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Media statement by Dr. Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday, 20th October 2010:

Sabahan not heading enough top post in Sabah federal Departments and agencies

I asked the Prime Minister in Parliament yesterday (19 Oct 2010) over a verbal question on the numbers of top post in the various federal government departments and agencies in Sabah which are headed by Sabahan, and in which departments.

Under the 20 points, a clause "Borneanization" is stated in the Malaysia Agreement, and this is very important to the Sabahan. I want to know that actually how many top posts in the various federal department and agencies which is held by Sabahan. According to records, up to date there is only a handful of Sabahan, while the people from Semananjong are still heading top post in the federals departments. Where is this so call "Borneanization" in practice?

The Minister in the Prime Minister department Datuk Nazri replied my question and at the same time answered the similar question raised by the DAP parliament leader Sdr. Lim Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor. He said in his reply that under the 20 point in connection to the "Borneanization", the federal civil service in Sabah has given priority to take in Sabahan. There are measures to make sure officers that we put in for the posts are truly capable and can serve the post well to suit the need of the local condition. It is not necessary and compulsory for officers from the west to serve and head the positions in the federal department.

The federal civil service never exclude any Sabahan who are qualify and capable to fill in the posts available. The Sabahan is given the first choice when compared to people from other states to fill the post. This is based on the ability, qualification, and leadership to carry out the job and execution of work. The post will be filled by West Malaysian especially when there is no Sabahan qualified enough and suitable for the post.

Until 13th of October, 2010, there are 35 Sabahan heading the various senior positions in the federal department under the federal civil service under different grades. The government will continue to let Sabahan fill the senior position like the department heads in Sabah.

A heated argument between Sdr. Lim Kit Siang and Datu Nazri on the topic started by Nazri quoting that Sabahan are also heading important post in the Semananjong, example like Tan Sri Pandika Amin as the Dewan Speaker and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid as the Attorney General and both of them are from Sabah. Lim said they are here in KL is because of their political background and he never disputed their capability.

The 35 position is of various grade but in the real fact is that the Sabahan sitting on the head position (Pengarah) is only a few, for example Education department, JPN, and few others. There are many other post that the Sabahan are qualified to head. It is 47 years of Malaysia formation, if the Borneanization is really recognized and practiced, we should have at least 90% of the positions in the federal civil service headed by Sabahan, but sadly enough now we have a poor number of 35 out of the hundreds position of various grade. They say they will continue to place Sabahan is something we still have to see in the future.

* Dr Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu



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