KOTA KINABALU: Certain Sabah Works Ministry officials have received a dressing-down from their Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin for absenteeism and being inaccessible.
Bung Moktar, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said he had received numerous phone calls from the people complaining about staff from agencies under his ministry.
“(For instance) I always get complaints about district engineers from the Water Department or Public Works Department (JKR) not coming to the office or being difficult to meet up with.
“Someone called me and complained that one district engineer has not been in the office for three days ... how am I to respond to this?
“We can’t hide it because this is a public complaint. If this is ... showing your true colours, then it will be very difficult for us,” he said.
Bung Moktar said he then had to notify state JKR director Datuk Ali Ahmad Hamid, and would be forced to inform State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong if no action was taken against the errant officials.
“This is the reality of what’s happening at the ground level. That is why I say it is not difficult to excel in our work but there will be many challenges and obstructions to staying on top,” he said.
Bung Moktar issued the subtle reprimand on this undesirable work ethic during a ceremony to celebrate Sabah JKR staff who had excelled as those who were retiring at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here on Monday (June 20) night.
He called upon his workforce to love their jobs, adding that Sabah was facing a lot of problems ranging from water supply to roads and sewerage issues.
“Don’t take to heart what I said earlier but consider it a challenge for us to develop the state together," he said.
He also lamented that his ministry had very few registered professional engineers and architects.
He said this was embarrassing, considering the Federal and state policies required such professionals to be deployed in Sabah.
“So please sign up for the test. What is the problem? If there are fees, we can talk about it but what’s important is Sabah has more professionals.
“We are dealing with other professionals but how are we to do that if we are not professionals ourselves, only amateurs?
“This is our problem. So, I hope next year, at least 30 people will sit for the IR (professional engineer) examination. Don’t wait too long,” Bung Moktar said.
“Our mission is to expedite all development projects approved by the government.
“We need to address these issues together. I will prepare a master plan and direction to ensure that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-Barisan Nasional state government is committed to developing Sabah,” he said.