan ADUN USNO. Saya hampir merajuk kerana diberitahu oleh Pegawai Pembangunan Negeri yang wang tersebut mestilah melalui Kerajaan Negeri, lantas saya meninggalkan pesan supaya peruntukan tersebut dikembalikan sahaja ke Pusat kerana saya menganggap sia-sia sahaja usaha kita dan kehadhiran USNO sebagai Anggota Barisan NASIONAL diSabah tidak mempunyai sebarang makna. Sementara saya berada di Pejabat Pembangunan Negeri Pengarah ICU telah meghubungi saya supaya jangan berkecil hati kerana USNO sebagai party tidak mempunyai jabatan Khas untuk menerima wang pembangunan Kerajaan. Secara berseluruh saya katakan ada. Jawapannya Kemas negeri Sabah yang boleh memainkan peranan untuk menyampaikan peruntukan kekawasan2 ADUN USNO dan kawasan-kawasan tumpuan. Saya telah meminta Sdr Mustapha Mohd Yassin supaya memberikan butiran kepala code yang boleh digunakan. KEMAS serta merta melonjak naik dan bergerak selari dengan jabatan Pembangunan Negeri.

Begitu berpengaruhnya jawatan Pengarah Persekutuan Negeri (USNO) sehingga kerajaan Sabah terpaksa mewujudkan sebuah jabatan atas nama yang sama dengan melantik Datuk Chau Tet Onn sebagai Pengarahnya bertaraf Menteri Cabinet negeri.

Keputsan PBS keluar Barisan Nasional pada 15hb Oktober 1990 adalah tidak dijangka. Selang beberapa hari saya telah memanggil kumpulan pemikir untuk mengkaji impak hubungan antara Kerajaan Pusat dan Negeri walau pun BN kembali memerintah di peringkat pusat.

Keputusannya walau apa pun terjadi kita mesti mencari jalan supaya wang pembangunan untuk Sabah mesti disalurkan terus walau pun Kerajaan negeri tidak lagi menganggotai Barisan Nasional. Perselisihan yang ada adalah diantara Party dan Kerajaan dan tidak ada kaitan sama sekali dengan rakyat dan mereka tidak harus menjadi mangsa

Saya telah menderafkan pandangan saya dengan imputnya daripada beberapa ahli pemikir kepada YAB Perdana Menteri untuk menubuhkan sebuah Jabatan Baru dengan nama Jabatan Pembangunan Persekutuan Negeri Sabah (JPPS). Antara kandungannya adalah untuk menyelesaikan hal-hal pembangunan dan kesaksamaan sosial dalam memulihkan peradaban masyarakat. Tujuannya adalah untuk mewujudkan system kerajaan selari yang mampu mengambil alih peranan dan kelemahan jabatan-jabatan yang tergelincir dengan arus dan peranan sosial mereka.

Saya telah menyerahkan nota tersebut melalui Pengawal Peribadi YAB Perdana Menteri pada 25hb Oktober 1990. Saya difahamkan YAB Perdana Menteri telah meneliti nota saya beberapa kali dalam pesawat dalam penerbangan beliau ke Kuala Lumpur.

Pegawai Kewangan Persekutuan telah memaklumkan andainya Jabatan tersebut menjadi kenyataan beliau telah meminta peranan JKR dalam memantau projek-projek tersebut diletakkan dibawahi Kewangan Persekutuan Sabah. Saya mohon maaf kerana Nota saya sudah disampaikan sehari sebelumnya.

Saya berpesan kepada Pegawai Research, supaya mana2 jabatan yang diletakkan untuk berbincang dan mengambil keputusan dalam projek pembangunan di Sabah mestilah mempunyai pendirian bebas tanpa dikongkong oleh jabatan lain. Tujuan untuk menentukan supaya pertimbangan check and balance sentiasa ada dalam pelaksanaan projek-projek.

