KOTA KINABALU: The delay in channeling allocations to finance several government development projects is not only happening in Sabah as the situation is also affecting other states in the Peninsula, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the fund for development projects is seen as slow in coming following several constraints including the financial problems left behind by the previous government.
“It is slow not only in Sabah but also in Peninsula. The problem is we have a lot of obstacles due to the previous government.
“The most important thing, we don’t have the money. We let the private sector do (the projects) but we must ensure the private sector is genuine and not a front for someone else,” he told reporters after attending an Iftar ceremony at the City Mosque here Sunday night.
Also present was Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Commenting on the progress of Sabah’s Pan Borneo Highway project, Dr Mahathir said he would leave it to the central Public Works Department (PWD) to determine whether to give authority to Sabah PWD to manage the project.
He said the previous government had appointed an external party to monitor the project to the extend the government incurred additional costs by using the service of the party concerned.
“This is a PWD job. So, now PWD is taking back that role at least in the case of Sabah, and its up to them (to determine) who will be the authority,” he said.
In another development, Dr Mahathir said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is always cooperating closely with Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) even though it is not a Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party.
He said the three PH Cabinet ministers from Warisan proved the party is in close cooperation with PH.
Apart from that, Warisan also played a very big role in the recent Sandakan parliamentary by-election victory, he said.
The Sandakan by-election saw PH candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee from DAP obtaining a thumping win with a majority of 11,521 votes in a five-cornered fight on May 11.
Meanwhile, some 4,000 people were present at a breaking of fast with the Prime Minister, at the Iftar function at the City Mosque.
The Prime Minister and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali arrived at the venue at about 6.20 pm accompanied by Datuk Seri Shafie and his wife Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib.
Tun Dr Mahathir was met on arrival by Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Jaujan Sambakong as well as State Law and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Mokhtar.
Also present at the event were deputy chief ministers, Datuk Christina Liew and Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau as well as Sabah cabinet ministers.
Thousands of people had gathered at the mosque since 4 pm to catch a glimpse of Tun Dr Mahathir and to greet him.
After breaking fast, the prime minister accompanied by other leaders and guests proceeded to perform Maghrib prayers before continuing with the feast.
At the ceremony, Dr Mahathir also presented contributions to 20 recipients from the asnaf (zakat beneficiaries) group.