PKR: Budget a wake-up call for Sabah, S’wak

See Chee HowKUCHING: Sarawak PKR said the 2017 Budget is a wake-up call for political leaders in Sabah and Sarawak to work together and demand for equitable development.

Sarawak PKR Vice-Chairman See Chee How said East Malaysian states continued to be deprived of socio-economic development on a par with the peninsula.

See said the Sarawak Government will likely have to mobilise a considerable sum from its state reserves to take care of the essential needs of Sarawakians in its state budget in November.

“The country is saddled with poor governance, misadministration, corruption, leakages and wastage.

“The massive 1MDB controversy and the Sabah Water Department corruption probe are clear testimony of these ills,” said See, who is Batu Lintang assemblyman.

See noted that only 18.26% of the budget was allotted for development expenditure, while 81.74% of the budget was for operating expenditure.

“Since the PM took office, his government has consistently spent less than the development expenditure announced, but more than the announced operations expenditure.”

See was disappointed that the Federal Government had made no commitment to specific requests made by Sarawak, including an increase in the oil royalty.

He said the Federal Government had ignored a request by Sarawak that stamp duties for land transfers, mortgage and other dealings be under Sarawak’s jurisdiction.

“Without the financial resources, it will be difficult for the state to carry out its planned rural and social economic transformation programmes.”

See said the nominal reduction in taxes and increase in BR1M are mere sugar coating for a bitter budget and will not ease the burden of common Malaysians.

See said it was clear that the BN Budget had failed Sabahans and Sarawakians despite its electoral promises.

“It smacks of the sheer arrogance of the Umno-led BN in treating Sarawak and Sabah as their electoral fixed deposit states.”