Cabinet to decide on Sabah Federal Devt Dept : Abdullah
Decisions on whether the role of the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS) is still relevant in the State will be deliberated in the Federal Cabinet meeting soon. The Department was set up in the State to monitor and implement development projects when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) which was in the Opposition then, came into power in 1985. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said matters concerning JPPS were among those raised by the Barisan Nasional coalition party leaders during a one-to-one meeting here yesterday. “I was briefed that the JPPS is no longer relevant and it should be given to states that are ruled by the Opposition parties. The Department was introduced here when PBS was still in the Opposition but its existence continues even after the Barisan Nasional has claimed the State back,” he told reporters. Abdullah said that there had been overlapping roles, thus hampering the implementation of development projects in Sabah. “I will bring the matter up in our next Federal Cabinet meeting and hope to find the best solution to the issue,” he said. Long-standing issues such as illegal immigrants were also brought to the Premier’s attention and he would seriously look into ways to overcome the problem. “Some of the Party leaders had shared their opinion of setting up detention camps for the illegal immigrants so that they can be closely monitored as their existence is also creating social problems in the State. “It would also be easy for us to send them back when the time comes,” he said. On a call to set up a Ministry of Sabah Affairs, Abdullah said he would study the possibility but believed that its scope is too general. The component Party leaders also raised the Borneonisation issue, requesting for the Federal Government to ensure that important posts in the Government and public service agencies are held by Sabahans. He added the same also applies to neighbouring Sarawak. “Although I met the respective component Party leader separately, most of them had raise similar issues and I believe this are pressing matters and are o concern to the people of Sabah. “I had purposely met them individually so that they will have the chance to tell me what the really think and some of them even asked for my opinion. “They were very stern and spoke sincerely. I appreciate their sincerity and hope that whatever issues raised here today will b overcome as soon as possible for the good of the people, the Part and the nation,” he said.