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Attempt to justify two posts a lame excuse: Joniston
Published on: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The attempt by Parti Warisan Sabah President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to justify holding two posts in the Sabah Cabinet by saying he needs to "clean up the mess" is a lame excuse, said Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

He said Shafie is shifting the blame to the Barisan Nasional (BN) Sabah government because he is under fire from within the alliance of convenience he leads where there are those from PKR and DAP who are not at ease with him holding the Finance portfolio and the Chief Ministership at the same time. 

"Shafie is undermining the people's intelligence when he claimed he will only hold the post temporarily and that he wants to clean up the mess as well as lopsided deals left by the previous administration led by Tan Sri Musa Aman.

"What financial mess is he talking about? For the record, the BN Sabah government was given the clean bill by the Federal Auditor General for 16 consecutive years until 2016 while Ram Ratings gave the state administration AAA rating for seven consecutive years until 2017," he said in a statement, Friday.

Joniston said the BN Sabah government also presented surplus budgets for four consecutive years from 2015 until this year where the budget stood at RM4.1 billion with a surplus of RM65 million.

In addition, he said the State Financial Reserves had also increased from RM184 million in 2002 to RM3.74 billion last year and for 16 consecutive years the state recorded surplus in its annual consolidated revenue account until last year.

"These are facts that were achieved based on the prudent and efficient approach taken by the BN Sabah government led by Musa when running the State based on economic realities and one that has allowed the people to prosper, provide assistance to religious organisations and vernacular schools as well as allowing the poor to improve their lives, among others.

"This brings back to the formation of three new ministries which appears to be a move to provide important positions to the makeshift coalition that was formed after the elections with Upko in the picture. 

"The formation of the three new ministries will surely be a burden to the State Government as it will need more funds for manpower and logistics, apart from creating confusion and duplication of tasks.

Where will the government find money for all these?" Joniston asked.

Ironically, he said, while Pakatan Harapan (PH) is downsizing the Federal Cabinet, the Warisan-led government in Sabah is doing the opposite.

"This was the very issue DAP used to raise and (now) they are silent," he said.

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