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Friday, April 13, 2018

BN has no intention to return Sabah Rights – Dr. Jeffrey

PENAMPANG - The inclusion of the promise to fullfill Sabah Rights under MA63 “by consensus” in the BN’s Manifesto is nothing more than a tricky use of words so that in the end BN won’t have to implement those Rights, said Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).

While launching the Gabungan Sabah’s election machinery here Sunday, STAR’s president Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan argued that it is a political play on words to fool and dupe Sabahans into voting for the BN in the coming PRU-14.

“Firstly, PM Najib has conveniently forgotten that he and BN are the ruling government of the day and there is nothing to prevent them from implementing Sabah Rights even as a caretaker PM and caretaker government,” Dr. Jeffrey said.

“Secondly, Sabah Rights under MA63 and other constitutional documents such as the IGC Report, Batu Sumpah and the Federal Constitution are the rights of Sabah agreed even before the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

The implementation and realization of these rights should have been automatic, by simple compliance with the letter and spirit of the highest law of the land."

“What is written about Sabah Rights, particularly in the Federal Constitution as well as the 20-Points which represented the aspirations of the people of Sabah before agreeing to form Malaysia, are clear and unequivocal."

“Thirdly, the realization of Sabah Rights by the inclusion of the qualifier ‘by consensus’ is nonsensical. By that phrase it clearly means BN will not be obliged to fulfil the promise if any single party will not agree to it. He himself may decide to disagree with it or get some party to oppose it, and the whole promise will come crashing down."

“It also means that the Federal government will not have to return the 40 percent net revenue entitlement that is probably RM20 billion annually without a consensus although it is enshrined in black and white in law, or cast in iron, that the 40% is based on actual revenues derived from Sabah,” Dr Jeffrey said.

He also asked if it means that should the Sabah government be again controlled by BN and subservient to the political masters and Umno in Malaya, it will not ask for the full 40 percent, or will give only ask for a paltry token of the net revenues if instructed by Kuala Lumpur.

“Many of the 40% items are plainly and easily computed and paid to Sabah.  For instance, all income tax and petroleum income tax, GST (which should be 100% returnable to Sabah), the 5% cash payment that the Federal government gets from Petronas from Sabah’s oil and gas, the 90% revenues that Petronas gets from Sabah’s oil and gas, revenues the federal government departments and agencies collected from Sabah amounts to easily RM35 billion annually,” Dr. Jeffrey explained. “Sabah’s 40% share of the RM35 billion is RM14 billion.

“And this does not yet include the other major revenues from international oil companies, local petroleum companies, plantation companies that derive income from their Sabah operations but pay their taxes from their head offices in Malaya or Sarawak.

Past records show that both the Federal and Sabah BN governments are not sincere and have no intention of returning even Sabah’s 40% entitlement.”

He gave as proof Najib’s failed promise he made when receiving the Memorandum on Sabah’s Revenue Rights on 15 July 2015, in which he promised to pay “if it was provided in the Federal Constitution.” 

“Despite the issue being highlighted repeatedly, it is almost three years and not a single sen of the 40% has been returned to Sabah,” Dr. Jeffrey said.

“As for the Sabah Umno-BN government, the matter has been raised repeatedly by me since 2013 and these are all in the DUN Hansard record of proceedings.

Najib and the Sabah Umno-BN government clearly have no sense of obligation and responsibility to us Malaysians in Borneo.

“Until the formation of the Cabinet Steering Committee, the Sabah government has failed to demand for the return of the 40% entitlement.  It is not surprising because the Sabah goverment is subservient to their political masters in Putrajaya.  It will be less surprising that many in the Sabah government will still be contesting in PRU-14, partly as reward for not demanding the return of the 40%.

“If the simple 40% net revenue entitlement enshrined in the Federal Constitution cannot be realized while they are still the government, to use the word stated in BN’s Manifesto, do not expect the Federal and Sabah BN governments to realize or honour their pledges for Sabah,” he said.

“When voting in PRU-14, Sabahans should remember that both the Federal and Sabah BN governments should be voted out!”

He calls on the people to vote in a new Sabah government which will stand up to the Federal government and demand compliance with the Federal Constitution which every BN lawmaker had sworn on oath to protect and uphold, but conveniently ignored.

“While the people reject the kleptocratic BN government and their proxies, they should also not waste their votes voting for Malayan opposition parties, which are led by architects of the Project IC that has damaged Sabah beyond repair.

“The true people of Sabah should vote for Sabah’s biggest political coalition, the Gabungan Sabah (GS). A GS-led Sabah government, will be fully committed to upholding Sabah Rights and will assert its stand in Federal-Sabah relationship in a true 1-Federation 2-System of government, and giving Sabah a full autonomy.

“Sabahans must decide their own future and destiny to develop Sabah to its true potential and as per Sabahans’ aspirations and vision and not allow BN or other proxy parties and outsiders to continue to rob them of our revenues,” Dr. Jeffrey concluded.

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