Saturday, 18 October 2014

ESS STATEMENT “Budget 2015 Does Little to Please Sabahans – Dr. Jeffrey” .......


“Budget 2015 Does Little to Please Sabahans – Dr. Jeffrey”


Kota Kinabalu: “Budget 2015 only affirms that Sabah is a Malayan colony to be exploited and to be controlled and it brings little cheer, if at all, to please Sabahans. It reinforces the minds of Sabahans that Putrajaya and the federal government has the mindset as colonial masters deaf and dumb to the needs of Sabah and Sarawak” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in commenting on the Budget announcement by PM Najib on Friday evening.

At a time when other nations are cautious and pro-austerity, the Budget goes on a spending spree splurging on extra revenue and recording another deficit of RM38.70 billion. Indirectly, there is a charade with part of the additional income coming from the GST of RM23.2 billion, higher than the current SST by RM9.4 billion and used to finance the increased BR1M handouts.

It is just the government taking with the right hand and giving back partly with the left. But the rakyat is left with a bad taste who have to foot an additional RM9.4 billion GST bill which will have an inflationary effect and bring about higher prices and higher costs of living.

How will Malaysia achieve “high-income” status by 2020 when 28.7% households earning less than RM3,000 per month and the BR1M handouts without any income enhancement strategy do not make the people high income earners? The handouts will only generate greater dependency amongst the rural poor.

The Budget is cunningly, craftily and wickedly drafted and worded.

Although the Pan Borneo Highway is stated to cost RM27 billion, there is no budget allocation for it. For petrol RON 95 users, it is double-speak when it is stated that there is no GST imposed. But it is indirectly imposed higher than the 6% GST with the 20 sen hike.

Economically and financially, it is better to have GST imposed on

RON 95 which would only increase the price from RM2.10 to RM2.226 per litre than RM2.30 now. With GST but without the 20 sen increase, there would have been no chain effect in costs and price increases arising from the 20 sen hike.

Apart from the RM70 million, 0.02% or peanuts in comparison to the total expenditure, subsidy for hill paddy in Sabah and Sarawak, both States are ignored in the main and left high and dry again although Kota Kinabalu and Penampang were raining cats and dogs causing massive floods.

There was not a single mention of any federal flood aid for the victims in Sabah again.

Again, despite the many promises by the PM, DPM and federal ministers, there is no development expenditure allocated for Sabah and Sarawak from the RM50.5 billion development expenditure. Of this amount, RM48.25 billion goes to 7 infrastructure projects in the Peninsula of which the Selayang-Putrajaya LRT line costs RM23 billion, MRT extension from Bandar Utama to Klang another RM9 billion and 4 highways costing RM16.1 billion.

For rural roads, the allocation is only RM943 million and even this amount has to be shared by Sabah and Sarawak with the other 11 States in Malaya. Even rural electrification of RM1.1 billion and RM394 million for rural clean water supply are all to be shared by all 13 States.

This only serve to confirm that the federal government does not treat Sabah as an equal partner but as 1 of 13 States and more specifically the disparity in allocations affirms Sabah as a colony to be exploited and controlled as “fixed deposit” and keeping Sabah the poorest in Malaysia.

There is no announcement on the much awaited abolishment of cabotage policy and the return of 40% of the net revenue collected from Sabah as required by the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

There is no inclusiveness or prioritization of the needs of Sabah and Sarawak by the federal government in Budget 2015. All in, Sabahans have nothing to look forward to in Budget 2015 which will only push more Sabahans and Sarawakians to reject the concept of remaining in Malaysia.

Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan


STAR Sabah

11 October 2014

Sumber: Feed Bahasa Malaysia


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