Posts Tagged ‘Sabah Government’


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.


KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan has queried the statement by the minister in the prime minister’s department, Datuk V. K. Liew, for disputing the media report on what the prime minister had said.

The president of StarSabah, opined that Liew’s response can be likened to the proverbial king shooting the messenger because the messenger came with bad news.

“He conveniently accused the media, especially Daily Express of ‘misquoting’ the prime minister,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “But he was too much in a hurry trying to defend Tun Mahathir without verifying if Mahathir really said as what was reported.”

In its front page last week Daily Express reported that the Prime Minister said he was unaware of the complaints by Sabah leaders on the three issues, namely the departure levy, the appointment of the new UMS vice chancellor and the introduction of Jawi in primary schools beginning next year.

In a terse response Liew said “I am deeply disturbed by the unprofessionalism of the news reporting today by Daily Express which published a distorted and incorrect statement of what Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed said today in response to a series of questions asked by Mr. James Sarda, the Chief Editor of Daily Express. As far as I’m concerned, they (Sabahan representatives in the Federal Cabinet) did not say anything.”

Dr. Jeffrey was surprised that Liew accused Daily Express for unprofessionalism while he himself was clearly unprofessional by diverting from answering the issue and resorting to finger pointing.

“He could have verified the matter by going back to the source and checked other media reports before playing his blame game,” the Member of Parliament for Keningau and assemblyman for Tambunan said. “He should have addressed the questions directly, taking the bull by the horns, and offered a reasonable explanation, even if he was reluctant to admit that Sabah, again, has been grossly taken for granted in national decision making affecting the state. This federal attitude has been going on for half a century and it continues today with irresponsible leaders like Liew.

“By shifting the blame he took the cowardly act to avoid the real issues affecting Sabahans. Clearly Liew is now more concerned with his political relations and less with issues having negative impact on Sabah,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “I guess there was a lot truth in what Tun M had said, and this truth is too hurtful for Warisan leaders to accept.”

…….

THIS IS VK LIEW’s STATEMENT….

PUTRAJAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law Minister) Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pic) expressed displeasure over Daily Express’s front page yesterday where the Prime Minister said he was unaware of the complaints by Sabah leaders on the three issues, lately.
This is what Liew said in his statement issued Saturday below: “I am deeply disturbed by the unprofessionalism of the news reporting today by Daily Express which published a distorted and incorrect statement of what Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed said today in response to a series of questions asked by Mr. James Sarda, the Chief Editor of Daily Express.
“In today’s Daily Express news articles, it was falsely reported that:- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is surprised to learn that Sabah Government leaders have been complaining about not being consulted on recent decisions taken at the Federal level.”
Responding to a Daily Express question that as a Pakatan Harapan-friendly government their views should at least have been sought or considered on major decisions like the departure levy, appointment of the new Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year, he said:“As far as I’m concerned, they (Sabahan representatives in the Federal Cabinet) did not say anything. “However, the Prime Minister didn’t say what James had distortedly reported. I’ve listened and watched the relevant video recording of the press conference today. “The Prime Minister had clearly said: “Well, the Sabah Government did not say anything to us, only you (James Sarda) said it.

“Nowhere in the Prime Minister’s response had mentioned my Sabahan colleagues and I had never raised our concerns in the cabinet on major issues such as departure levy, appointment of the new University Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year. The Sabah Daily Express’s report is clearly unfounded.  “As ministers for all Malaysians and together with all my cabinet colleagues, we strive to carry out our duties to the best of our abilities, to rebuild our nation, pushing for institutional reform and addressing nationwide social and economic inequality, and eradicate corruption.  “I hereby demand for a retraction, correction, and an apology in respect of the false statements published by Sabah Daily Express. Lastly, I call upon all Malaysians to reject unethical media reporting who distort the truth to create social tensions and unrest. Thank you.”

P.S: It only goes to show James Sarda of Daily Express is a true professional. He prefers not to be caught up in pretending to know what the PM meant when he said “Sabah government”, but only assume and leave it to them to ask the PM himself. VK Liew didn’t respond, he degenerated into name calling and trying to manufacture another controversy.