Dalam hubungan yang sama projek mestilah berperanan untuk menaikkan taraf ekonomi Sabah, membentuk semula pemikiran politik yang matang, membangunkan kesejahteraan, kemajuan rakyat Sabah dan memelihara perhubungan antara pusat dan negeri. Untuk itu garisan quota penganggihan harus berada dalam skala, 30/30/30/10. Artinya 30% untuk bumiputera, 30% kumpulan politik, 30% pasaran terbuka sementara 10% atas kebijaksanaan Pemimpin politik itu sendiri.

Syukur Alhamdulillah YAB Perdana Menteri telah mengumumkan pembentukan Jabatan Pembangunan Sabah dalam Perhimpunan Agong UMNO pada 1hb November, 1990. Keputusan yang sama juga di buat untuk Kelantan.

Peruntukan pertama yang sampai di Sabah sebanyak 200 juta dan programme nya dilaksanakan oleh KEMAS negeri oleh kerana JPPS belum menyelesaikan structure Jabatan mereka di Kota Kinabalu.
Dalam melaksanakan cita-cita tersebut kontraktor-kontraktor di Sabah hendaklah didaftarkan semula dari Class A hingga F, sambil mengadakan kursus-kursus bimbingan. Perlu saya sebutkan ketika kita membuat research hanya seorang sahaja di Sabah ini yang mempunyai lesen kontraktor Kelas A pada masa itu. Kalau beliau berjaya dalam perniagaan dan kaya tidak siapa yang harus menyangkal kebolehan beliau kerana beliau tahu membaca keadaan perniagaan pada ketika itu, walau pun pada hari ini memegang jawatan kerajaan yang tertinggi di Sabah.

Jabatan Pembangunan Persekutuan Negeri Sabah yang wujud lebih 20 tahun telah melalui perjalanan yang begitu jauh untuk membangunkan Sabah dan pernah saya sebutkan kepada seorang Menteri kanan Persekutuan bahawa matelamat pembangunan melalui JPPS sudah pun tercapai. Oleh kerana Kerajaan Negeri didalam tangan BN maka peranan JPPS haruslah dihentikan. Ada perkara yang tersirat yang tidak diketahui oleh pelaksana bahawa kuasa JPPS boleh mengurangkan pengaruh pemimpin2 negeri kerana itulah matelamat utama JPPS.

Falsafah inilah yang mungkin menjadi ikutan di hari-hari muka ini, bahawa Kerajaan Negeri tidak perlu di maklumkan dimana projek-projek pembangunan akan dijalankan dan apakah nilai projek yang bakal dibawa masuk.

Saya tidak tahu sama ada Kerajaan pusat apabila mengumumkan sesuatu projek membawa nama Ketua Kerajaan Negeri dan Cabinet dalam acara-acara rakyat. Mudah-mudahan ada. Umpamanya bila menyebut Kerajaan Pusat setelah berbincangkan dengan YAB Ketua Menteri Sabah dan Cabinet Negeri bersetuju akan melaksanakan projek A atau B dikawasan ini. Ini adalah bahasa politik, bahasa Kerajaan yang harus menjadi amalan kepada setiap pemimpin yang masuk ke Sabah untuk membawa projek. Disitulah letaknya seni dalam menatang hubungan antara pusat dan negeri.

Sebab ada pendapat yang mengatakan satu-satu projek yang turun ke Sabah tidak semestinya datang dari Satu Kementerian sahaja. Dari Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Kementerian-Kementerian, EPU, ICU sendiri dan pelbagai agensi. Dalam satu segi ia dikatakan decentralise, wal hal ia juga centralise.

Kerana wujudnya suasana demikian pemimpin-pemimpin bawahan, malahan kontraktor2 juga berpusu-pusu ke Kuala Lumpur cuba mewujudkan rangkaian peribadi masing-masing.

