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Ministers warned not to enrich themselves
Published on: Friday, May 25, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal warned fellow Cabinet members not to change their ways or indulge in luxurious lifestyles.

He said he does not wish to see them move into bigger houses and purchase expensive cars upon receiving their minister posts, and urged them to live moderately.

"I want to 'Ubah Sabah' (change Sabah) but I do not want them to change their ways upon becoming ministers.

The moment they change the way they live (to a life of indulgence) is the moment I will change them from my Cabinet line-up," he stressed.

"I'm here not only with the post of Chief Minister but also to bring about a big change to people in Sabah.

I have informed the Cabinet members that our responsibility is to improve the lives of the community at the grassroots level.

"I have frequently met the poorer community and heard their cries for help. This is the moment to help them, not only from the aspect of education but also job opportunities. The reason for announcing the ban on log exports was to open up more job opportunities for Sabahans," he said.

He revealed plans to build more furniture factories in Sabah so locals can work there instead of finding jobs in factories in Japan, Vietnam or China. The reduction in exports, he said, is so they can create more downstream end products.

However, this would take time, considering the nation's financial crisis. Shafie said in a year or two, Sabah will be financially healthy. If small countries such as Singapore can be rich without logs or oil, then Sabah can also be wealthy, he said.

"I hope that the people can be patient as there are various obstacles to overcome.

There might not be perfection under our ruling but we will do our best to bring about the changes promised.

This is our promise," he said.

He added that in light of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad facing a challenging problem in the country's economy, the State-level government will do their best to assist Mahathir and ensure their contribution to the country's development can be realised in the nearest future.

Meanwhile, Shafie also announced that the three Mount Kinabalu guides who were suspended from work for posting a picture of them posing with a Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) flag will have their suspension lifted immediately.

Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew reaffirmed that the suspension revoke will be carried out with immediate effect on May 24 (Thursday), upon Shafie's instruction. The guides' suspension was supposed to be lifted on May 31.

In March this year, Sabah Parks had suspended Jomius Binte, John Nusip Siur, and Ramin Bigul from their duties after a picture of the trio posing with a Warisan flag at the top of the mountain went viral on social media.

All three claimed that the flag was brought to the mountain by one of their climbers and they only posed for a photo for fun with no other intention.

Shafie at the time had suggested that a warning should be given to them instead of serving the two-month suspension as Malaysians have the right to be directly involved in any political activity.

However, former State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun defended the action of Sabah parks in suspending the guides, saying that they should not have brought along their political affiliations to work.

"Sabah Parks Director Dr Jamili Nais had issued a crystal clear statement and I have nothing to add.

The issue of harsh or not harsh is not important. There are obviously rules to be followed.

First and foremost, you need to respect your own profession," Masidi had said. - Jegathisan Sivanesan

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