Shafie Apdal’s recent meeting with the prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to seek development funds for Sabah’s economic growth (Re: “Sabah needs Federal Govt’s assistance to boost development — Shafie”, on news media, 19 Sept), suggests that the chief minister is ‘out of ideas’ or lacked ingenuity to generate funds for the state.
Yes, granted prior to GE14, when the then opposition PH had thought that the national debt was in the RM600-700billion region, it made certain concessions to refund about 40% net revenue from oil and state income to Sabah.
But when federal powers switched in May last year, the PH government took steps to put into perspective the nation’s total debt, which incidentally exceeded RM1trillion! The government has since been restructuring its finances, including mega projects! The Prime Minster has mentioned that if the owing was not settled, Malaysia would be a bankrupt state!
Yet in a recent meeting with the prime minister, Shafie had to request funds for Sabah, when he knew that the federal government was focused on reducing national debt. How to pay if the country goes bankrupt? Shafie should know the priorities of the federal government.
As a state leader, he should have more wisdom and proposed solutions rather than burdening the prime minister with more problems!
Shafie should have discussed with the Prime Minister on exploring opportunities for quality investments from business entrepreneurs in the country. After all, such entrepreneurs would have a better understanding of the ethnic, cultural and economic diversities and needs of the state.
However, for Sabah to achieve economic successes, it must first revamp the state cabinet. Why? Based on a 16-month assessment (since the Warisan government took control of Sabah), certain cabinet members have failed to perform. They lacked competency and ingenuity. They disrespected communities and civil societies and were driven by their own agendas.
Until these changes to the state administration are made, the people of Sabah will continue to face challenges. Shafie has not brought any significant changes to the state, except more misery – about immigrants, illegal immigrants, creating more unemployment, more social ills and crimes, etc. Is Shafie or Warisan capable leading Sabah? At the present rate, it looks unlikely.