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Angpow: Return 40% of Customs RM772 Million "Profits" - Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:  “The Sabah government must demand and the federal government must return 40% of the RM772 millionnet revenue collected by Customs Sabah from Sabah in accordance with the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution”said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, responding to the RM772 million “profits” made by the Sabah Customs from the RM837 million collected from Sabah in 2013.
“While the arrangements for the return of the net 2013 collections are being worked out, the federal government should also work out the net revenue to be returned from the RM820 million collected from Sabah in 2012” added Dr. Jeffrey.

If based on the same RM65 million operating expenditure, Sabah Customs would have made another “profit” of RM755 million in 2012.

There are no two ways about it.   Sabah is entitled to 40% of the net revenue collected from Sabahas agreed during the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and subsequently set out in theTenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

40% of RM772 million and RM755 million is still a sizeable RM610.8 million, about 16% of the projected 2014 State revenue, which can be useful for programs to alleviate the poverty of the rural villagers in Sabah which make up some 40% of all the poor in Malaysia.   It would be a nice angpow for the people in the current Chinese New Year festivities although the money legitimately belongs to Sabah.

All the 6 federal Ministers and 4 Deputies from Sabah should demand for this Sabah’s 40% entitlement in the federal Cabinet at the next weekly meeting.  The Ministers are Datuk Shafie Apdal, Datuk Anifah Aman, Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Datuk Rahman Dahlan and Datuk Ewon Ebin while the Deputy Ministers are Datuk Rosnah Shirlin, Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Mary Yap and Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.

At the same time, all the 25 MPs from Sabah, be they be from Umno, PBS, Upko, PBRS, DAP or PKR, should also demand for this 40% entitlement in the Federal Parliament when the next sitting starts on 10 March 2014.

“Will the Chief Minister and the Sabah government, Ministers, Deputies and the MPs from Sabah be brave enough?” queried Dr. Jeffrey.

As for the people of Sabah, they should monitor and evaluate the performance of their elected representatives, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and the Sabah government and see for themselves whether their Sabah government and elected representatives are truly committed to represent the people of Sabah and the rights of Sabah.

If the federal government fails to return the 40% of the net Customs Sabah collections for 2012 and 2013, it would be another loss of Sabah’s rightful revenue, another failure of the federation of Malaysia.  It would be another reason for Sabahans to re-consider Sabah’s position in Malaysia.

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