Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee is sure about one thing on the RM3.3 billion Water Department scandal in Sabah.
“It takes more than a departmental director and his deputy to process, approve and implement a whopping RM3.3 billion in development funds,” said Yong who is also Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) president.
He added that state and federal ministries, the Economic Planning Unit, and the Audit Department, among others, have some explaining to do.
The reported scale of corruption at the Water Department has shocked people, noted Yong in a statement carried on the Sapp website. “The people are now eager for answers on so many issues as the probe continues to unfold by the day.”
There’s a wise saying, he continued, that “the sun, the moon and truth shall not be hidden long”.
Yong conceded however that it was still too early to assign political responsibility for the crisis at the Sabah Water Department.
“The DAP’s call for the resignation of Infrastructure Development Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan was premature,” said the Sapp Chief. “Indeed, people may also ask DAP about the resignation of the Penang Chief Minister who is currently facing corruption charges.”
Eventually, the truth will surface, he reiterated. “As the truth and facts emerge, it is to be expected the people will be dismayed and upset.”
Ministers have claimed credit for development in Sabah but when something goes wrong, he charged, they distance themselves from the controversy.
“Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers are now sheepishly trying to wash their hands off the RM3.3 billion rural water projects funded by the Federal Government,” said Yong. “They have been proudly boasting of close co-operation between the Sabah Government and the Federal Government under BN.”
He expects corruption to be a major issue in the coming general election, along with the economy and security.
Two senior officials of the State Water Department, the businessman brother of one of them and an accountant have been detained by the MACC.
The MACC is probing allegations that RM3.3 billion in federal projects were awarded to 38 firms owned by the two siblings and proxies.
FMT Reporters Online