Sabah CM looking to downsize three GLCs

Julia Chan
Shafie said he has identified three subsidiaries of Sabah Foundation to be reviewed for downsizing. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA KINABALU, March 25 — The Sabah government is looking at downsizing three government-linked companies (GLC) in an effort to cut wastage and realign resources in line with the state’s economic direction.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he has identified three subsidiaries of the Sabah Foundation to be reviewed for downsizing and will relook their roles as they have each been running at a loss for almost three years.

“But we want the officers there to be reposted and absorbed somewhere else where their services will be needed, and not just terminate them.

“There are some agencies also under Yayasan Sabah that need the manpower,” he said.

Shafie said some GLCs were no longer proactive or relevant while others have deviated from their original purposes and become mired in corruption allegations, naming Lembaga Tabung Haji and Felda as examples.

At the state level, the Sabah Foundation was originally meant to assist the needy by providing education, health services, spurring the local economy and managing land and timber concessions.

“But today, we see that it has deviated from its origins and I want to bring it back to its original purpose of why it was set up, whether it is Sabah Foundation, Sabah Land Development Board or Sawit Kinabalu,” he said.

He also said the government will form relevant bodies such as a Sabah Marketing Board to assist in bringing products from villages to consumers.

“We know that a lot of commodities like produce in Ranau goes to waste because it does not reach the end market due to a breakdown in connectivity. We need to ensure that there is connectivity between the production and the GLC’s role is to help develop and boost the economy.

“In such challenging economic times, the government plays an even more pivotal role in managing the economy so we don’t want any leakages or corruption,” he said.

He then said the current administration has been trying to eliminate undesirable elements starting with Sabah Foundation and the timber industry by banning the export of logs from the state.

“By banning the export of logs, we can effectively monitor ports to check for any outgoing logs — there shouldn’t be any chopping of trees,” he said.

The Sabah government attempted similar action with the Sabah Water Department, halting concessions and absorbing 1,300 personnel under the department.

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