KOTA KINABALU: “Sabah is entitled to receive 40% of the net revenue collected from Sabah and the Federal and State governments should start working out the arrangements for these much needed funds to be remitted back to Sabah and not treat Sabah’s revenues as Malaya’s revenues” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, when asked to comment on the RM38 billion federal tax collection by the Inland Revenue Board from Sabah in 2012 with another RM40 billion targeted for 2013.
Sabah is entitled to two-fifths (40%) of the net revenue collected from Sabah as agreed during the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and subsequently set out in the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Apparently, nothing is returned to Sabah as any amount returned would have been reflected in Sabah’s Annual State Budget.
40% of RM38 billion is RM15.2 billion which is a lot of money compared to the current State revenue of RM3.828 billion estimated for 2013.
With this additional revenue, not only will poverty be eradicated completely but Sabah’s economy will be transformed by a quantum leap and can progress into the most advanced State over a short period.
Under the Tenth Schedule, Sabah is also entitled to an annual capitation grant based on the annual population projections of the State as determined by the Federal Government and calculated as of the last population census at the following rate:-
(a) For the first 100,000 persons at the rate of RM72.00 per person;
(b) For the next 500,000 persons at the rate of RM10.20 per person;
(c) For the next 500,000 persons at the rate of RM10.80 per person;
(d) For the remainder at the rate of RM11.40 per person.
In addition, there should be a review of the rates as the last reviews were done in 1992 and 2002 but no review was carried out in 2012.
Based on the 2010 census, Sabah’s population of 3,206,742 without any additional projection entitles it to a capitation grant of RM41.72 million. This paltry sum is small change compared to the RM38 billion collected from Sabah.
It has to be remembered that apart from security, Sabah was coerced, induced and rushed into agreeing to the merger to form Malaysia due to the promise of development.
We have seen the neglect of Sabah’s security by the unjustified and huge issuance of dubious ICs and MyKads and the Lahad Datu intrusion. Similarly, there has been wanton neglect of Sabah’s development as can be seen from the fact that Sabah was the 2nd richest State in 1970 and has now descended to be the poorest during Umno’s reign and the lop-sided development compared to Malaya.
With the additional revenues due to Sabah, which have been unjustly and unlawfully denied to Sabah, Sabah can chart its own development course and according to the mould and needs of Sabah. We do not need to rely on Putrajaya and Malayan leaders and their stooges and proxies in Sabah.
We are not asking for additional development funds meant for other States or from entitlements of other States but what is legitimately due to Sabah.
Sabah has suffered long enough for the past 49 years and its resources and revenues channelled to fund Malaya’s development. The time has come for Sabah to demand what is rightfully ours and fund the development that Sabah richly deserves but deprived of.
The new Sabah Cabinet and the Sabah federal MPs need to demand and re-claim Sabah’s entitlement share in the RM38 billion federal taxes collected from Sabah
It is regrettable that the people of Sabah failed to see the genuineness and sincerity of STAR’s struggle for Sabah and failed to elect a STAR MP who would have led the demands for Sabah’s entitlements in the Federal Parliament which is scheduled its opening session on 24 June 2013.