Key issue for Sabah is fairness and trust: Ghapur
Kota Kinabalu, Apr 26, 2009: Kalabakan MP
Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said it is disappointing that the Sabah
Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) has no final
say in the implementation of projects under the Sabah Development
"It is very frustrating to note that the organisation which
supposedly is in charge of the development programmes in Sabah is
functioning (merely) as a group of planners.
"This is so because, they do not have the final say and they do
not control the financial aspect of their activities," he said in a
statement here, Saturday.
According to him, Sedia was established to become a one-stop
centre so as to allow more efficient and expedient delivery.
However, it seems that the Federal authorities do not have trust and
confidence in the local people, he said.
"This is why Sedia is likened to a kite. The kite is let to fly
but not to fly free because it is tied to a string handled by the
"This is why I insist that, in trying to expand the opportunities
for Sabahans with the intention of disturbing wealth and
development, the Federal authorities must also demonstrate that they
do trust and are confident in us," he said.
Ghapur also suggested that the Bumiputera status for contractors
registered with the Contractors Service Centre (PKK) needs to be
fine-tuned and re-defined. For the purpose of Sabah and Sarawak, he
said the term bumiputera should only mean and imply the local
"To this effect, I would strongly suggest that all local jobs are
strictly offered to local contractors. In cases of specialised jobs,
the local contractors would be allowed "joint venture" with any
specialised job contractors from anywhere. I am quite confident that
none of Sabah contractors has been given the opportunity to take up
jobs outside of Sabah," he said.
According to him, it would certainly bring the local contractors
to attain greater heights in terms of competency and
competitiveness, otherwise they would remain where they are, only
waiting to close shop.
It seems the Federal authorities for whatever reasons still
refuse to give enough opportunities to local contractors to
participate in major projects implemented by the Federal
authorities, he said.
"I have received many reports and complains, where there are many
Class A PKK contractors who are forced to close shop because they
could not secure jobs. It is disheartening to see that for every
tender offered, there will be no less than 60 companies present at
the site inspection. A scenario proving how desperate the local
contractors are," he said.
Ghapur said Felda in Sabah, for example, since its inception had
been unfair to the local contractors.
"It has come to my attention that most of their major jobs are still
implemented by contractors who are non-Sabahans. Tenders are offered
at the Felda office in Kuala Lumpur.
"As such, due to unawareness, tenderers from Sabah are very limited
(if any) and are rarely given the job. In some cases, the local
companies are only proxy companies for businessmen from outside
Sabah," he claimed.
He further claimed that such unfairness was not only common in Felda
but also other Federal authorities.
He said he had been vocal in many instances about fairness in the
distribution of opportunities for Sabah and Sabahans.
"For this, I am indeed glad to see some positive response. For that,
I pledge that I will not stop to fight for Sabahans. I, however, beg
to emphasize that I am not against or anti-anyone or any community.
"To me, I am merely demanding what I think the people of Sabah think
they deserve. At this opportunity, I would like to stress upon
fairness and trust from the Federal authorities towards Sabahans,"
Ghapur said with the new leadership, the people are now expecting
some radical changes before they can reinstate their confidence in
the BN Government.
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