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A letter of support that led to the suing of a news portal

In his letter, Antanyu told Shafie (pic) that he was representing 48 villagers of Kg. Long Mio who were interested in toiling the requested lands --roughly the size of 5,000 standard-sized football fields-- for agricultural purposes.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR — February 20, 2020: It may have been threatened with a lawsuit but news portal SabahKini2.com has shown no signs of stopping its exposés over the purported wrongdoings of the Warisan-led Sabah government.

In a latest posting yesterday, the portal published a lengthy rebuttal to the denial of Sabah Infrastructure Minister Datuk Peter Anthony, on Monday, over his alleged cronies being awarded RM1.5 billion worth of contracts from the Sabah Works Department.

The portal listed the four companies that purportedly secured the contracts along with fresh claims of peculiarities of these companies with one having the same stakeholder as the company that embezzled RM155.5 million from a government outfit in 2014.

“Is it also a coincidence that the two companies have the same stakeholders?,” was the rhetorical poser by SabahKini2, adding that the financials of the four companies suggested that they were unfit to carry out the jobs awarded directly to them.

Peter has lodged a police report over SabahKini2’s allegations, adding that he will sue the news portal in his personal capacity and had also called for the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to take action against it as well.

The claim against Peter initially started from the portal’s exposé on a “botched land-grab controversy” that was allegedly backed by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal via a letter of support issued from the latter’s office.

The letter was sent to the Lands and Surveys Department (JTU) along with a copy of a land acquisition request from one Antanyu Nulhaji who in August last year wrote to Shafie about his proposal to acquire 5,000 acres of lands at a village in Sipitang.

In that letter, Antanyu told Shafie that he was representing 48 villagers of Kampung Long Mio who were interested in toiling the requested lands –roughly the size of 5,000 standard-sized football fields– for agricultural purposes.

“If this request is approved, we plan to cultivate the Musang King durian and pineapples,” read the Antanyu’s letter to Shafie which was leaked by SabahKini2

And while SabahKini2 had been highlighting the allegedly dubious deal since October 17, 2019, it was only on January 31, 2020 did JTU director Bernard Liew Chau Min downplayed the effectiveness of Shafie’s letter in the state government’s decision-making process.

“The department has received numerous supporting letters pertaining to such kinds of requests but it still needs to undergo the proper procedures before getting approval,” said Liew.

A week after Liew’s denial over the essentially approved land acquisition request, the Sabah Forestry Department seized over 1,700 timbers that were illegally logged in Kampung Long Mio which contradicted Shafie’s last year assurance that illegal logging would no longer happen in Sabah.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.