And here is the video recording of the press conference Dr Mahathir had SPECIFICALLY said ” SABAH GOVERNMENT” . Listen…


Chief Minister Musa Aman, also holding the finance portfolio, presented the annual Sabah State Budget for 2015 at an estimated revenue collection of RM 3.862 billion, a revenue surplus of RM 49 million. For the first time since 2008, the Sabah State Government has projected a surplus.

Presenting the annual budget in the State Legislative Assembly yesterday, for a record 12th time as Chief Minister, Musa said that for 2015 the state government proposed to spend RM3.813 billion and the budget rolls out its growth and human development trajectory focusing on poverty eradication, enhancing quality of life and development of youth and women.

This budget has provided considerable emphasis on infrastructure development and investment without losing sight of welfare and social protection. In other words, his attempt is to put economic growth on an even keel with human development.

The budget also has hyperboles and ambitious targets; however they are reasonably well matched by appropriate allocations and policy thrusts.That Musa wants to benchmark the state against the best in Asia, although a bit hyperbolic, is vivid in the budget document. Therefore, substantial focus is on sustainable development. Some RM234.6 million will be channelled to various agencies in developing human capital involving the youth.

The government’s aspiration and pledge is to continue with the development and to provide a solid foundation for the people’s well-being and State’s prosperity for the benefit of future generations. And to ensure continued development for the State, the 2015 budget objectives are dedicated to upgrading basic infrastructures and public utilities, developing youth ‎and human capital, eradication of poverty and enhancement of the people’s quality life, as well as balancing regional development.

To achieve these objectives, Musa stressed the State government would implement:

‎ (i) Strengthening of revenue collection and broadening of revenue sources;

(ii) Planning expenditure in an optimal way (that is spending with the greatest impact);

(iii) Focusing on sectoral and sustainable development, and

(iv) Improving delivery systems towards achieving targets.

‎Musa even said that in previous years, Sabah’s resources and expenditures were managed in a prudent, effective and efficient manner in accordance with the financial regulations. And for the year 2013, 20 ministries, departments, statutory bodies and state agencies have managed to achieve a 4-star rating. This has made Sabah being recognised as having the best record of financial management in Malaysia for two consecutive years.

Although RM98.63 million has been allocated to Department of Irrigation and Drainage for flood mitigation programmes its hardly enough after seeing the floods this last October and the losses and inconvenience suffered by the residents in the affected areas. As a geologist, I know Sabah is, geologically speaking, very young, causing huge soil movements in which landslides and flooding becomes the norm after much rain. Highly dynamic physical processes dominate the mountainous terrain and therefore, implementing infrastructure development projects is a challenge and the cost to built and maintain is more costlier than other states.

In fact, the Federal Government should take note of this and should provide Special Funds to the Sabah State Government. Although a total of RM1.250 billion has been allocated for the provision of public infrastructure and utilities in this budget, of this RM180 million is allocated for the construction and maintenance programmes of urban and rural roads; slope repair, construction and replacement of old bridges, but this is hardly enough.

On information and communication technology (ICT) development, Musa has allocated RM71.36 million. Musa knows that our generation is the generation of “digital natives”, very much dependent on ICT and technology is a necessity in daily life. This allocation will be used to fully support the development of ICT in the state. Again this is an attempt to mobilize the youth in Sabah for a stronger future generation.

For tourism, Musa has allocated RM143.13 million which will be provided to promote and enhance the tourism sector in Sabah as the State Government has set a target of 3.7 million tourist arrivals with an expected tourism receipts amounting to RM 7.382 billion. Eventhough the tourism industry is getting a beating due to the kidnappings by Abu Sayaff and the MH370 mysterious disappearance, Sabah still recorded 1,889,301 tourist as at July 2014, an increase of 2.8% compared to the same period last year.

Lastly, agriculture, the main source of Sabah’s socio economic stability, was allocated a total of RM336.50 million. And for cultivating a better reading habit Musa has given RM39.28 million to the Sabah State Library.

All people-oriented schemes started during the 12-year tenure of Musa Aman would continue, many of them receiving higher allocations and grants. This was the best budget Musa could present in the present turbulent times.Sitting at his desk in the Chief Minister’s Office, Musa said that when he first took charge of the state’s economy, he thought that the sky was the limit. A similar ambition today after 12-year tenure would most definitely serve Sabah well.



