By : JOE FERNANDEZ
IN 2012, Putrajaya collected RM 17.88 billion in oil revenue and RM 24 billion in federal taxes and revenues from Sabah. In the same year, Putrajaya collected RM 35 billion in oil revenue alone from Sarawak.
Yet, the World Bank issued a Report in Dec 2010 that the two Borneo nations in Malaysia were the poorest in the Federation. Sabah is the poorest.
Timing is important for a consumerism campaign to get Putrajaya to exclude Sabah & S'wak from GST.
Originally, the Gov't was talking about 3 per cent GST, then 4, 5 & now Idris Jala is hinting at 7 per cent like in S'pore.
We have to wait until the Gov't starts explaining GST to the people again before we ask for exclusion by pointing to the state of under development here, highest poverty levels, higher cost of living, lower standard of living, & inequitable distribution of income seen in the huge gap between the the haves & have-nots, between the urban & rural areas, & between the interior & the rest of the Territories.
KK is not Sabah. Kuching is not Sarawak.
To say that personal & corporate taxes will be reduced to pave the way for GST is meaningless for Sabah & S'wak.
The business sector is noted for not passing on any reductions in taxes & prices, for eg. fuel, to the consumer.
At the same time, they are quick to raise consumer prices when fuel & sugar prices, shipping costs & wages increase.
Cabotage is a killer! It has made Sabah and Sarawak uncompetitive destinations for investment.