Shafie questions Sabah works minister on remaining RM50mil for road repairs


KOTA KINABALU: An argument occurred between state Works Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya and former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal regarding the whereabouts of the RM50mil allocated for road repairs.

The former was responding to a question from Shafie (Warisan-Senallang) on the RM400mil allocation for maintenance work on paved, local authority and farm roads, both in urban and rural areas across the state.

“According to last year’s statistics, a total of RM625mil was allocated by the Federal Government while Sabah contributed RM350mil for road repairs throughout the state.

“The statistics also categorised 710km road in Sabah as bad and 126km are in critical condition. The repair work is estimated at RM1.8bil, so we actually have a deficit of about a billion Ringgit,” he said in his winding-up speech at the ongoing State Assembly sitting, here, Wednesday (April 24).

At the juncture, Shafie stood to explain that when he was the finance minister, the state government allocation was just RM300mil, to which he had instructed to add RM100mil bringing the figure to RM400mil.

“It is RM400mil, but you mentioned RM350mil,” said Shafie, pointing out the RM50mil short.

Shahelmey defended himself and backed his stance with the data.

Meanwhile, Shahelmey’s predecessor Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (Barisan-Lamag) explained that there are four categories of roads in Sabah - federal, state, Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) and rural roads.

“Some of these roads are under the Public Works Department (JKR), but Sabah is unique. It is the only state in the country where the finance ministry is involved in the road upgrading works, appoints consultants and denies JKR’s authority.

“That is why repair and upgrading works on stretches in Sabah are ‘lintang-pukang’ (haywire),” said Bung Moktar.

Shahelmey clarified that the finance ministry’s role is solely to manage the funds, while technical aspects are handled by JKR.

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