'How much do you earn as a GLC board member?' Bung asks Sabah state secretary

Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.-filepic

KOTA KINABALU: A lawmaker has asked why state secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong gets to sit as board member in a list of government-linked companies (GLC) in Sabah.

"I want to know what is so special about our state secretary that he gets to sit in many GLCs?" Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (Umno-Lamag) suddenly raised this during his debate speech at the State Assembly sitting on Monday (April 22).

He said he would also like to know Safar's total income, apart from his own salary.

However, he did not mention the names and number of GLCs the state secretary was involved in.

According to the respective websites of various organisations and companies, Safar was a board member of Qhazanah Sabah Bhd, Employees Provident Fund, Sawit Kinabalu Snd Bhd, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Earlier, Bung noted that most assemblymen raised issues on the poverty level in the state.

"Eight of our districts have been categorised as the poorest in the country. They still are.

"I would like to see a comprehensive method undertaken by the Sabah Government to reduce, if not eradicate poverty in the state," he said.

The Kinabatangan MP also questioned the government’s decision to set up another oil and gas company, which he accused as a move "to bail out a failed company".

Bung noted that last year, Sabah government-owned SMJ Energy Company (SMJE) had priced its inaugural RM900mil Islamic medium-term notes Sukuk Wakalah to bail out Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd (SIP), which belongs to the Sabah Development Bank.

"My question is rather than setting up SMJE, why not just restructure SIP? We also do not have access to how the RM900mil was spent.

"SIP was once described as a very capable oil and gas company, having been awarded the Production Sharing Contracts for Blocks SB331 and SB332, but the company owns a liability of RM1.2bil. Why did it fail when SIP has all the expertise?

"What is the government's guarantee that SMJE will not face a similar fate? Because if it fails, the government is left in a large debt," he said.

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Safar Untong , GLC , Bung Moktar Radin , SMJE , SIP , Oil and Gas


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