This is a story about how some public listed companies from Peninsular Malaysia have gained ” ownership” of Sabah’s Native Title lands through seemingly legal but downright dishonest means via sublease.

This modus operandi, which started around the 1990s, has been so successful that now the talk of the town is that even China nationals are getting hold of Native Title lands by setting up firms and hiring natives as employees, who hold these assets in trust. The whole idea is to circumvent the law and reap millions from the land after adding value to it by planting oil palm or other crops.

In most cases, the public listed companies do not show any of these landed assets in their annual reports, which are hidden under profits and nominees. The nominees are often workers with little education so they dont know they being used. Many of these lands were acquired after the PBS administration and yet declared under a 90-years lease in many of the public listed companies annual report declarations. One such public listed company is IJM Plantations Berhad. The Securities Commission of the Malaysian Stock Exchange should investigate IJM Plantations Berhad to ascertain whether any deceitful practices have been committed in this regard.

The end result is that many SABAH’s NATIVES will lose their lands as these will be consolidated with others and made to appear that these public listed companies have a large land bank with sub leases of up to 90 years as in the case of IJM Plantation Berhad.

So how did major corporations, companies, foreigners and NON-NATIVES gain control of NATIVE TITLED lands that has now allowed them to gain profits ONLY for themselves whereas poor and mostly, uneducated Natives end up gaining virtually NOTHING?

Let me explain.

There are provisions that generally recognise the Sabah Native Title land rights in the Federal Constitution, the Sabah State Constitution and the Sabah Land Ordinance. Yet native communities are still left out and have become embittered and disappointed because there is inadequate care and concern about respecting the spirit of these laws. And infringements of their rights are continuing. Even the SUHAKAM panel has itself described these land grabs as “injustice that is unrestrained”.

It is understandable why with major corporations like IJM Plantations Berhad, foreigners and Non-natives are dealing in native lands. Firstly, land held under Native Title is free of rent for the first 6 years and thereafter only a nominal rent of 0.50 sen per acre is payable. No premium is payable for Native Titled lands. These together with the perpetual nature of the title (999 years) and exemption of stamp duty on transfers, charges and subleases are the generous terms accorded only to Native Lands .

Hence many public listed companies, foreigners and non-natives have influenced, instructed and used poor natives as tools to orchestrate a devious scheme to circumvent the relevant statutory prohibition against dealings, owning, transferring and charging of the land between native and non-natives and to regularise what is an otherwise illegal transaction. The entire dealings are fraudulent in the way they circumvent the law and abuse the protection afforded to Sabahan Native rights and native titles.

IJM Plantations Berhad is of the notion that these natives, as Registered owner for hundreds of acres are not privy to a “shred of paperwork”. In one particular case, a native Sabahan was employed by IJM Plantations as a driver with a salary of RM2000 a month but in records with the Inland Revenue he earns RM5000 and pays taxes, which he only found out when he went to collect BR1M which he was not eligible for.

So, who declared to the Inland Revenue on his behalf and paid his taxes? He and many other natives are not able to benefit from any legal advice nor will they ever be able to find and to put their names to the ownership of these native lands as they are entrenched in some remote place in the interior. This is a simple case of an abusive employer/employee relationship.

The suppression of documentation, creation of illegal documentation and consequently making of a false declaration is not the result of any innocent error but a vital element in the furtherance of a scam which forms the basis of the contention between these poor Natives and these major corporations, companies and non-natives.

IJM Plantations Berhad entered into a sublease agreement with poor natives (as registered owner) and carried out business through the “Sublease Agreements” whereby the terms and conditions of these Sublease Agreements, inter alia are that:

1) 4(h) Lessee ( being IJM Plantations Berhad) shall be entitled at all times and from time to time to create any charge, mortgage, or any other encumbrance on the said Lands or sell or attempt to sell, rent, or otherwise dispose of the said Lands during the subsistence of this Lease or any or all extensions thereof and The Memorandum of Sub-Lease contains the Power of Sale, Sub-Lease and other Powers of these major corporations, companies and non natives which is equivalent to Owners Rights over the Native Titled lands.

