SEMPORNA – A Sabah assistant minister said today the state government will reconfigure several projects in Semporna that he claimed fell below the target and are not serving the people as anticipated.
“Several projects implemented in Semporna have not met their targets,” said Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Ramlee Marhaban.
He cited one example as the Hardcore Poor Housing Project, and said the project was implemented not in the targeted location but on Pulau Ligitan.
“Who lives in Pulau Ligitan?” he asked when addressing a leader-with-the- people session here.
The MP for Semporna is Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, the former UMNO vice-president and former rural and regional development minister, who resigned from UMNO.
Ramlee claimed that the Sungai Intan Water Treatment Plant in Semporna that cost over RM48 million had also not met its target.
“It’s true, there was a water supply improvement project in Sungai Intan that cost tens of millions of ringgit but the pumps were second-hand equipment from China … and the cost of upgrading may have been less than RM10 million,” he said.
He also said that the development of solar-powered electricity projects on four islands around Semporna fell below target as well.
“RM95 million was allocated for the projects, including on Pulau Bait and Menampilik, but the lack of an in-depth study resulted in the projects not functioning,” he claimed.
Ramlee told reporters later that the projects would be reconfigured and that funding would also be sought from the federal and state governments to implement outstanding development projects, particularly infrastructure projects such as water supply and roads.
The Bugaya state-assemblyman also said that though several Semporna UMNO leaders had left the party, the exodus could be checked with proper explanation on the ground.
Ramlee said senior UMNO leaders who left the party and joined the opposition and pledged development for Sabah were pulling wool over people’s eyes.
Citing an example, he asked: “Why did the leader not develop Semporna when he was in power?”