KOTA KINABALU, July 26 — Former state Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi’s transfer to the Health Ministry’s headquarters has nothing to do with the issue of allowing ‘dine-in’ in Sabah.
State Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun in a statement on Monday stressed that the decision to allow ‘dine-in’ at eateries in Sabah was made by the state Covid-19 management committee that is chaired by State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong.
Masidi said that the issue of Dr Christina’s transfer to the headquarters had been clarified and explained several times.
“Let me summarise it all, Datuk Dr Christina Rundi is among several senior officials who have been identified as having the potential to hold higher positions in the Ministry of Health. She was transferred to the headquarters in preparation to fill one of the key positions there later this year when the incumbent retires,” the Local Government and Housing Minister said.
According to Masidi, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor had personally appealed to have Datuk Dr Christina remain in Sabah as the state is facing a serious Covid-19 pandemic threat.
“I myself have contacted the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham, appealing for Dr Christina to be retained or at least replaced only at the end of the year.
Tan Sri Hisham informed me that this decision was made at the Chief Secretary to the Government level which involved the transfer of other senior officials of the federal government,” said Masidi.
He added that the federal government officially informed the State Government that its appeal cannot be considered due to the service requirement and transfer of high ranking officials in the ministry involved.
Masidi explained that Dr Christina’s successor, Dr Rose Nani Mudin, has the same background of expertise as her predecessor.
Dr Rose Nani is a native of Sabah, he said adding, “she is from Papar and her father is Kadayan while her mother is Kadazan.
The state government, Masidi stressed, recognises Dr Christina for her job which was why it appealed to have her retained in Sabah.
“But we accept the fact that she is also a public service officer who is subject to be transferred at any time to work elsewhere. This is what all civil servants have to abide with when accepting their appointment.
“So this exchange of polemic needs to be stopped so that we can focus all our efforts on managing and fighting the growing threat of the Covid-19 virus infection.
“And we must give the new Director of Health, Dr Rose Nani the opportunity to prove her capability and ability to manage this Covid-19 threat. She deserves the same opportunity we gave to Dr Christina,” said Masidi.
Dr Christina was reported to have opted for early retirement after declining to be transferred. — Borneo Post