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Flaw in Federal process abused: Masidi
Published on: Sunday, October 09, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (pic) has again called for de-centralisation of decision-making so that the State Government will have the power to monitor federal development funds, including who project contracts are awarded to.He said the current practice is that everything is decided by Kuala Lumpur.

"If by reading from what had happened in the case relating to the (Sabah) Water Department, you'll realise that the problem happened because the State does not have the power to monitor and even doesn't have a say in deciding how contracts are to be awarded.

"Everything is decided in Kuala Lumpur," he said, after launching the Borneo Book Festival at 1Borneo, Saturday.

He said the current practice is not only slow but can affect the implementation of a development project.

"I have been advocating for de-centralisation of decision-making many times. It's not that we want to take the power.

Eventually we are the beneficiaries and we expect that for every RM1 spent for development in Sabah, we will get 95 sen of the value of the project," he said.

He also said that it only makes sense that the State Government gets the power to monitor because "we are right on the ground."

Asked about the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman's call for immediate review on procurement procedures, monitoring and financial management of all State departments and agencies particularly those involving allocations and funds outside the State budget, Masidi said he has, in fact, made such call on various occasions.

"I've attended many meeting where he called for transparency and accountability," he said.

On Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that the RM3.3 billion worth of Federal projects under probe for corruption were directly channeled to the Sabah Water Department without the State Government's knowledge.

Two top officials of the department, a brother of one of them who carries a "Datuk" title and his accountant were reportedly probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for graft offences involving RM3.3 billion worth of Federal projects awarded to some 38 firms belonging to the duo's siblings and proxies.

Some RM115 million worth of cash, bank accounts 20kg of jewelry, 94 handbags and foreign currencies were seized from the two officials along with nine luxury cars, watches and 127 land grants.

At least 46 people were also called up for statements including department staff and contractors as well as family members of those involved.


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