These agreements which were in fact Power of Attorney and thus contravened S17(1) and S64 of the Sabah Land Ordinance should be void, illegal and of no effect. To entrench further its hold on these Native Titles, IJM Plantations Berhad also executed Trust Deed Agreements, specifying clearly who had financed the entire sale and “threatening” these poor natives to toe the line. Some of the terms and conditions of the said Trust Deed Agreement, inter alia, are that:

a) The Trustees have entered into a Sales and Purchase Agreement at the demand of the Beneficiary ie IJM Plantations Berhad, in respect of the said Native Titled Lands on the terms and conditions contained in the said Agreement.

b) The consideration due to the S & P was provided, supplied and financed by IJM Plantations Berhad. (This itself is an illegal act as companies money was used and financed for an illegal act acquiring these NT lands)

c) All rights and interest accruing thereon in trust for IJM Plantations Berhad

d) Assign and transfer the said lands to such person or persons at such time or times and in such manner or otherwise deal with the same as IJM Plantations Berhad shall direct or appoint.

e) Any such assignment, transfer or dealings or if so required to enable the interest of IJM Plantations Bhd to be protected.

In furtherance of such scams, IJM Plantations Berhad conveniently execute “white papers pre signed or pre thumbed” by those poor natives ( also known as MOT in escrow), so they may at any time transfer, sublease, sell or charge these lands without informing them . Native Titled land owners have absolutely no idea how extensive the acreage owned by them are as no disclosure nor information on the titles, sublease payments nor tax returns has ever been disclosed to them.

The modus operandi of these rampant acquisitions of Native Titled lands in the pretext of lease legally obtained by IJM plantations Berhad by using so called “proxies”or “nominees” to purchase the native lands gives the notion that Jabatan Tanah & Ukor Sabah concurs with such illegal arrangements and that such practices have not come under any form of scrutiny from the supposed guardian of the NT lands in many of the interior areas of Sabah. In some cases, the Jabatan Tanah & Ukor Sabah and its PPHT Offices throughout Sabah even deem this manner of arrangement legal and valid and proceed to register these sublease on the titles. This in spite of it being patently clear that they are in defiance of the Sabah Land Ordinance. RM 1 for transfers and subleases in some cases are simply baffling!

These public listed companies, foreigners, and non natives then amass millions of ringgit enterprise by representing ownership through their many illegal agreements while the registered Owners (natives), in line with such nominal ownership, remain poor.

The entire dealings are fraudulent and circumvent the law and abuse the protection afforded to Sabahan natives rights and native titles. The authorities lackadaisical attitude over the fundamental rights of the Natives over their lands can be seen in the fact that there are numerous land cases where the Natives initiatives to have their NT lands officially protected have failed.

Pursuant to the Sabah Land Ordinance, it is normally illegal for any major corporation, foreigner and non native to own Native Titles in Sabah. Based on numerous complaints to the Sabah Courts of Non Natives using Natives nominees to purchase Native lands on their behalf, the Sabah Government and Chief Minister Musa Aman should immediately consider a new law to crack down on the use of Native nominees to purchase Native Titles. Such a new law should provide for punishment for individuals (including lawyers, brokers and agents) offering advice to Non Natives on how to hold NT Titles property by concealing and disguising their transactions. The intended law should also allow the seizure of non-natives land found guilty of holding the Native Title property to transfer the land to another Native or to sell it within 30 days.

There should be a balance between protecting Native interest while still welcoming investment into Sabah.

The growing people’s protest are proof of the intolerable impact of land grabbing on local communities by major corporations, companies, foreigners and non natives.

Native communities are losing control of the land, along with their rights to be consulted and to pursue agrarian reform programs. We must remember that the indigenous people were here first and that means something – socially, economically and legally.

Sabah’s poor natives need help to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Only the State Government under Chief Minister Musa Aman can do something for a problem that has been running for over two decades.


And so it begins. The very first has just been presented by the new Sabah Government after being re-elected in May 2013, and after hours of back and forth (cursing and paper tearing included), the new budget shows that the Sabah Government is committed to progress and is also as determined to increase the pace of development in the state.

