DAP finds unlikely ally in Harris

A power struggle is gripping Sabah Umno and the opposition has become an unwitting participant in the tussle.

(Free Malaysia Today) – DAP has found an unlikely supporter in former Sabah chief minister Harris Mohd Salleh – more than a quarter of a century after they first crossed swords over the administration of the state.

The opposition party may have also been unwittingly drawn into a Sabah Umno power tussle between Chief Minister Musa Aman and Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal when it called on the authorities to investigate government contracts awarded for rural projects.

That call was enough for anyone within the Umno-led Barisan Nasional with an axe to grind to pile pressure on Shafie.

Harris, who spared no effort to attack the opposition party and its supremo, Lim Kit Siang, when he ruled the state from 1976 to 1985, has suddenly found that he can agree with DAP on certain matters concerning state administration.

The former chief minister wants the BN government to “take seriously” allegations made by DAP over contracts awarded in Sabah by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry run by Shafie.

Speaking on the sidelines of a defamation suit being heard here against former chief minister Yong Teck Lee, a local newspaper Daily Express quoted Harris as saying: “The detailed accusations made by DAP… were glaring… there are definitely wrongdoings on the part of the ministry.”

Harris said the ministry’s reply to the accusations was unsatisfactory, adding that it was absurd for the ministry to justify awarding the full RM100 million tender amount for the Pulau Gaya electrification project when the actual tender cost was only about RM25 million.

‘No impact’ from projects

Harris also claimed that he had received “many complaints from rural folk” that the billions of ringgit allocated by the federal government for rural projects was not having an impact on their lives.

“More often than not, the projects were introduced for the sake of contracts and most of them are of low standard,” he said.