‘Need for decentralisation of power to the state’
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Water Department’s ‘indecently mind-blowing’ corruption scandal justified the need for decentralisation of decision-making power to the state, stressed Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
Masidi, who was shocked by the alleged misappropriated funds involving RM3.3 billion worth of federal approved projects, described the incident as ‘very un-Sabahan’ and hoped his comments will not ‘in any way, affect any ongoing investigations.’
“To me, by reading on what had happened in relation to the water department case, you realise the problem is that the state department doesn’t have power to monitor and even doesn’t have a say in deciding how the contracts are to be awarded,” said the minister after launching the Borneo Book Fair 2016 at 1Borneo Hypermall here, yesterday.
“Everything was decided in Kuala Lumpur, and I want to put it on record that I have said in many, many, many occasions that I have advocated decentralisation of decision-making process,” he added.
Masidi noted the devolution of power had commenced gradually; however, various road-blocks were experienced prior to its necessary fulfilment.
“It slows down implementation of projects because everything has to wait for the guy in KL to make a decision. Secondly, if anything happens while it is being implemented in Sabah, it has to be reported there before any action can be taken here,” he explained.
“The state government is in a better position to get it done simply because we are on the ground. It’s not like we want to take your power or this power. It’s just about, eventually, the beneficiaries are supposed to be us. If RM1 is spent in Sabah, we expect to get at least 95 sen value of the project.
“It is not about taking over somebody’s power; it is creating a better system and accounting compliance. Eventually, whether the money comes from the federal or the state, it’s the rakyat’s money, and the rakyat deserves to get maximum benefit of every sen that is spent in this place.”
Source: Borneo Post Online. Date: October 9, 2016