23 September, 2003
Kota Kinabalu: Federal development funds for the State have always been channelled through the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS).
This is standard practice, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, adding that it does not connote any mistrust for the State Government.
“Whether the funds are channelled through JPPS or the State Government, it’s the same. We’re all under the BN Government,” he said after a briefing by the JPPS on budget allocations to the State, here Monday.
Tengku Adnan added that JPPS, from the start, had been tasked to implement Federal Government-funded projects.
He said that since many projects were planned and implemented by Federal ministries, delays could arise if the State Government decides to alter the plans for the projects.
PBS President Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan had last Thursday proposed the RM5.9 billion allocation under Budget 2004 be channelled directly to the State Government for implementation of Federal-funded development programmes.
In reply, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Haji Aman said on Sunday that the matter would be studied by looking at how the budget had been allocated.
In another development, Adnan urged all main contractors undertaking projects for the Government to bolster their professional ethics and work quality.
He said this in light of problems faced by the Federal Government when implementing projects in the State.
“They must change their mindset and be more professional when carrying out the projects given to them,” he said.
He said while the JPPS only implements and monitors the projects, the department could only report delays or breaches of contracts to the Public Works Department or the Entrepreneur Development Ministry, which licenses the contractors.
“We can only inform the ministry. Our position is, if the main contractor is not performing, we will issue a report against them,” he said.
He informed that problems concerning these contractors included lack of materials or granting too many sub-contracts out of the project allocations entrusted to them.
“We’re upset when they purposely tender for the projects and then sell the contracts or cheat the sub-contractors without paying them,” he said.
So, Adnan said, the Federal Government was taking a stand to pay the sub-contractors should their fees go unpaid by irresponsible main contractors.
Based on briefing to him earlier, Adnan reported that the ceiling of the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) allocation to Sabah is slightly more than RM9.8 billion.
Until Aug 31 this year, nearly RM4.7billion had been spent for development in the State.
He gave the breakdown of the sectors involved in the 8MP as social (215 projects at RM3.2 billion), infrastructure (89 at RM2.7 billion), security (61 at RM2.2 billion) and economic (202 at RM1.7 billion).