(Penang, Tuesday): Sabah Chief Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has given a very unsatisfactory response to my suggestion that the list of the beneficiaries under the present Barisan Nasional state government since March 1994 under four Chief Ministers, namely Tun Sakaran Dandai, Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Tun Said, Datuk Yong Teck Lee and he himself, should be announced immediately as such information are readily available, and that lists under the Parti Berjaya and Parti Bersatu Sabah governments could be released later when they are ready.
I had thought that the Sabah State Government would be the first to make public its state lists of beneficiaries of privatisation contracts, licences, land, shares and other government benefits as the Sabah Chief Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had announced that the Sabah State Cabinet had agreed to make public the individuals and companies awarded government privatisation contracts, timber concessions and land alienation.
Bernard Dompok said the list to be released by the Sabah state government 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 and that as data for the previous governments had to be compiled, the process would take some time.
The Sabah Chief Minister said the list covering beneficiaries of Barisan Nasional, PBS and Parti Berjaya administrations spanning 22 years would be released in one go and made available to the press. He said there is no time frame given but he hoped the list would be ready by the end of the year.
This is most disappointing as such a "hope" is most elusive and can be very elastic, and one can detect a preparation to back out of the commitment to make public such a list - which could be deferred indefinitely on the ground that the list of beneficiaries under the previous governments in the 70s and 80s are not yet ready.
This is why the Sabah Chief Minister should immediately release the list of beneficiaries under the present Barisan Nasional state government to show that it is serious about accountability, transparency and integrity, and not playing "political games".
Is Bernard Dompok prepared to give a public commitment that the Sabah list would definitely be made public before the next Sabah state general elections, and that the failure of the Barisan Nasional state government to release such a list before the next Sabah state general elections would be taken by the Sabah electorate as a serious breach of good governance by the Sabah Barisan Nasional government?