Published on: Sunday, April 26, 2009
Kota Kinabalu: 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 Corridor (SDC).
"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 flyer. "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 Bumiputeras. "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.