What happened to Water Dept probe?
Published on: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony says he is still puzzled as to why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has yet to call in previous ministers and government officers for questioning over lopsided deals and leakages of funds in the Water Department. He insisted that the people want to know the current status of these cases, including the biggest ever seizure in the agency's 49-year history when it recovered RM114 million from top two officials of the department.

"I find it puzzling that the previous ministers and others who were involved in the giving of contracts have yet to be called in by the MACC. I believe the people in the State want to know the status of the cases," he said during question time at the State Assembly sitting, Tuesday.

Peter said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah who had asked about the State Government's plans regarding the outsourcing to several companies the work in managing 58 water treatment plants and dams across the state.

Masiung insisted that the issue must come to light because despite the privatisation policy under the previous administration, Sabah has never been free from problems concerning water.

According to Peter, the review on the terms of the 20-year contracts awarded to six companies under the previous BN government has now reached the final stage and has been referred to the State Attorney-General's Office by his ministry for final review.

He said if the present government decided to terminate the contracts he described as lopsided, it would be able to save up almost RM1 billion.

He was equally puzzled as to how the companies were given the contracts despite not having the need to come up with capital.

He reiterated that the capital was covered by the previous government instead plus a bulk payment of RM15.5 million a month.

"There's obviously a wastage here. The contracts were lopsided and caused a loss to the government," he disclosed, adding that he did not mean to belittle the previous government but only wanted to explain to the people what had been happening within the Water Department.

Naming each one of the companies, Peter further disclosed that their contracts still have 13 more years.

Aside from the six companies, he said there are some new contracts sealed in 2017 for two decades.

Peter had previously said that the six contractors were paid about RM3.7 billion for a period of 20 years, but the allocations were not used to maintain the plants and dams. - Leonard Alaza

Photo Source: Bernama


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