Kota Kinabalu: Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the opposition seem intent on making unnecessary fuss over the RM1 billion special grant promised to Sabah when part of the fund is already in the hands of the Sabah Development Office (SDO).
"There's no problem in getting the RM1 billion. What is important is speedy implementation so that we can implement all projects the fund is intended for," he said.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the State Action Committee meeting at Wisma Innoprise, Monday, the Chief Minister said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee probably did not understand the mechanism of the special grant since the latter was no longer with the Government.
He explained that RM200 million from the RM1 billion was controlled by the SDO and that another RM250 million would be channelled to State Finance Ministry.
"It will be used by the implementing agencies in Sabah... so, what is the problem?" he asked, adding the matter should not be a cause for concern since the money would be channelled to the implementing agencies in the State.
"The most important thing is that we must implement the projects so that we can utilise the fund in the next two years." He believed the opposition exaggerated the issue because they had nothing else to do.
On the balance of the special grant, Musa assured that it would be given to the State Government upon request.
Yong had said that funds placed under the Implementation Co-ordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister's Department remained in Federal hands.
He also questioned why the ICU channelled the fund to the Sabah Development Office (SDO) and not the newly-created Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia).
Yong had suggested that the allocations might come from the existing Ninth Malaysia Plan and ordinary budget.
Regarding the high cost of construction materials, the Chief Minister said the Government would reconsider the projects if the price was too exorbitant. Nevertheless, Musa noted that the price of cement and steel had considerably decreased.
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