KOTA KINABALU: Local opposition party, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (Harapan Rakyat), has said that they will not close a blind eye to acts of corruption when it affects the welfare of Sabahans.
Its president Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin was referring to former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal being linked in the ongoing graft probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into the mishandling of Federal funds allocated for rural development projects in Sabah.
He stressed that the people have the right to know as what happened to the billions allocated for projects in Sabah.
While Harapan Rakyat was against the ruling Barisan Nasional government, it would not close a blind eye if an act of corruption has been committed even though it involved a party that is now part of the opposition.
"If something is wrong, it is wrong. We can't just simply sweep it under the carpet," he said in a statement.
"I, like everyone else, want to know what happened to the money for these projects related to water, roads and electricity.
"In many rural parts of Sabah, we have electrical poles without cables, water pipes without water and rural roads constructed in the middle of nowhere,” he added.
It had been reported that MACC believed that as much as RM1.5 billion has been siphoned from funds allocated for rural development projects in Sabah.
Lajim added during Shafie's tenure, the latter often boasted of billions in allocations which were channelled to Sabah for rural roads, electricity and water projects.
"If there was element of corruption, it would make sense that those rural projects were not completed or failed to benefit the people."
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) however voiced their support for Shafie yesterday, taking a different stand from its United Sabah Alliance's (USA) coalition member Harapan Rakyat.
Its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said Shafie should expect more challenges coming his way after joining the fight for Sabah rights.
"We welcome Shafie and others who have joined the Sabahans fight for Sabah rights.
"But they should wake up to the fact that the righteous struggle of Sabahans is not going to be easy like a walk in the park," he said, urging the need for unity of Sabah opposition parties.