DISTRICT officers in Sabah have got their work cut out for them as their responsibilities demand efficiency that matches the very person they report to.
Every time Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman visits districts, there is no telling what questions and updates that he wants to be briefed on by the officers.
A district officer from the interior recently shared that Musa is well informed on matters in the state, and he monitors the progress of projects and programmes through reports from the ground.
“On top of that, he gets feedback from community leaders or people about things in the districts.”
Musa has been touring the state two or three times a year since taking over the helm in 2003.
During each visit, he takes along his ministers and officials who will sit together in meetings or go for walkabouts in towns, streets or villages, to see the people, the implementation of projects and resolve problems.
“As hosts, we have to be prepared in advance and somehow, this has helped us develop a working culture that is efficient and ready.
“On top of that, we also get strong support from him during such visits because he will immediately act on problems.
“The ministers, or at least their assistants, state secretaries, state federal secretaries, state and federal department directors, those from government agencies who tag along, would get their orders there and then.
“Mind you, the chief minister will follow up with them if no action is taken.
“We are more or less his representatives on the ground, but having him over for a visit is always a blessing because of his proactive approach.”
During his tours this year, Musa had even attended events like Visit Tambunan Year 2017, spent time with native leaders in Nabawan, inspected project sites in Pitas and met traders in Tawau.
Known as a hardworking chief executive, Musa is often referred as the man who lets “action speak for itself”.
The surplus state budget for the third consecutive year since 2015, despite the oil price drop, is testimony to the efficient administration he leads.
In the Auditor General’s Report 2016 Series 1, the financial management of 31 Sabah ministries, departments and agencies, based on the Accountability Index, were given an overall “very good” rating.
Of the 31 audited state ministries, departments and agencies, 22 were rated “excellent”, six departments/agencies were rated “good”, and three others received a “satisfactory” rating.
The State Secretary’s Office also maintained its five-star rating in financial management, with significant increase in points.
The Sabah Public Service Commission had achieved an “excellent” score in financial management for the first time, an improvement from “satisfactory”, the previous year.
With the general election due by the middle of next year, and political parties stepping up their preparations, the state administration is operating at a pace that has hardly slowed, to a point where even Sabah opposition chief Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin agreed that the Barisan Nasional government is a clear favourite to win the people’s mandate.
The Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president and Klias assemblyman said infighting had caused opposition parties to fall apart as BN parties remained united.
“The opposition has so many manifestos that confuse the people. People are observing whether the opposition can unite, but the situation shows otherwise,” he said at the state assembly sitting recently.
He took a swipe at other opposition parties, whose interest seemed to be in winning power, and not serving the people.
“It is important for members of the opposition to have a common aim in fighting for the people’s rights, and not only serving their agendas.
“What is the point of becoming chief minister if people are still poor, suffering and there is no development?” said Lajim.
By KRISTY INUS, NST