Sunday, May 25, 2008

Closing JPPS should be easy

Written by arimi sidek

"DON'T Be Hasty In Closing Down JPPS”, said LDP Deputy President, Datuk Chin Su Pin (DE 21.05.08). This is strange considering that our PM, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had promised to close it down.

Since this has been promised, the natural thing to do is to make sufficient follow-ups. Unless of course, the state government wants JPPS to stay.

Note: This is a reproduction of my article that was published in Daily Express newspaper [Sabah], aims to cater wider and more serious audience on the matter. Datuk Chin Su Pin comment can be found here

I assume that to this day, there are signs of hesitation of the State Government's part, as far as closing down JPPS is concerned.

I heard similar remarks from government backbenchers during the last State assembly. A YB was saying the government may not necessarily have to close it down.

Instead, he proposed that JPPS be given a different role in the State's development process.

To this day, I still think that JPPS is a misfit in state administrative matters. We don't need JPPS in the first place. We never needed it in the past, now nor even in the future.

We should not complicate the basic financial management of the State. The Federal budget need to be channeled out directly to the State Government, and let the State government manage them at once. It is direct and simple.

Direct, because that is the way it should be. Simple, because there are about 37,000 state civil servant that are capable of managing the money for the State.

It is a real puzzle why JPPS can't be closed. Maybe because JPPS has contributed quite a lot in the development of the State. Maybe because we can't be haste in closing it down. That is what I understood from Datuk Chin's statement. Or, because it isn't necessary for the State to let it go, gave them a monitoring role. As a YB said in the State Assembly.

But why we can't close it down hastily. Please remember, it came into being also in a hasty manner.

About giving JPPS the monitoring roles, deserves the right to as what kind of monitoring activities the YB was talking about. It will turn into a giant monitor, mind you, like Komodo monitor lizard. And do nothing except to monitor.

And who is going to pay this giant monitor, should the transformation ideas materializes, I wonder.

So now we are saying that JPPS had contributed a lot to state development, we love JPPS and we can't afford to govern the State without it.

Fine, but honestly, given the amount of power to control over almost anything that involve federal development allocation in the State that JPPS has, anybody, too, can perform a decent contribution to the world.

When it comes to JPPS, the above arguments are a new kind of reasoning.

Previously, if anybody raised a question as to why JPPS exists, the ever present lame reasoning was that, we need JPPS because Sabah is unique and the situation in Sabah is different from other states.

Different situation needs different solution – so the wise men of the day dictated.

But management is not always associated with being unique. It is also about being uniform. And while Sabah stay being “unique”, the other states stay in uniform. No Jabatan Pembangunan Persekutuan-JPP in all BN-controlled state. No JPP in Pakatan Rakyat states of Kedah, Selangor or Penang.

I believe not all state officials are stupid, and not all a corrupt. I believe the State Government is capable of managing the Government's money. I sincerely believe that closing down JPPS is always a good choice for the State.

JPPS itself, was created in such a haste. The sole reason why JPPS was introduced was because Sabah was in the opposition at the time.

Tell me if there were any preliminary and in-depth studies, cost-benefit analysis, medium and long term impact research prior to its inception following the PBS pullout from BN in 1990.

Creating JPPS was easy. The Federal Government simply assigned a few officers, let them find a modest premise with some furniture.

From there, this [then] tiny department expands to virtually be in control of almost everything that concerns Federal allocation to the extend that even the Chief Minister need to consult it from time to time.

Source: Daily Express Newspaper, 25 May, 2008. Closing JPPS should be easy. What the people say, pp16.

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