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Junz (second left) hands over a food pack to the victims of the recent flood.

22 June 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Vice President of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) Datuk Junz Wong has urged Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to clarify the Flood Mitigation Action Plan involving flood-prone areas like Likas and Lido.

Junz said the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) is parked under the Ministry of Agriculture of Fisheries.

At a recent site visit to the homes of flood victims on Sunday, he took to task Jeffrey on the Flood Mitigation Action Plan which was supposed to be carried out this year.

"During my tenure as a minister handling DID, I had completed a flood mitigation design and action plans for both Likas and Lido. The tender was ready when I left office and supposed to be implemented this year (2021).

"But almost a year has passed since Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) took over. Why haven’t any projects been carried out yet? What is the progress?" he questioned.

Junz also questioned Jeffrey's whereabouts in view of the recent floods in Likas, Lido, Tuaran and Sepanggar.

"Is the delay due to some backdoor tricks?" he said, referring to the Sabah Development Bank's RM300 million loan to Air Asia which involved the GRS Government.

"It was cooperation that would have enabled produces from local farmers and fishermen be marketed to a wider market like West Malaysia, Singapore and neighbouring countries. It is not a grant, but a loan that will be repaid in due time.

"But what did GRS do? GRS in October 2020 insinuated that Warisan was involved in corruption. They sent the MACC to investigate us, resulting in a noble plan for farmers and fishermen being put on hold. In February 2021, the MACC came back and said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

"Jeffrey Kitingan then changed the name of the Air Asia programme and re-launched it in May 2021. So all the delay between October 2020 to May 2021 for what? It is the farmers and fishermen of Sabah who were taken for a ride, thanks to GRS."

"My concern now is that some similar backdoor tricks may be happening to the Flood Mitigation Action Plan. Is there any backdoor discussions to change certain things, people, timeline, or the name of the plan? Jeffrey should clarify the cause of the delay."

If indeed there were evidence of "backdoor tricks", Junz said Sabahans must reject GRS for prioritising politics over the people's welfare.

"Thousands of homes are hit with flood and damages, and GRS is thinking of delaying projects in order to benefit themselves," he added.