KUALA LUMPUR – November 2, 2017: A Sabah member of parliament has insisted that the state will never be successfully developed if some of its leaders were involved in the embezzlement of funds meant for development.
Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) told the Dewan Rakyat during the Budget 2018 debate session that he was referring to the recently exposed misappropriation of RM7.5 billion of Sabah’s development fund that was given by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKLW).
“Funds were given, contractors were hired, and projects were awarded. On-paper, everything seemed to be in order but on the ground…no roads and houses were built. Pipes were installed but there’s no water flowing in it,” said Raime.
He said most Sabahans were dismayed that the less than satisfactory clean water supply is an everlasting issue in the state despite them seeing KKLW’s water supply project signboards at construction sites.
“I am not sure whether KKLW’s former minister knew that the promised projects have been completely built or otherwise. Before this, he used to tell us about all sorts of KKLW’s achievements but clearly the ministry’s purported glowing KPI (key performance indexes) were fabricated,” said Raime.
Although Raime did not mention any names, it is believed that he was referring to KKLW former minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who was recently detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the alleged embezzlement of funds in Sabah.
“This is why I gave my utmost support for MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad who was brave enough to probe those who abused their powers to the point that some died because of their unscrupulous acts,” he said.
Raimie pointed out that there were cases where pregnant mothers lost their about-to-be- delivered babies in rural Sabah because their journey to a hospital was too long and arduous due to the lack of development there.
“The corruption and leakages of funds are acts of terrorism against the state,” he stressed.
He thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for being committed in developing Sabah despite the many obstacles and abuses.
Najib had, during last week’s tabling of Budget 2018 allocated RM2 billion for the development of the Pan-Borneo highway, RM500 million for the rural development of Sabah and Sarawak, along with a total of RM920 million for the development of electricity and clean water supply infrastructures in the two states.
Annonymous blogger, A Voice of Another Brick in The Wall lauded Raime’s “impassionate speech”, claiming that KKLW had, during the governance of certain individuals, been used as a tool of cronyism.
“It has been the talk in Sabah that it (KKLW’s Sabah office) was a scheme to control the dishing of contracts to the same crony contractors,” the blogger wrote.