Sunday, March 16, 2014

Musa-Shafie rivalry: Semporna Bajau sidelined by Musa's govt?

The Sabah Semporna Bumiputera Bajau group claim that their community is being sidelined at state level civil service.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s east-coast Bajaus, claiming to have been sidelined by the state government, want more from their community to be promoted to high-ranking positions in Sabah civil service.

They also want eligible Bajaus from the east to head more agencies or departments in Sabah.

President of Sabah Semporna Bumiputera Bajau (PERBUBAS), Mansor Santiri, alleged discrimination against them exist in the appointment of officers in the state government, and wanted the state leadership under Chief Minister, Musa Aman, to explain.

“The Public Service Department should explain whether there was political interference or otherwise as it should be corrected,” he said in a statement, adding that Bajau children from the east, particularly Semporna, seemed to be sidelined.

“Even if they are eligible for Grade 54 (position), they only can get Grade 52. “I seek clarification from the department because I am wondering why this happens.

“Are the sons of Semporna not competent to head the administration of a department or agency of the state government?” he said.

Mansor’s allegation came in the face of a prolong feud between Musa and Semporna leaders, in particular Shafie Apdal, who holds the powerful Federal Regional and Rural Development Ministry.

In the past, Musa’s deputy in Sabah Umno Salleh Said Keruak had called on Shafie’s ministry to channel funds through the state government instead and not via federal agencies.

Shafie’s portfolio comes with a yearly average development fund of RM6 billion, making him allegedly even more powerful in dishing projects, much to the envy of Musa’s circle.

Why the discrimination?

Sabah’s own annual state budget hovers at just over RM4 billion. Mansor further alleged that promotions have also been dominated by those from the west coast, leaving out senior and highly qualified Bajaus from the east coast.

He however acknowledged that many sons of the east coast are holding high positions in departments or agencies of the federal government.

He nevertheless called on the relevant authorities to rectify the ‘discrimination’ against Sabahans and Sarawakians in Peninsular Malaysia who hold important and high posts, for instance in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Mansor also gave example of certain high-ranking officers from east-coast whom he alleged had been put in “refrigerator” positions.

He cited the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Ujang Sulani, who due to seniority, should be in the Ministry of Finance.

“Likewise the Government Printing Department director, Salsidu Ibrahim, and the director of the State Public Sector Training Institute, Saa’dilah Abdillah, have not had their appointment grade promoted,” he pointed out.

By Calvin Kabaron


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