By Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants to discuss with Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah Chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun about the removal of Datuk Dr Johan Arifin Samad as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the government think-tank.
He said it would not be proper for him to comment without listening to both sides first.
He also confirmed that Dr Johan had met him on Monday (June 3) about the issue.
“I said (to Dr Johan) let me discuss with Tan Sri Simon Sipaun first,” he said when met at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by him and wife at Rumah Yayasan Sabah here Friday.
However, Mohd Shafie did not want to divulge details of his discussion with Dr Johan.
According to Mohd Shafie, he did not have the chance to check what really transpired with Sipaun who was among the guests at his open house.
“But definitely I am going to sit down with him and discuss,” he said, adding the meeting would be held soon as he considered it as a priority.
Asked on the actual status of the IDS CEO, again the Chief Minister said he need to discuss with Sipaun first.
“I dont want to spell it out yet because it is not proper for me without listening to both parties. What is important if they can work together that is what in my mind,” he said.
According to him, IDS has a bigger and important role to play to ensure the State government have a proper kind of landscape in terms of providing not only guidance policy but also on how best to improve the delivery system and policies that have been laid out.
“IDS is one of the backbone under the government outfit that we have, which I think must be beefed up to make sure it remained intact,” he said.
Sipaun when met earlier said even though he had met with the Chief Minister during the open house but the issue of IDS CEO was not brought up.
He, however, reiterated that he was prepared to explain his side of the story and that it was the IDS board decision.
Sabah News Today reported on Tuesday that the IDS board of directors on May 29 had rejected the motion to confirm Dr Johan’s appointment as CEO, which a well-placed source said was still under probation of six months that ended on May 31.
In an apparent retaliation, a Whatsapp message allegedly written by one of the board members had surfaced claiming that the Chief Minister had issued a directive for Dr Johan to stay put.
The board member claimed the directive was made after Dr Johan met with Mohd Shafie on Monday (June 3).
The board member said Dr Johan had told the Chief Minister that Sipaun had accused him of mismanagement via a letter on Mar 18 that was copied to the board members.
However, Dr Johan said the Chairman never gave him a chance to explain but brought the matter directly to board and pronounced him guilty.-SabahNewsToday