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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dr Jeff: Sabah's moneys spent by fed on other states is not untrue

KOTA KINABALU - “Obviously, Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Ramlee Marhaban is ignorant of Sabah’s 40% Net Revenue Entitlement and other revenue entitlements under the Federal Constitution that have been not been complied with. As these revenues have not been returned to Sabah, the Federal government has spent at least some of it on the other States. Therefore, it is not untrue that Sabah’s moneys are being spent by the Federal government on other States” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of STAR who is also the Assemblyman for Bingkor, Keningau.

Dr. Jeffrey was responding to the Assistant Finance Minister’s wrongful assertion that the allegation of state money flowing to other states made by former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is not true.

“I have raised this 40% Net Revenue Entitlement under Article 112C and Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution repeatedly since 2011 and since 2013 in the State Assembly.  There is also now the State Cabinet Committee headed by Datuk Teo Chee Kang to look into this 40% entitlement, so there is no excuse for the Assistant Minister to claim ignorance,” added Dr. Jeffrey.

Since 1974, the Federal government had only returned RM26.7 million annually when the current estimate is more than RM11 to RM20 billion annually.    This amount will balloon further when the new Malikai oil-field starts production at the end of this month with a production capacity of 193,000 barrels per day or a humongous RM16.66 billion annually for Petronas and the Federal government.

It is undisputed that the Federal government has spent the moneys that is legitimately Sabah’s 40% Entitlement on the other States including some as loans to the State government concerned.

Instead of making political statements without any basis, the Assistant Finance Minister should focus on his responsibility and secure the return of the 40% Entitlement and other revenue entitlements under the Federal Constitution. These Sabah moneys could be better used to develop Sabah and Sabahans rather than allow it to be used for the other States.

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