Oleh Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: DAP Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin has slammed Parti Warisan Sabah vice president Datuk Junz Wong for ‘misleading’ Sabahans on the Federal Government’s allocation.
He was referring to the report where Junz said Sabah felt shortchanged by the Federal based on the smaller allocation for the State compared to the amount allocated to Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) and that Sabah wanted a fairer deal.
Junz said that under the National 2019 Budget, Sabah was allocated RM5 billion and claimed DBKL alone was allocated RM2.89 billion, which was almost two-third of the amount Sabah is getting.
However, Chan in correcting Junz said the RM2.89 billion was actually DBKL’s own Budget for 2019.
“It is definitely not true that such a huge amount had been or will be allocated by the federal government as claimed by Junz,” he said in a statement here today.
“DBKL’s estimated revenue in 2019 is RM2.667 bilion. Of this amount, up to RM1.105 billion (41.4%) was collected from assessment (cukai pintu) payments.
“The remaining are: revenue on disposal of assets of RM632.8 million (23.7%), revenue from construction and planning control payments, amounting to RM350 million (13.1%), investment revenue of RM230 million (8.6%), revenue from a privatization project of RM67.5 million (2.5%), housing rental revenue of RM61 million (2.3%), licenses and permits of RM49 million (1.9%), rental of property and parking lots of RM39.8 (1.6%), fine (of RM27 million (1%), receipts from non-revenue management corporations amounting to RM53.9 million (2%), allocation from federal government amounting to RM45 million (1.7%), and revenue from other sources of RM6 million (0.2%).”
“As it can be seen from above, DBKL’s 2019 Budget of RM2.89 billion will be a deficit budget, and even then, the deficit will be financed by its group development fund reserves as announced by the KL Mayor and not by the Federal government.
“This shows that DBKL is almost fully self-funded in its budget and do not rely too much on federal government allocation,” said Chan.
He said it was also not right to compare DBKK and DBKL with each other due to the difference of scope of duty as well as the sheer difference in both size in population and income of its respective residents.
“DBKK can’t be expected to earn as much as DBKL, and there is no reason for DBKK to be spiteful towards DBKL just because DBKL is earning more by being able to tax their residents more,” said Chan.
“Is Junz suggesting that even revenue collected by DBKL (i.e. through assessment collection) ought to be shared with Sabah?
“I’m pretty sure no matter how we interpret MA63 in our favour, we Sabahans are not entitled to those revenues which are meant for local government purposes in Kuala Lumpur.”
Nevertheless, Chan noted that the Federal Government has indeed allocated a sum of RM45 million to DBKL in 2018, which if given to DBKK, would definitely help in developing Kota Kinabalu city.
“Of course I agree that Sabah local councils ought to be given a bigger funding from the Federal government under the spirit of the MA63, but attacking DBKL for its larger budget is inappropriate, especially when it is self-funded.
“There are many ways that DBKK can learn from DBKL in terms of improving and increasing revenue collection, and that’s the way we should work towards,” said Chan.
Towards this end, Chan said that as a state minister Junz should know the principle of collective ministerial responsibility.
“If Junz wants more from the Federal government, then he should to raise the matter for more allocation to Sabah local councils through his own party, Warisan that has federal ministers sitting in the federal cabinet representing Sabah,” he said.-SabahNewsToday