OTA KINABALU, March 12 — Sabah is not in favour of reviving the state federal development department (JPPS), as suggested by the Sabah chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), describing it as giving up any effort for devolution.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said PPBM Sabah chief Datuk Hajiji Noor’s proposal did not reflect the wishes of Sabahans nor was it in line with the trajectory of devolution of powers from the federal government to the state that has been ongoing for years.
“The JPPS — that is not the wish of the people in Sabah. What Sabahans want is devolution of power, the authority. That is the loud cry from Sabahans in the last election. That doesn’t blend well and is going back to the old way of doing things.
“We have been negotiating with the federal government, and out of 20 something points, we have already agreed on 17 that relate to devolution to power. I’m really surprised when you have leaders like that shouting we are going back again, and old institutions like the JPPS should come back. That does not blend well with our intentions,” he said.
Shafie said that the Warisan-led government has from the start worked hard to regain state rights from the federal government.
“We have always maintained this stand and we will continue to do so because the issue of Malaysia Agreement 1963 and regaining our rights is something that is very close to the hearts of Sabahans.
“We have discussed so long about the devolution of power and there are now certain quarters who want to surrender power to the federal government — I am disappointed with this,” he said.
Yesterday, Hajiji proposed reviving the JPPS following the change in status of Sabah as an Opposition state.
He said it was appropriate for JPPS to be revived and represent a platform for the federal government in Sabah that could help in supervising, monitoring and coordinating the distribution of federal development allocations at the state level.
Shafie said that it was regretful that the proposal came at a time when people were still hoping for more autonomy.
“I hope they realise what they’re saying, and what they’re suggesting.
“As a Sabahan, he should know what is dear to the hearts of the people of Sabah. Instead, he is suggesting that we give away our rights to the federal government. Come the 15th general election, the people’s wishes will be known and people’s power will be known,” he said.