Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Sabah, the poorest state in Malaysia says SAPP

UNFAIRpractices by Kuala Lumpur has made Sabah from the richest to the poorest state in the country, said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

SAPP Youth Chief Edward Dagul said Sabah also has the most number of poor people with one out of every four individuals. Sabah has to pay more due to various created imbalances in the country's system by the BN government.

"Sabah's poverty rate stands at 23 per cent while the national rate is 5.7 per cent while Sarawak's poverty rate stands at 7.5 per cent, " he said in Kota Kinabalu.

Dagul said Sabah also had the highest unemployment rate in the country at 5.7 percent. The national unemployment rate is 3.3 percent, Kelantan 2.4 percent, Penang 1.7 percent, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur 2.8 percent and Sarawak 4 percent.

He said poverty in Kelantan an opposition state for almost 20 years is only 10 percent. Another two opposition states, Penang and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, fared better with poverty at 0.3 per cent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

No budget for QEH

Kuala Lumpur is also treating Sabah unfairly ignoring the basic needs of the people such as health care services, electricity supply, clean water supply and many more.

Dagul said Kuala Lumpur leaders should visit the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), here, which has been declared unsafe for more than a year and no firm decision has been made to address it.

"It caused much suffering to the people. Even health workers like doctors and nurses are seriously affected in their work. There is no budget for QEH in 2010 in the National Budget 2010, but RM14.8 billion was allocated for health services including five hospitals in Peninsula Malaysia," he said in a statement, here, today.

BN's empty promises

He said the Barisan Nasional's (BN) promise to build Nabawan hospital was announced by the then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 1999 was never fulfilled.

Examples of unfair practices...subsidies...

He said the unfair double taxation of the Cooking Oil Subsidy in 2007-2008 took more than RM700 million from Sabah by using Sabah's oil palm industry to subsidize the cooking oil prices in the country.

"But, the Federal Government did not tax the rice producing states in the Peninsula to subsidize rice. Sabah and Sarawak also had to subsidise the Bernas monopoly to the tune of RM200 million per year each," he added.

Cabotage policy

He said the national Cabotage policy protect Peninsula-based shipping companies like the Malaysian International Shipping Company (MISC) and others.

He said as a result, Sabah's economy suffers higher freight costs.

"Why is it that the federal government can subsidise road users in Kuala Lumpur to the tune of hundred million of Ringgit for toll rates but cannot do the same for Sabah freight charges? Dagul asked.

Coal-fired power plant

He said Sabah also is not allowed to use its own cheaper and cleaner natural gas for electric power generation. Sabah were asked to compromise and use the harmful coal-fired power plant.

"Why should the poorest state be the one to compromise?" Dagul asked.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had recently asked Sabah to compromise on the coal-fired power plant.

No federal funds for drainage and irrigation

According to him, the Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Yahya Hussin had revealed recently that Sabah needs RM1 billion for drainage and irrigation.

Dagul said Yahya had lamented before that federal funds have not been forthcoming.

The National Budget 2010 provided RM70 million for drainage and irrigation for rice scheme in Terengganu called Skim Pengairan Padi Besut.

He added that the National Budget 2010 also did not mention Sabah's rice bowl in Kota Belud, Papar and Penampang.

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