Give Sabah power to implement budget allocations, says Salleh

(FMT) – A former federal minister wants Putrajaya to give the Sabah state government absolute power to implement the development projects announced in Budget 2021.

Salleh Said Keruak, who is a former Sabah chief minister, proposed that the federal government delegate and decentralise all matters of development planning, tender processing and project monitoring to the state government.

He said this was in line with “the concept and spirit of federalism” in which state governments were given the opportunity to take on the responsibility of implementing budget allocations.

“What’s more important now is for us to ensure that all allocations are effectively disbursed and spent. Chief Minister Hajiji Noor has assured that the state government will work together with federal partners to ensure its success,” he said in a blog post today.

Salleh noted that the state must maintain good relations with the federal government in order to remain competitive with other states.

He was commenting on the budget proposals tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Salleh also welcomed the RM5.1 billion announced for infrastructure development in Sabah and the RM3.8 billion for the Pan Borneo Highway project.

He also applauded the special RM1,000 grant for traders, taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers and tour guides in Sabah, adding that the state was receiving due attention in the budget following the Covid-19 crisis.