KOTA KINABALU, Nov 21 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has agreed to the proposal for the formation of a state-federal joint committee to coordinate the implementation of federal development projects in the state.
He said the obstacles hindering the implementation or completion of federal projects could be ironed out with the formation of the committee under the purview of the Sabah Development Office (SDO) and, as such, he has instructed the department to act against contractors who fail to keep their end of the bargain.
“Just terminate their contract. Why must the contractor continue to be retained when the project never takes off? What is the hold-up (in firing the contractor)?
“I want all ministries, departments and agencies to take heed of the issues presented by the SDO to improve performance,” he said when chairing the State Development Action Council meeting at Menara Kinabalu here today.
Earlier, at the same meeting, Sabah Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun had raised the issue of the considerable delay in the construction of the Ranau District Mosque, and yet no action was taken to terminate the contractor.
Meanwhile, Hajiji said that under Budget 2024 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on October 13, Sabah had been allocated RM6.6 billion for development compared to this year’s RM6.5 billion.
He said the federal government also delegated development projects below RM50 million to the Sabah Technical Agency to enhance implementation efficacy further.
The state and federal governments have also agreed for Sabah to take over the full regulatory control of its electricity supply on January 3, 2024, with the federal government agreeing to continue subsidising Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) until the SESB Transformation Plan is implemented seven years from now.
All these, Hajiji said, clearly reflected the federal government’s commitment to focus on Sabah’s development through the implementation of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).
The chief minister also reiterated his call for all district officers to monitor the performance of development projects, enhancing delivery service and addressing poverty issues in their respective areas.
“The functions of the District Development Action Committee and District People Wellbeing Focus Group must also be enhanced. Report to the higher-ups if there are problems.
“We must focus on the implementation of development projects because we are worried that the allocation fails to reach the grassroots due to inefficiency,” he said, adding that all outdated and irrelevant regulations must be re-looked and improved in accordance with the current situation. — Bernama