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Yong gives Dept until Monday to file affidavits
Published on: Saturday, April 13, 2019

Kota Kinabalu: Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee (pic) has given the Water Department Director and Government extended time until Monday to file their affidavits regarding a suit he and another person had filed to seek a court declaration that the appointment of Sabah Water Department Director Amarjit Singh eight months ago was unlawful.

“Both the Sabah Government and the Water Department Director, as defendants in the summons, have failed to file their affidavits in reply to my affidavit served on them 22 days ago.

“Today, I make this statement to notify government leaders that I have instructed my lawyers to unilaterally extend an extension of time to the Defendants until Monday (April 15) to file their affidavits,” he said, in a statement, Friday.    

Yong and Tawau businessman, Pang Thou Chung, have last month initiated legal action at the High Court in Kota Kinabalu to seek a declaration that the appointment of the Director of the Water Department by the Government in August 2018 is null and void as it contravened the Sabah Water Supply Enactment 2003. 

He said the legal action is a public interest case and to protect the professionalism and competency of the Sabah public service.

“Government ministers and bureaucrats may wish to ignore the cries of water consumers and the sufferings of the people. But the Government cannot ignore a summons issued by a court of law. The Government must come out and defend itself, and state its case in open court. 

“Failure to do so would be another scary example of utter incompetence of this administration and a display of contempt for the rule of law,” he challenged.  

Yong said in his affidavit supporting this legal action, he has stated the dire consequences of having an unqualified, untrained and inexperienced person, who is also a politician, appointed as the Director of an important government department.

“I have revealed that, on his first day of work as Director, he terminated the Tawau Water Dam Project which provides water supply to the people of Tawau. It was glaring that he had not fully understood the water supply situation in Tawau, not done a single site visit to Tawau, not consulted the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and other relevant departments and not consulted stakeholders in Tawau. 

“The Director had also, in the same reckless manner, terminated the Lahad Datu Water Supply project which would cater for 30 per cent to 40 per cent of water shortage in the Lahad Datu district.

“As of now, as reported in newspapers, even with ample rains, the water supply problems continue. The 1,000 plus employees of water treatment plants remain unpaid in part or in full since last February. The predicament faced by more than 2,000 plumbers who are forced to sit for written examinations has not been resolved,” said Yong.

 



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