Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony has voiced shock at the prime minister's statement that funds for the Pan Borneo Highway project were misappropriated.
Reporters were told by the minister that the Sabah government viewed the situation seriously and would take appropriate action against anyone found guilty of such conduct.
"The announcement (by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) was new to us. But we took note of it and will take immediate action.
"I will instruct the Public Works Department (PWD) to provide me with all the necessary information on the issue," he said.
Earlier this week, Mahathir revealed that an investigation would be made by the federal government concerning the project's delay in Sabah despite funds already being in place.
According to Anthony, the state government will also be looking into ways to restructure the construction of the highway in order to avoid any leakage of funds. Additionally, it has also decided to transfer the responsibility of implementing the project to the Sabah PWD, the state finance ministry and the Sabah Economic Planning Unit, he said.
Anthony also clarified that neither his ministry nor the PWD had any involvement in the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project prior to this.
"I met with federal finance minister Lim Guan Eng twice before the state government decided to hand over the task of implementing the project to the three state departments.
"I believe once the restructuring for the project is completed according to our plan, we can save more than RM1.5 billion of the people's money," he said.