KOTA KINABALU, Aug 19 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said action would be taken against heads of government departments and agencies found delaying the implementation of development projects in the state.
He said this after learning that various projects approved by the federal government were still at pre-implementation stage with a little over four months left in the year.
“It is now the month of August. How can we complete these projects? The federal government has approved our applications and given the allocation, and yet, the projects cannot take off.
“I do not want this to happen during my administration…I will not hesitate to take action,” he said when chairing the State Development Action Council meeting (MTPng) at the Sabah State Administrative Centre here today.
Hajiji rejected excuses that work on the projects could not commence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that some were required to work from home, adding that all involved must adapt to the new norms.
The Chief Minister said a timeframe must be set for the implementation of all federal-funded development projects in the state.
He did not doubt that following the pandemic, project implementation was sluggish this year, but hoped the federal government’s plan to review development projects that had been approved, but yet to take off the ground, will not greatly affect Sabah.
Hajiji said the matter should not be dragged on, while other problems remained unresolved such as services issues, roads and infrastructures, land matters, and schools without water and electricity, and called on those involved to tackle the matter as a team and in a holistic way for the benefit of the people.
This includes poverty eradication, which remained the state government’s focus as the percentage of poor and hardcore poor were still high, he said.
He called on government agencies to take advantage of technology in enhancing government delivery services and facilitate the private sector as the nation’s prime economic mover.
As for Sabah’s performance under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), he said as of Aug 8 this year, a total of RM1.459 billion or 32.31 per cent of the approved RM4.517 billion had been spent under the 12MP first rolling plan.