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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Condemning the future of all Sabahans

KOTA KINABALU - “Will the 5th and final Sabah Budget for the present State Assembly to be tabled this Friday be another killer blow for the future of Sabahans with the fifth consecutive failure to include Sabah’s constitutional 40% net revenue entitlement?” asked Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku and Bingkor Assemblyman.

For the past 4 years, despite being reminded time and again, CM Musa cum Finance Minister and his Cabinet Ministers have contravened the express provisions of the Federal Constitution in failing to provide for the 40% entitlement.

It is not just the contravention of the Federal Constitution or breaking their sworn oath to UPHOLD AND PROTECT THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION when they were sworn in as Cabinet members after PRU-13 in 2013.

By failing to provide for the 40% entitlement and failing to seek their return, which amounts to more than RM10 to RM20 billion annually, the Sabah government is CONDEMNING THE FUTURE OF ALL SABAHANS and depriving them of a better future.

In addition, they should also carry out, WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR, their constitutional, statutory and moral duty as the Sabah government and as the government for all Sabahans and to look after the interests and rights of Sabah and all Sabahans.

The failure on the 40% entitlement also means a bleak future for Sabah and a deprivation of better development and progress.

It does not matter if the Federal government refuses to acknowledge and return the full 40% net revenue entitlement.   The Sabah government and in particular, the Chief Minister cum Finance Minister, should do the right thing and provide for the 40% entitlement in Budget 2018 as it is constitutionally and legitimately due to Sabah.

Sabah Budget 2018 may see a higher revenue for Sabah, primarily due to the higher oil and gas production output from the latest Malikai oilfield which started production in December 2016, and higher world oil prices, currently at USD62-USD63 per barrel compared to USD46 in November 2016.

While the 2018 Sabah revenues may be higher, it is no replacement for the 40% entitlement, which will guarantee a better future for Sabah and all Sabahans.

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