Secara tidak langsung ini melahirkan suatu suasana untuk membangunkan power base masing2 dengan rangkaiannya terus kepada penyokong-penyokong dipelbagai peringkat pimpinan politik dan kontaktor-kontroktar. Saya teringat bila saya menjadi Ketua Bahaagian UMNO amat mudah untuk berjumpa dengan Menteri-Menteri Persekutuan.

Setelah saya tidak lagi dalam jawatan UMNO, walau pun bergelar Datuk, ada sahaja alasan yang diberikan oleh Pegawai Menteri tersebut untuk mengelakkan diri bertemu dengan saya. Satu hari saya aka namakan Menteri yang bahagia ini. Saya hampir menulis surat terbuka dengan Menteri tersebut supaya jangan panggil saya abang lagi, kerana dia lupa kepada budi saya memberi undi kepada beliau untuk jadi Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO. Beliau bukannya tahu apa sebenarnya yang mahu saya sampaikan dalam pertemuan itu. Tidak semestinya projek.

Sistem seumpama ini sudah menjadi satu masaalah yang besar kerana terdapat kelemahan dalam cara pengagihan projek. Oleh kerana tidak dibendung awal timbul lah kejadian-kejadian dimana terdapat jumlah besar wang yang disorok dan dapat dirampas oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah dari laci2, almari2 dan pelbagai tempat dari pegawai-pegawai yang mengambil kesempatan kerana terlihat oleh mereka ada kerenggangan para pemimpin dari maklumat-maklumat pembangunannya yang boleh diambil kesempatan untuk memesungkan dana-dana yang tidak bersih.

Walau pun ada kecurangan tapi kerajaan masih mampu meletakkan system penyampaian Negara pada paras yang sehat, kerana badan pencegah rasuah berjaya mengesan permainan projek dalam jabatan Kerajaan sehingga berjaya merampas wang-wang penipuan. Ini berarti system mengesan keselamatan dan kewangan kita masih terjamin dan dapat dipelihara dengan sebaik mungkin

Beberapa tahun yang lalu saya telah mencadangkan supaya JPPS ditutup dan kuasanya di turunkan terus kepada Ketua Menteri Sabah. Sehari seleas membuat cadangan itu Kerajaan Persekutuan telah menutup JPPS dengan serta merta. Tidak semestinya ini disebabkan kerana ditegur, kerana sebelulm ini pun ada juga suara-suara yang memanggil supaya ia ditutup akibat terlalu banyak pertelagahan dalam pelaksanaan projek-projek di Sabah. Memang sukar untuk mengendalikan projek-projek di Sabah, kerana permintaan terlalu mendesak dan sentiasa diasak. Malahan kerap kali ia mencabar perasaan dan kesabaran. Namun banyak yang boleh dipelajari dari pengalaman JPPS apa bila bertemu dengan permintaan Kerajaan, para pemimpin politik dan rakyat. Apa pun ia juga merupakan satu lagi cerita kejayaan Kerajaan.

Sudah tentu terima kasih kepada semua pegawai-pegawai JPPS daripada mula jabatan ini diperkenalkan di Sabah adalah kena pada tempatnya.. Apa pun yang mahu diperkatakan namun indeks pembangunan di Sabah semenjak tahun tahun 1990 mencapai taraf yang amat membanggakan disebabkan usaha yang gigih dan keyakinan pegawai-pegawai dan pemimpin politik untuk melaksanakan programme pembangunan untuk rakyat.

Ketika Datuk Seri Panglima Osu Sukam menjadi Ketua Menteri, saya telah mencadangkan melalui akhbar supaya satu pasukan pemantau ditubuhkan untuk memantau gaya kehidupan dan kelakuan pegawai-pegawai dan pemimpn-pemimpin Kerajaan.

Memang sukar untuk membezakan diantara pergaulan yang sehat mahu pun yang jujur, disebalik perhubunganya manusia yang mempunyai muslihat. Kalau tidak ada kedudukan dan berjawatan sudah tentu tidak ada yang harus dipertikaikan. Akan tetapi apabila ada pihak yang berani berbelanja diluar dari kemampuan pendapatan pastinya ia akan menjadi tanda Tanya dan kecurigaan yang merupakan material kepada badan pemantaun.

