Usno questions sackings by Berjaya
Published on: Wednesday, June 16, 1976

KINABALU SABAH TIMES (Wednesday, June 16, 1976) - KOTA KINABALU, Tues - Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, said his Government was taking steps to retain as many employees of Statutory Bodies in State as possible.

However, many workers employed by the former Alliance Government were under-utilised, he added. 

“As the Government is now on an austerity drive, it is necessary to relieve the Bodies of the excessive workers irrespective of their political leanings,” the Chief Minister said in a written reply in the State Assembly yesterday to Datuk Haji Dzulkifli bin Datuk Haji Abdul Hamid (Usno-Bongawan). 

Datuk Haji Dzulkifli had asked the Chief Minister whether the question of sacking or retaining the staff of the Statutory bBodies was based on their political leanings. He alleged that many workers in Statutory Bodies had been retrenched. 

Datuk Harris said the Government had no intention of “killing” responsible newspapers. On the abolition of work permits, the Chief Minister said the State Government was empowered to do so and according to the law it was not required to give any reason for such actions. 

Datuk Haji Dzulkifli in his question drew attention to the recent cancellation of work permits of five Kinabalu Sabah Times employees and their repatriation. Datuk Haji Dzulkifli described such action as repressive of press freedom. 

Labour and Welfare Services Minister, Datuk Haji Suffian Koroh, in another written reply, said that 4,979 youths in the State were unemployed since January this year. 

He said most of them were school leavers registered with the Labour Department for clerical or office jobs. 

The Minister was replying to Encik Abu Bakar Anik (Berjaya-Pensiangan). 

Datuk Haji Suffian said his Ministry and the Labour Department were finding jobs for them and urged employers to cooperate by informing them about vacancies. This would help to reduce the number of unemployed youths coming to the Secretariat to seek jobs with the Government. 

State Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Encik James Ongkili said the Sabah Housing Commission was unable to achieve its original target of building 200 to 300 units of houses a year because of reduction in loan funds.

He said the former State Government decided in 1972 to deduct the $20.2 million loan for the Commission by $10 million to help launch the Sabah Economic Development Corporation. 

The Housing Commission had to reduce its target to 100 to 200 houses a year. 

He added during the Second Malaysia Plan mid-term review, the total loan approved for the Housing Commission was increased to $15.4 million. 

But up to Dec. 31 last year, only $11.9 million was received. Out of this, $4.5 million was a loan from the Federal Government. 

In reply to question, Datuk Harris Salleh said the Government would not hesitate to take necessary measures to counter sudden price hikes for essential commodities. 

He also said that the State Government aimed to lower the price of rice to the same level as that in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

To another question, the Chief Minister said State Ministers, Assistant Ministers and senior Government officials could use Sabah Government cars while in Kuala Lumpur.

Minister of Special Functions and for Communications and Works, Encik Yap Pak Leong, told the House that the new Tambunan District Hospital would be ready by the end of next month.

Encik Yap also said a secondary school would be built in Tambunan in September. – Bernama

 





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