JPPS to be disbanded as promised
The State’s request for the abolition of Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS) has been discussed at the Federal level, said Chief Secretary to the Federal Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, who assured that the move would be carried out as promised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He said the matter was discussed during the Federal Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya on Wednesday and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has been informed of the progress of the discussion during a meeting here yesterday. “I have informed the Chief Minister. It is now still at discussion level but, as promised by the Prime Minister, we will do it,” he told reporters after attending a dialogue with the State local authorities at Pacific Sutera here yesterday. He said there are going to be several other discussions to be held as the parties involved go through some details before the Department is finally disbanded. The proposal to do away with JPPS was one of the main issues raised by Sabah BN leaders during their meeting with the Prime Minister on Sunday. They argued that JPPS, which was set up to monitor the implementation of Federal Government’s development project in Sabah during the PBS rule, has been no longer relevant since BN took over the State administration. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the meeting admitted the request was reasonable, saying it is a sensible move towards addressing the issue of overlapping power and delays in implementation of development projects in Sabah. Touching on another issue, Mohd Sidek urged more Sabahans to apply for positions in federal departments. He said there are currently not many civil servants from Sabah serving in federal agencies, making it difficult to give more senior federal position to Sabahans. “The appointment (of senior officers) is usually based on merit, but if all are based on merit and not many are interested to work at federal agencies, then it would be a bit difficult, which is why I encourage those from Sabah and Sarawak to be members of the federal civil services. “This would enable us to have more officers from this State and therefore we can give more senior positions. But there are not many of them now. Maybe (they) prefer to serve with the State Government,” he said. He was commenting on request from the state leaders for more senior positions at the federal level to be given to Sabahans.