Sabah and S'wak deserve more from Budget 2020, says Jeffrey Kitingan

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 13 Oct 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Budget 2020 for Sabah and Sarawak does not reflect the Federal Government's Shared Prosperity 2030 vision, due to the imbalanced and Malaya-centric allocation, says state opposition leader Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic).

The Sabah STAR president said giving credit where it's due, he welcomed the RM5.2bil allocated for Sabah and RM4.4bil for Sarawak's development, but the amount is just 17.1% of the total budget.

"We are not really getting what we should under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). These are bits and pieces which we should normally be getting," he said.

He said what was more disappointing is the 40% net revenue owed to Sabah, which is stipulated under the Federal Constitution, which is not being returned.

Dr Jeffrey said by a rough estimate of today's revenues derived by the Federation from Sabah of about RM60bil, the state should be paid between RM20bil and RM24bil.

He said it was only fair that Sabah and Sarawak got more as these two states are at least 30 years behind in various aspects compared to other states in Malaysia.

He said the meaning of shared prosperity was not applicable to Sabah and Sarawak if both states were still left behind, with the economy, finance, security and politics still under the "hands of Malaya".

Dr Jeffrey said during the GE14 election campaign, Pakatan component parties vowed to return Sabah's 20% oil royalty and 40% net revenue derived from the state.

"With such unfair allocation for Sabah and Sarawak in Budget 2020, we would continue to be dependent on the federal government and will continue to be left behind in development and other aspects," he said.

He said Sabah and Sarawak's oil resources are taken almost fully by Petronas with only 5% given back.

He said the doubling of the Special Grants to Sabah was also long overdue since 1969 and the federal government should have at least paid RM799.3mil in Budget 2020 to Sabah in accordance with the 1969 review of this Special Grant.

Dr Jeffrey said according to this review, RM20mil will be the basis for payments with an annual increase of 7.5% until it reaches RM26.7mil in 1973, and so on.

He also said if the 40% revenue was returned to Sabah, it is estimated that Sabah should get at least between RM15bil and RM24bil in 2020.

"I hope the federal government will review Budget 2020 and to return what is owed to Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

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