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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Najib, walk the talk or be rejected – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “PM Najib should not play politics with Sabah Rights and should instead focus to walk the talk and return Sabah Rights.  As the sitting Prime Minister, his failing to implement the Sabah Rights before PRU14 will see the rejection by Sabahans at the ballot-box and the downfall of his Umno BN governments” warned Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku cum Bingkor State Assemblyman, in response to Najib’s repeated promises to return Sabah Rights that were inadvertently taken by the Federal government.

Najib should know by now the response of Sabahans to his promises and he should know how he should act on his promises.

First and foremost, Najib must return the 40% net revenue entitlement to Sabah which has not been complied with since 1974.  The 40% entitlement is as clear as daylight in Article 112C and the 10th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.  Unlike the lame excuses given by Minister Rahman from Kota Belud, there is no need to amend the Federal Constitution or any laws to return the 40% entitlement.

By not returning the 40% entitlement, it is just as good as daylight robbery by the Federal BN government and aided by the Sabah BN government.  By failing to ensure compliance and payment of the 40% entitlement by the Federal government for the benefit of Sabah and Sabahans, the Sabah BN government have failed all Sabahans.

In addition, each and every Umno and BN Member of Parliament and Sabah State Assemblyperson have breached their sacred oath to protect and uphold the Federal Constitution.

How can these BN lawmakers to do the right things when they cannot even be trusted to honour their sacred oath to uphold the Federal Constitution, the highest law of the land?

There have been more lame excuses that time is needed to calculate the 40% entitlement or it is a complicated process.  They are nothing but delaying tactics or showing lack of brain-power to deny Sabah’s legitimate constitutional entitlements.

Each and every Government department should have kept proper accounting records on revenues derived from Sabah. It’s all aggregated and totaled up in the country’s national budget revenue collections.  If they are not properly kept or not produced, the Ministers responsible for those departments and the department heads should resign for failing to fulfil their responsibilities to the country.

There is also no need by Pakatan Harapan to promise Sabah 50% of the revenues collected from Sabah which may require an amendment to the Federal Constitution and which requires two-thirds majority in Parliament.  All is needed is to honour the 40%, after all, the moneys are all derived from Sabah and not taken away from the other States in Malaya or Sarawak.

Next is the return of the import and excise duties on petroleum products imported into Sabah, the export duties of timber from Sabah and the 10% export duties on crude petroleum produced from Sabah in lieu of 10% royalties under Items (1), (2) and (3) respectively of Part V of the 10th Schedule in the Federal Constitution.

The import and excise duties is estimated to be about RM1.0 billion annually while the 10% import duties will give Sabah an additional revenue of at least RM2.5 billion per year.

Next up, Najib should authorize the RCI Main Committee co-chaired by DPM Zahid and CM Musa and the Technical Committee chaired by my brother Pairin, to fully disclose their recommendations on how to resolve the long-standing illegal immigrants and Project IC problems.

Upon the disclosures, Najib should immediately take all necessary steps to implement the recommendations.  After all, it has been more than 3 years since the Committees were set up.

The Prime Minister cum Finance Minister should then return all the GST collections from Sabah and Sarawak to be returned to their respective States as was the case for the Sales and Service Tax (SST) collections.  After all, the GST was a replacement for the SST.  Again, it would be daylight robbery and stealing if the GST collections are not returned.

For the first step on the return of autonomy and State powers, the Federal government should handover and revert control of Education and Health to Sabah and Sarawak and handover their annual budget allocations to the Sabah and Sarawak governments.

“I am pretty sure that Education and Health under Sabah and Sarawak will see a boost in their performance as they would not be restricted by ketuanan Melayu, race and religion in the Borneo States” opined Dr. Jeffrey.

To further implement his promises on Sabah and Sarawak Rights, Najib should establish a bipartisan and multi-stakeholders MA63 Review Committee or to re-activate the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) to oversee the return of the Rights to Sabah and Sarawak.

Last but not least, to truly return Sabah’s full autonomy as promised by Najib repeatedly, he should announce the withdrawal of Umno from Sabah and leave the general elections to be contested by local parties.

Only then can there be true autonomy to be exercised by the Sabah government unlike now which is more like a branch office of the Malayan leaders.

If PM Najib as head of the ruling government is unable to prioritize and return these basic Sabah Rights before PRU-14 and which are easily implementable, it is unlikely that they will be returned after PRU-14 is over.

And for Sabahans, they should remember that if the basic Sabah Rights which are easily implementable, cannot be honoured before PRU-14, then they should exercise their voting rights to reject the Umno BN candidates in PRU-14.

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