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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sabah 2019 budget a total failure, janji terang bulan Warisan-PH polls promises

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan has claimed the state 2019 budget tabled by Chief Minister Shafie Apdal was a failure of the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan government, saying it did not fulfil its election manifesto.

The Tambunan rep told the state assembly that the budget did not reflect the coalition government’s election promises and had also failed to fulfil Sabah’s rights in terms of funding and revenue.

“The calls ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ and ‘Sabah Ubah’ (Change Sabah) were merely political rhetoric. Their programmes only prioritised foreigners and not genuine Sabahans.

“Their manifesto promises are only ‘janji terang bulan’ (empty promises) and could not be implemented despite they being in power for six months.”

Kitingan cited the “U-turn decisions” on the Kaiduan Dam and Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) projects as examples, contending Kaiduan has been replaced with the Papar Dam while TAED was extended to become an even bigger project.

The Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president also questioned several undertakings that he claimed put Sabah’s security in jeopardy.

“The lifting of the ban on pump-boats, priority on land and housing for foreigners and continued issuance of IMM13 immigration documents (among others) have triggered concern among Sabahans,” he said.

“Previously, they promised to implement Sabah’s rights without forming committees but instead are now silent, following the setting up of such panels.

“They also dared to promise to get the 20% oil royalty and 50% revenue to be returned to Sabah, when it is clear in the Federal Constitution that Sabah should only get 40%,” he said.

Kitingan claimed the voices fighting for these rights have suddenly gone silent.

He proposed Gabungan Bersatu Sabah’s alternative budget of RM10.86 billion, against the estimated revenue of RM16.605 billion, with a surplus of RM5.745 billion.

He wanted to go into the details of the alternative budget but was stopped by Deputy Speaker Ahmad Abdul Rahman who stated that Kitingan should be debating the budget tabled by Shafie and not on the opposition’s alternative budget.

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