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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sabah will progress 30 years ahead on its own

KOTA KINABALU - Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (STAR) is taking strong exception to the statement by Umno information chief, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, that Sabah would be set back 30 years if the Sabah for Sabahan policy is implemented.

In a statement, STAR’s Deputy President, Edward Linggu, said that if Sabah is given the free reign to manage its own affairs, it would progress 30 years ahead of Malaya.

Let’s just look at what happened to Sabah under the Barisan Nasional!

Under the Umno-BN Federal  government, Sabah has been mistreated and robbed of its constitutional revenues ranging from 40% net revenue derived from Sabah, its 100% entitleof import and excise duties on petroleum products, 100% on timber exports and export duties on crude oil up to 10% ad valorem value of the exports.

For import and excise duties, Sabah is entitled to receive RM1.0 billion but given only RM120 million due to an old arrangement.  And the Sabah Umno-BN goverment has refused to ask for a review despite being raised in DUN time and again by our President cum Bingkor Assemblyman” Linggu said.

“Sabah is also entitled to export duties on crude oil of 10 percent ad valorem in lieu of royalties, the value of which is projected to reach RM26.3 billion for 2018. The share for Sabah would be RM2.63 billion. Again this was repeatedly raised since 2013 in DUN by Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan but no action has been taken by the Sabah government.

These import and export duties are in addition to the paltry 5% cash payment often mistakenly referred to as ‘oil royalties’ despite 100 percent of the oil and gas coming out from Sabah's lands.”

Linggu also pointed out that under the BN since 1994 and under an Umno Chief Minister since 2003, Sabah has gone down from being the second richest state in Malaysia in the 1970s to now being the poorest.

“In the 1960s, 1970s Sabah had its own new aircrafts and could even lend money to the federal government in 1972 to start the Malaysia Airline System (MAS) after it split from the Malaysia Singapore Airlines.

“Even basic amenities like water and electricity have been in very poor state for decades, and we have damaged roads which the government cannot even afford to repair, let alone building the ones people have been needing for ages. Because of this neglect, our people have been publicised to have sent their sick by ‘buffalo ambulance’.

“On the other hand greater Kuala Lumpur has spent more than RM100 billion on the MRT system alone with huge chunks of money derived from the oil and gas revenues of Sabah.

 Just compare us to Singapore, a city state with no natural resources, which progressed tremendously after leaving Malaysia in 1965. Without Umno and BN it is now fifth richest country in the world with an advanced first-world economy and  infrastructure and development,” Linggu added.

He lamented that “poor rich Sabah” is now the world's third largest producer of palm oil of more than RM20 billion a year yet it is undeveloped even compared to Perlis.

"Sabah would definitely progress tremendously and not regress under an autonomous Sabah government.  It is highly scandalous and false to say Sabah would regress 30 years on its own without BN" added Edward.

“We would be standing tall and proud as we regain half a century of losses and indignity,” Linggu said.

“With the many revenues which are promised in the Federal Constitution, we would be able to have our own security forces, Sabah homeland security, education and health ministries, and build infrastructure that could surpass those in many States of Malaya in 5 years.

“We would be conducting our own digital economy and direct international trade and industrial relations without the repressive cabotage policy."

Annuar Musa and Umno should stop the lies and propaganda that only Putrajaya can develop Sabah or make the right decisions for us.

“In fact, the BN should not feel any pride in spoiling Sabahans with endless token gifts of blue tanks, rice packs and meagre food packages and non-inclusive BR1M. It is obvious the BN is not keen or cannot afford to raise the standard of living of the people in Sabah with effective socio-economic programmes once and for all.

Perhaps they want to keep us poor to make it easier to control us with embarrassing gifts come election times,” Linggu said.

"Under a STAR Gabungan Sabah government we will distribute some of Sabah's wealth and revenues to all Sabahans and kick-start Sabah's new era with digital and global economy" concluded Edward.

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