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2009 Oct 28 - Budget omits specifics on Sabah: Yong

Budget omits specifics on Sabah: Yong

Kota Kinabalu, Oct 27, 2009: The drop of RM13.7 billion in Federal revenue for 2010 compared to 2009 is a clear sign that the economic productive base of the country has diminished, said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He said this was caused partly by a loss of confidence among the business community, the continued reduction in FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments) and a weak delivery system.

He said it was already common knowledge that Malaysia has been losing out to new manufacturing giants like Vietnam, emerging agricultural power houses like Indonesia and high-tech economies like Singapore and Korea.

"With a bloated bureaucracy and wastages in the public sector such as those abuses highlighted in the annual Auditor-General Report, this trend of a shrinking revenue base will make it more difficult for the Government to fulfil their unrestrained pledges of billions of ringgit of projects everywhere in Malaysia.

"If petrol prices had not held steadily at an average of US$70, then the Government's loss of revenues could have been more acute," he said.

At the same time, Yong said the National 2010 Budget did not address the concerns of the people of Sabah.

"It is scary that the Prime Minister has completely omitted to mention the crisis at Sabah's referral hospital (the QEH) in the State capital, which has been closed down for a almost a year now.

"RM14.8 billion was budgeted for health. Hospital upgrading and construction will begin in 2010 in Kluang, Bera, Shah Alam, Alor Gajah and Tampoi.

"(But) Kota Kinabalu's QEH is forgotten. We hope this can be redressed when the Prime Minister comes to Sabah on Nov 8. It is the responsibility of our State Government to highlight this crisis to the Prime Minister," he said.

Yong said out of the RM5 billion that Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is getting for electricity generation and distribution, no mention was made of hydro-power projects or other forms of non-coal energy sources in Sabah.

"Only Pahang and Terengganu are mentioned. Does this RM5 billion include the controversial billion ringgit coal power plant that the Prime Minister has announced to be located in Felda Tungku, Lahad Datu in Sabah?

"If yes, then does this mean that the Government will push ahead with the coal power plant even before EIA and consultations with the people are completed?

"If not, then how much of the RM5 billion will be spent on Sabah's electricity requirements? The budget makes no mention of the natural gas pipeline to the Petronas LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant in Bintulu and its loss to Sabah. Neither is there any reference to the use of natural gas for electricity generation in Sabah," he said.

Yong said Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were given top priority to benefit from the RM11.3 billion investment in High Speed Broad Band (HSBP).

However, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, like Penang, already have nearly 100 per cent broad band penetration, while Sabah's broad band penetration is only about 20 per cent.

"It is an irony that priority is given to the states which already have very high penetration rates. The RM50 incentive to students and RM500 tax relief to tax payers for broad band subscription is hollow since our access to broadband in Sabah is so limited anyway," he said.

Therefore, he said the Government should invest more of the RM11.3 billion in Sabah without delay.

Another issue, he said, was the development of padi plantations in Sabah, especially in Kota Belud, which was not mentioned in spite of numerous promises by State and Federal Ministers that Kota Belud's rice plains will be turned into a major rice producer in the State.

"In contrast, RM70 million is specially allocated to the Paya Peda dam in Terengganu for the Besut padi irrigation scheme, with another RM 137 million to upgrade drainage and irrigation schemes," he said.

As for the RM 899 million for railways, he said the people of Petagas were still waiting for a solution to the closure of access roads necessitated by a small budget to re-build Borneo's only railway.

Tawau's traders with Indonesia are anxious to see how much, if any, of the RM820 million for ports will be used to improve their debilitating barter trade and ports services at Tawau port.

The Prime Minister also announced that RM276 million will be used for airport projects. The people of Lahad Datu are still waiting for the pre-election promise of the BN government to start building a new airport there.

According to Yong, the Prime Minister is reviving the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that his predecessor had budgeted about five years ago but failed to implement.

SAPP had, at the time, prepared its position paper to share the GST between the local authorities concerned, the State government and the Federal government.

"Local authorities, especially, should get 50 per cent of the GST because it is the local authorities that licence and enforce these businesses in their respective districts.

"By allowing the local authorities, like district councils, to benefit from the GST, it will also encourage the district councils to be more business friendly and attract economic activities to the their districts.

Ultimately, this system of sharing the GST will benefit local people all over the country," he said.

Quoted from DE


SAPP Policies

SAPP's 17 point Manifesto - Sabah deserves better in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities, in social, economic and infrastructural development and a better quality of life. [BM][Chinese]

SAPP's Economic Plan for Sabah - SAPP aims to achieve economic prosperity and financial self-reliance for Sabah. Version in [BM] [Chinese]

SAPP's Land Reform Policy - To promote and protect the rights and interests of local natives and other citizens in Sabah [BM][Chinese]

On Oil Royalty - SAPP is not giving up its struggle for more oil royalty payment for Sabah.

SAPP's Eight (8) Points Declaration - Whereas our mission is to establish a trustworthy govt and a progressive ...

SAPP's 14 point memo in 2006 - Time for Direct Preventive Actions

SAPP Constitution (booklet)

Our Sabah..

Books on ....
RCI Report on Immigrants in Sabah
The Birth of Malaysia
Malaysia Agreement Article 1-11
The Original Agreement of Malaysia
Heroes of Kinabalu 神山美烈誌
Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution

more on ...
Twenty points safeguard
20 Perkara
Illegals & IC issues
Bernas Monopoly
No to coal-fired plant
Sabah Gas pipeline
3 million acres oil blocks ceded
The Formation of Msia & Devt in Sabah
Proclamation of Msia 1963...details
Restore Sabah's right to appoint JCs,
Ex-minister: Review 20-point
Supply Sarawak power to Sabah...
Sedition Act 1948
Continental Shelf Act 83 (1966)
Petroleum Development Act 144 (1974)
Petroleum Oil Agreement (1976)


SAPP bid to discuss Sabah claim rejected
Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Call for Philippines Consulate in Sabah
Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH debacle
SAPP's objection of coal-fired plants in Sabah
SAPP: Explain the RM 601 loan to KL company
The missing billion ringgit "special grant"
SAPP on SEDIA Bill 2009
SAPP supports the call for the abolishment of Cabotage Policy
Probe illegals having Mykad also
Political Autonomy for Sabah
Sabah Schools still awaiting share of RM30 million
Special fund: Eric wants ACA probe
Oil royalty: SAPP not giving up
Scrap Bernas monopoly on rice
More News in Search Archive.....

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