(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Sabah Chief Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said yesterday that the Sabah State Government will make public the individuals and companies awarded government privatisation projects.
The list would cover those given out by the State Governments under Parti Berjaya (1976-85), Parti Bersatu Sabah (1985-1994) and the present State Barisan Nasional Government.
Dompok said alienation of state land and timber concessions to individuals and companies during the three administrations would also be made public.
Dompok said the Sabah State Cabinet had decided to make the list public as a result of demands by several interested groups, including PBS Vice President Dr. Yee Moh Chai and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup but that it would take some time as the State Government had to compile data dating as far back as 1976.
DAP welcomes Bernard Dompokís announcement that the Sabah State Government was prepared to release the lists, but there is no reason for the delay in making public the lists.
I call on Dompok to immediately make public the list of beneficiaries of government privatised contracts and award of land and logging licences under the four Barisan Nasional Chief Ministers since March 1994, namely Tun Sakaran Dandai, Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Tun Said, Datuk Yong Teck Lee and he himself, which could be done without any delay, as all such information should be readily available.
The list with regard to the Parti Berjaya and PBS administrations may need to take a bit of time to compile, but they can be released in batches as and when they are ready.
Corruption in Sabah has acquired a notoriety in Malaysia and Bernardís Cabinet must set the example of introducing practices which will encourage accountability and transparency and the development of a new culture of zero tolerance to corruption in high political and public places like making public the lists of beneficiaries of government privatised contracts, awards of land and logging licences, as well as all other government favours such as shares and other types of licences.
I am thinking of a time-frame of a week for the first batch of such lists to be made public by the Sabah State Government, and I hope Bernard Dompok would not sit on the issue until he has to be forced by growing clamour of public pressure to honour his words. The DAP will be following closely whether the Sabah State Government is prepared to take the lead in settting the example of integrity, accountability and transparency and DAP MPs will pursue this subject in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament beginning on July 13.