Musa Aman says the bulk of the Sabah budget is earmarked for development. The RM4.622 billion of the Sabah budget for the financial year of 2013-2014 proposed by Chief Minister-cum-State Finance Minister Musa Aman in the state assembly Friday sought to tell the Sabah growth story vis-a-vis Malaysia’s and achieve the five-year dream in the first year itself. The release states “The new budget for 2013-14 would build new confidence among people and showcase state’s potentialities before the world”. “Ensuring Continuity of People’s Well being”, it was announced that new missions and schemes, referring to State Barisan National’s Government is very committed to the development of not only in the urban but also rural areas in Sabah and at the same time ensuring nobody is sidelined in the budget.

A press statement continued by saying that “The State 2014 Budget is higher by nearly 80-fold than Sabah’s first State Budget 50 years ago where the revenue estimate was only RM61.5 million while the expenditure estimate was RM61 million. In 1974, the estimated revenue rose to RM207 million and the estimated expenditure increased to RM239 million. Ten years later in 1984, the estimated revenue reached RM1.22 billion while State revenue rose to RM1.38 billion. 2014, has set the highest ever State revenue target which is RM4.58 billion, marking an increase of 20 per cent from 2013’s original estimate of RM3.83 billion.”

Even as the Federal government earmarks just 35 per cent of the Federal Budget for development work, the Sabah government spends as much as 65 per cent of the state Budget on development work. Talking about Sabah’s contributing a lion’s share in the nation’s development, Musa said, “Although the state government was elected for a five-year term, it resolves to fulfill the people’s aspirations from the very first year itself.”

While Musa’s budget speech said the state economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five decades since independence, he added that “I am confident that people from all walks of live regardless of religion, race, gender, rich, poor, old or young, physically challenged, wherever they may be ( whether on land or sea); people’s well-being and States prosperity are our main agendas for us to always strive for, which are certainly achievable.”

So there is the mission for which the government has allocated RM 1.58 billion “for improving infrastructure and public amenities”. This is besides RM627.92 million allocate to upgrade water supply. Musa claims that to achieve zero hardcore poor target and reduce relative poor in Sabah, the government has allocated RM178.14 million to implement various programmes. The reduction of poverty from 19.7% in 2009 to 8.1% in 2012 proved that the governments efforts in this has borne fruits.

The budget, claiming to be for inclusive development, seeks to strike balance for growth in both agricultural and industry, enhance quality of life in rural and urban by focusing on housing and infrastructure. To empower the youths the Y Generation so that they will be more valuable, creative, innovative and productive through education, training, skill programmmes, sports and community activities the budget has set aside RM229.86. The budget also proposes The Enhancement of Knowledgeable Livestock Entrepreneur (K-Entrepreneur) Programme which will be continued.

To spur growth in the State tourism sector, particularly on investment in providing tourism facilities, the State Government has approved the Tourism Master Plan covering the coastal areas of Tuaran to Kota Belud and RM233.99 million has been set aside for next year. The State tourism sector targets 3.4 million tourist arrivals and an estimated tourism receipts of RM6.277 billion although while writing this, a Taiwanese tourist got killed and his wife got kidnapped in Pom Pom Island in Semporna by Abu Sayyaf bandits. Perhaps in this instance, it is best if the state tourism sector uses the money to ensure maximum security before handing out pamphlets about exotic resorts in the East Coast of Sabah.

For a fair and unbiased understanding of the ‘Sabah Story’ we should read it with an open mind and look at the State’s performance against the backdrop of the low socio-economic base from where it started its journey to rapid growth and spectacular development. The ‘Sabah Story’ is a story in the making, much like the Thousand-and-One Arabian Nights, it is not a story that concludes here and today and perhaps never will. Sabah inherited low levels of social indicators (at independence) and it is the change in these indicators where Sabah shows impressive progress. The literacy rate has risen from 22 per cent in 1960 to 69 per cent in 2001 and 80 per cent in 2011. Even the infant mortality rate per thousand has fallen from 144 in 1971 to 60 in 2001 and 21 in 2011.”

Anybody reading the ‘Sabah Story’ with an open mind would see it is a story of immense success that inspires hope and determination to achieve greater success. But an open mind is something that is alien to our liberal media and the intellectually bankrupt commentariat that controls publications which lay greater stress on fiction over fact.