The Chief Minister’s poor handling of Amarjit Singh’s appointment as Director of Sabah Water Department has created a political mess (for him).
There are a number of things that ‘don’t add-up’ to the appointment. What is the chief minister’s motive for keeping Amarjit as Director of Sabah’s Water department? What is Amarjit supposed to deliver that is so important, in his role as Director?
Let’s look at how it all started.
Chronology of Events
Sabah Progressive Party President and former chief minister, Yong Teck Lee sought a court declaration to deem the appointment of Amarjit Singh in August 2018 as unlawful. The suit was filed together with a Tawau businessman, claiming Amarjit’s appointment was in violation of the law and that his appointment was because of his position as Warisan Division Secretary in Putatan.
- Amarjit Singh’s appointment as Director of the Sabah Water Department was ruled illegal by the High Court on 10 Oct.
- On the same day, Amarjit Singh issued a ‘Letter of Intent’ (LOI) to Wira Syukur (M) Sdn Bhd in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Pembinaan Maju Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, Kota Kinabalu for the Development & Execution of the controversial PAPAR DAM project!
- Shafie Apdal and Infrastructure Development Minister, Peter Anthony show defiance of the law by instructing Amarjit to continue serving as Director, disrespecting the High Court’s ruling.
- Protests from political party leaders on the Chief Minister’s defiance of the law
- Sabah Umno Youth chief Aziz Julkarnain Aziz says he and 27 NGOs had protested against Amarjit’s appointment when it was announced in August last year.
- Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong says the Sabah government has filed an appeal against the High Court ruling. Why is a Federal Minister intervening in the affairs of the State?
- Surprising comments by Warisan’s Ally, Sabah Wanita PKR leader, Rahimah Majid. She said the chief minister was wrong to advise Amarjit to stay in his post pending an appeal against the High Court’s decision.
- Rahimah should be applauded for questioning the validity of the statement by de facto law minister VK Liew and said that both VK Liew and Shafie Apdal failed to respect the law and are setting a bad example.
- State PKR disciplinary bureau chief Sazalye Donol should support Rahimah for being open, transparent and truthful. He should not support the wrong-doings of the Warisan government. This shows the lack of integrity and poor foresight on his part.
Is Shafie Apdal and Peter Anthony keeping Amarjit Singh as Director to implement the PAPAR DAM project? Because if Amarjit Singh’s appointment is ‘illegal’, then the ‘Letter of Intent’ he signed becomes invalid too!
Looking at the contents of the LOI, it appears that proper procedures were not adhered to prior to issuance of the letter. Based on a mere ‘presentation’ on 22 August, the two companies were shortlisted for the controversial RM2billion project!
Why wasn’t there any due diligence and audit conducted on the two companies, to determine their operational and financial capabilities? Why weren’t any site visits to the companies’ offices and operational facilities/workshops conducted – to determine their resource capabilities? On what basis is the Warisan government planning to award this mega contract?
The onus therefore lies with the state and federal authorities such as MACC to conduct an investigation into the matter and take appropriate action, where required. Otherwise, the PAPAR Dam could lead to a socio-economic and environmental disaster for Sabah.