Govt urged to set up RCI on Yayasan Sabah’s missing US$ 1 billion
Secretary-General of Parti Warisan Datuk Loretto Padua Jr.
6 February 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri and the Federal Government are urged to establish a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the missing US$1 billion (RM4.18 billion) from the Sabah Foundation’s coffers.
Al-Jazeera in its special report on Sabah’s controversial Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) dated February 2, 2022 had highlighted the matter claiming it occurred between the period of 1986 to 1993.
The Secretary-General of Parti Warisan Datuk Loretto Padua Jr. said the inquiry is necessary since the international news network had pointed out that a reputable international audit firm, Pricewaterhouse made the discovery in 1994 and therefore Sabahans have the right to know what actually happened to that money.
“Was the $1 billion used by the State Government to finance bad investments or projects? If so, then why did Al-Jazeera specifically mention that it went missing?
“And if the article is based on the information of an unreliable source, then why would Al-Jazeera be so brazen as to implicate a reputable international audit firm?” he said in a statement today.
According to Loretto, these are the questions that Sabahans are now asking especially the younger generations who have never even heard about it.
“Even if some of us did hear about it, there is very little information because unlike the issue on illegal immigrants in Sabah, this missing fund was hardly mentioned at all or not given the media attention it deserved,” he added.
He also questioned what example is being set for future leaders on matters that involve integrity and responsibility in managing public funds if the Federal Government decides to ignore this issue or sweep it under the carpet.
He added that if previous and current leaders have been unreliable, then this same trait of being untrustworthy will continue on to future leaders.
“We must get to the bottom of this before more state revenue goes missing due to corrupt and unreliable leaders like what happened to the US$ 1 billion from Yayasan Sabah.
“This is more so when Sabahans are currently fighting tooth and nail for 40 per cent of the net revenue derived by the federal government from our state as well as for higher revenue from our oil and gas.
“Many of Sabah’s politicians who once served as the State’s Cabinet Ministers and Chairpersons in GLCs at that material time are still around and this includes the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammed who was implicated in the article. They can be called upon to give a full account on the issue in the RCI.”
Loretto also said that Warisan may need to get Peninsula’s party leaders as well as political allies to assist in pushing for the RCI on Sabah Foundation’s missing US$1 billion since the issue is a lot more serious than the demand for the RCI on the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal.
“If the nation and some BN leaders wanted an RCI on BMF based on a borrowing of US$292 million made in four tranches between 1979 and 1980, then isn’t an RCI on Yayasan Sabah’s missing US$1 billion of equal importance?
“Since our President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was the Federal Cabinet Minister who openly confronted the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the 1MDB fiasco that eventually led to the downfall of BN during GE14, Warisan is hoping to get support from our political allies in the Peninsula especially Members of Parliament (MPs) who have become fed up with the widespread corruption and lack of integrity in the country to make this RCI on Yayasan Sabah’s missing funds a reality,” he said.