In November 2016, Malaysia’s largest island, Pulau Banggi which is located on the northern tip of Sabah, faced gruelling months without fresh water supply. The situation was dire that not only the mainstream media carried the story virtually on a daily basis, but it warranted a posting by DAP’s Roketkini.
This situation occured just a month after MACC raided a house in Sabah and found RM114 million in cash stashed there. According to a portal called Anti Fitnah Sabah the bust by the MACC is related to the Sabah water project that commenced in 2010 costing the Federal Government RM3.3 billion under the purview of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah or KKLW). The Minister then was Shafie Afdal.
Two days ago, MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Azam Baki announced that the Commission was looking into the RM7.5 billion worth of projects for water supply, electricity and roads in Sabah between 2009 and 2015 approved by the Federal Government but were either not carried out, or were not carried out to the required specifications. The Minister then was Shafie Afdal.
Initial investigations found that out of the RM7.5 billion allocated by the Federal Government for the development of rural Sabah by the KKLW, RM1.5 billion had been siphoned by criminals linked to the Ministry.
Three people were arrested following the investigation. They are Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony who is Shafie’s closest ally, a contractor, as well as a former Deputy Secretary for Infrastructure of KKLW, Norhataty Rahmat.
Norhataty Rahmat was Shafie’s right-hand person during his tenure in the KKLW. Norhataty was a M54 grade PTD officer who, although was just a Deputy Secretary, had direct access to the Minister then.
For a M54 grade PTD officer, her lifestyle does not commensurate with her income. Not only does she own a bungalow in Bandar Baru Bangi, her Facebook and Instragram accounts show her lavish lifestyle that includes a Franck Muller watch and five-figure priced branded handbags.
For those who do not know how much a M54 grade PTD officer earns, you can have a look at the 2016 tables below (courtesy of myschoolchildren.com)
The allocation approved by the Federal Government for Sabah and given through KKLW is meant for the improvement of treated water and electricity supply to rural areas of Sabah, to assist the poor, as well as to provide the rural elementary schoolchildren with food through the Additional Food Programme (Rancangan Makanan Tambahan). However, it is sad to learn that 20 percent of that allocation have gone to finance the lavish lifestyle of some.
Although the money is channeled to Sabah, it is KKLW that appoints the contractors for the works planned, deals directly with the relevant state agencies, but not the Sabah state government. But when the rural people do not get the help needed, it is the Sabah state government as well as the Federal Government that get blamed.
The Sabah state government had no control over the selection of contractors. In fact, for limited tenders the Minister of KKLW had the right to shortlist 10 companies to be selected. The raids on 4 October and 5 October led to the discovery of RM150 million and RM29 million cash respectively.
Shafie has since returned to Sabah to assist investigations. Calling the raids “politicaly motivated” he promised to assist “as long as the evidences are not fabricated.” It is like saying the MACC officers brought RM179 million in cash inside their pockets and planted the money upon raiding the premises.
Shafie’s eagerness to assist in investigations show that he knows a lot about what is being investigated. Shafie seems to know a lot, too! Last year when the MACC raided the house with the RM114 million stashed, Shafie was quick to say that he would assist in the investigations.
In April this year, Shafie also said that he was ready to assist the MACC in its investigation into transactions carried out by Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Mara Inc). Mara is an agency under KKLW.
What the MACC has uncovered is the reason rural Sabah continues to remain backwards despite the funds given to develop the areas. The culprits include those from Sabah who portray themselves as champions of the Sabah cause. Yet, they demand support from the Sabah people while stealing their very rights from them. If you have an appropriate term for these people, help me name them.
Meanwhile, it is evident that Shafie knows a lot about the embezzlements that took place during his tenure as the Minister of KKLW. The question now is, how much did he make out of all this and will he fabricate lies to cover them?
The only thing relevant to Sabah about Parti Warisan Sabah as it is seems to be making the money meant for the people of Sabah as their warisan.