Cadangan ini telah ditolak kerana ada yang merasakan Badan Pencegah Rasuah sudah memadai untuk memainkan peranan. Oleh kerana sudah ada isu, hari ini saya ceritakan. Tugas Badan memelihara integerasi boleh menegur untuk mengelakkan kecurangan. Dengan rasuah, kerana ia sudah berlaku maka tindakannya jauh berbeza. Teguran boleh mendatang pelbagai makna, dibuang kerja, diturunkan pangkat, dipindah atau hilang kedudukan.

Apa yang ditekankan oleh YAB Ketua Menteri haruslah dipandang serious oleh semua pihak dan mestilah diberikan sokongan dalam mencari punca masaalah yang menjadi penyebab kelemahan kepada system yang ada. Dari itu cadangan untuk membuat rombakan atau “review” memang wajar.
Dalam Kerajaan Berjaya, projek-projek dipamerkan dan mungkin spesifikasi juga dipamerkan bersama. Oleh itu semua pihak yang berminat maklum dan secara tidak langsung boleh menjalankan pelbagai odit keatas projek tersebut.

Adalah molek semua projek yang masuk ke Sabah di maklumkan kepada Ketua Menteri, setidak-tidaknya senarainya disampaikan melalui mesyuarat-mesyuarat Majlis Tindakan Negeri. Yang Paling baik lagi kalau sesuatu projek itu mendapat perkenan oleh Kerajaan Negeri supaya mendapat kefahaman bahawa projek itu dipohonkan oleh kawasan-kawasan dimana dengan Kerjasama dua kerajaan ia disampakan kepada rakyat.

Projek pembangunan adalah modal besar dalam politik, jika maklumat penuh tidak diperolehi, pemimpin-pemimpin tempatan yang berperanan sebagai “pegawai perhubungan rakyat” tidak akan dapat menjual cerita politik mereka dengan mudah dan dianggap tidak menjalankan tugas untuk membawa perubahan kepada kawasan masing-masing.

Mungkin kedudukan pegawai-pegawai Kerajaan juga harus dikaji semula supaya tidak seorang pun harus duduk dengan begitu lama dalam jabatan-jabatan yang strategic yang ada hubungannya dengan pembekalan dan pelaksanaan projek. Ini untuk mengelakkan jangan sampai pegawai-pegawai-pegawai di bebankan dengan tafsirarn atas keinginan dan hasrat untuk mencari kesempatan buat diri sendiri.

Dari titik tolak atas adanya kambing-kambing hitam, Kerajaan Sabah masih mempunyai ramai kakitangan yang dedikasi dan bekerja dengan tungkus lumus untuk memajukan Sabah. Sudah tentu sesuatu yang terbaik akan lahir selepas kita mengahdapi gejala rasuah yang menular dalam masyarakat.

Ketua Menteri adalah satu Institiusi. Dalam perhubugan antara Kerajaan Pusat dan Negeri, kedudukan Ketua Menteri haruslah sentiasa dipelihara demi menjaga keutuhan Kerajaan itu sendiri dimana para pemimpin saling bergantung untuk menjaga martabat masing-masing. Dari situ kita harus bangunkan keyakinan rakyat supaya Kerajaan dapat melahirkan satu wadah kecemerlangan disebalik kejayaan Kerajaan Negeri yang telah berjaya mengumpulkan dana yang besar sebagai reserve kerajaan.

Saya juga mencadangkan supaya segala wang penipuan yang telah dirampas oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah dikembalikan ke Sabah dan di masukkan dalam tabung pendidikan, yang mana sebilangan besar penuntut kita hari ini sedang berhadapan dengan perbelanjaan yang meningkat akibat ekonomi dunia yang tidak menentu.

http://www.malaysia-today.net/dont-mess-up-the-system/