Kitingan: Put 40% tax share in Sabah budget

Jeffrey

PETALING JAYA: Opposition politician Jeffrey Kitingan has questioned whether the Sabah government would protect the state’s entitlement to 40 percent of all tax revenues derived from the state.

He said the 40 percent entitlement would add “at least RM10 billion to RM20 billion annually to Sabah’s coffers” and could help the state overcome poverty and lack of development.

Kitingan, who is assemblyman for Bingkor, said Sabahans would know on Nov 18 whether Chief Minister Musa Aman had protected their interests when he tables the state budget for 2017 at the state assembly.

He said the 40 percent net revenue entitlement was provided under the federal constitution, and should be part of the state budget. It was Musa’s duty to protect Sabah’s interests, he said.

He said the federal government had failed Sabahans in refusing to acknowledge and return the 40 percent net revenue entitlement when the federal budget was tabled last week.

Kitingan, who is president of the STAR party, forecast that Sabah’s 2017 budget would show a revenue estimate not exceeding RM3.6 billion.

He said the 2016 revenue estimate was RM3.52 billion, and proposed expenditure of RM3.49 billion, for an estimated surplus of RM29 million.