KOTA KINABALU: There is no reason to turn one’s origin into an issue because it is more important to have the right people at the right place to do the job, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said disparaging remarks and criticisms on the appointment of a Sarawakian with a Sabah Permanent Resident status, Datuk Peter Hii, as the new president of Sandakan Municipal Council were totally unnecessary.
“It is not necessary to raise the issue, what is important is that from the Water Department to the (Sandakan) Municipal Council we are putting the right people at the right place,” he said when met after opening the Job Fair 5.0 at Oceanus Waterfront here today.
“I am confident that they have the qualifications, experience and capability to do the job that have been entrusted onto them,” he said.
He was asked to comment on the criticisms and objections raised following Hii’s appointment who was a Sarawak-born.
“When he (Hii) was (appointed as) a councillor there was no issue. Now, (why) suddenly there are issues?” he asked.
Shafie also took a swipe at the previous state government when Tan Sri Musa Aman was the Chief Minister, which he said had given so much opportunities to so many towkays from Sarawak but nobody had made an issue out of it.
In Hii’s case, he said he was not even a Sarawakian anymore as he was holding Sabah PR after residing in the state for more than 40 years.
“If we are now questioning the race (of those appointed to top posts) then we will face problems. (Mind you) there are even those with “orang putih” (caucasion) origin having served (the government) and becoming a senator,” he said.
Prior to this, a decision by Shafie’s administration to appoint Amarjit Singh as the new State Water Department director was also criticised and had been hotly-debated.-SabahNewsToday