Citing efficiency, Sabah lawmaker moots decentralising Miti workload to state authorities

Datuk Darell Leiking said the state authorities are better placed to decide which companies operating locally are in ‘essential’ services and sectors to continue their operations compared to the federal headquarters which has to deal with a flood of applications from all over the country. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Darell Leiking said the state authorities are better placed to decide which companies operating locally are in ‘essential’ services and sectors to continue their operations compared to the federal headquarters which has to deal with a flood of applications from all over the country. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KOTA KINABALU, June 3 — The federal government should decentralise the responsibilities of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) to their states offices, Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking said today.

Leiking who is also Penampang MP and Moyog assemblyman said doing so would make the process smoother for smaller industry players in applying to operate during the total lockdown to curb Covid-19 that started on June 1.

“This is the third nationwide lockdown, I cannot understand why the state government has not sought Miti Kuala Lumpur to decentralise all approvals to Miti Sabah and the State Government,” he said in a statement.

Leiking said the state authorities are better placed to decide which companies operating locally are in “essential” services and sectors to continue their operations compared to the federal headquarters which has to deal with a flood of applications from all over the country.

“I am certain that the many SMIs and manufacturers in Sabah would already have forwarded their grievances possibly through their respective chambers of commerce or associations to the chief minister and the state government. The question now is, has the state government done the necessary actions?” he asked.

“To make it even more efficient, once it is decentralised, the state government can rope in chambers of commerce or associations representing Sabah’s SMIs and manufacturers to identify those who are eligible to get the approval,” he said.

He also said that Sarawak’s decision not to follow suit the total lockdown shows that Sabah’s state government actually can decide for itself on what course of action it should take.

“While I don’t reject the total lockdown currently in effect, I believe we need to support our SMIs and manufacturers that provide essential goods firstly to allow the economy to continue moving and secondly to prevent inflation and rising of price of goods that will ultimately be borne by Sabahans.

“The federal government needs to understand that our case in Sabah are much different from other parts of Malaysia,” he said.

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