KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP should not be angry at being called "parrots" who habitually repeat what their KL leaders say irrespective of whether it is right or wrong.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in a statement, noted that DAP attacked party president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan on the cash distributions in 1990 by the PBS-government.
SAPP Treasurer-General Dullie Marie said when the last amanah rakyat (funds) was distributed in 1990 just before the State elections, Yong was only an Assistant Minister while Dr Jeffiey was the Director of Yayasan Sabah.
He said neither were in a Cabinet position to make policy matters like distribution of funds. Why is DAP so protective of BN leaders like PBS President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan who was Chief Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (Upko President) who was Finance Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (PBRS President) who was Deputy Chief Minister of the PBS Cabinet at that time?
'Why did DAP not query current Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman who has been Director of Yayasan Sabah from 1994 and later Chairman of Yayasan Sabah and Finance Minister and Chief Minister for the last eight years? Is there a DAP hidden agenda?" he asked.
On the issue of reintroducing the Yayasan Sabah dividend of RM200 per person, he said nobody from the DAP or Pakatan ever said it until last month when Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng flew to Sandakan and made a flimsy promise.
“Lim did not say how the money RM200 million per year, will be obtained and its implications on the State Govemment " he said. Dullie said among foremost worries in their mind is how to repay the RM564 million 5-year bond (with interests) borrowed by the State Government last year.
The loan he said, has to be repaid in one lump sum by 2014.
"Considering that the DAP has also promised to abolish the CPO sales tax in Sabah to benefit West Malaysian oil palm millers, this will cost the Sabah Government RM900 million based on the 2011 State budget" he said.
He said that 80 per cent of CPO mills in Sabah are owned by West Malaysian companies that include also Felda if the DAP goes through with this plan, it would mean that Sabah stand to lose RM700m to West Malaysian companies and Felda.
In no time, DAP will bankrupt Sabah and make Sabah more dependent on Federal for handouts like beggars. "Is this what Sabah DAP wants?" he asked.
Since the CPO sales tax was imposed on oil palm millers, Dullie said the Government should not allow the palm oil millers to pass on the sales tax to the planters.
From the budget, he said, the CPO sales tax is imposed on CPO Producers and not planters. Past Yayasan Sabah payments of dividends were also not exempted from paying federal income taxes, he said.
Thus, if the DAP is careless, a single payment is enough to kill Yayasan Sabah and all its conservation, educational and social work just because it wants to win some votes.
He questioned whether the DAP really knows the original purpose of Yayasan Sabah was for education, flying doctors serices, charity and also to assist poor Malaysians in Sabah use the endowment of one million hectares of forests reserves.
He said it is for this reason that in the 1970s many students were sent to Peninsula Malaysia. "The Foundation became the top source of scholarships, funded by its forest concession," he said.
He said Tanjung Kapor Assemblyman Jimmy Wong should never think that he could lay his hand on the one million hectares of YS forest reserves.
Much of the reserves have already been put under conservation like Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, Imbak Canyon, Lausong Research Centre and other wildlife corridors. Whatever is left, there is little timber to sustain the DAP proposal to Pay RM200m in cash to the people, he said.
Although there is a lot of room for improvements in the way that Yayasan Sabah and subsidiaries are run, even a best managed Yayasan Sabah cannot afford to pay RM200 million in cash, he said.
"I know because I speak as a former senior manager of Yayasan Sabah. “Jimmy and his green horns should not talk about something they know little about because it is very irresponsible to put Yayasan Sabah in jeopardy just to get some votes," he said.
As an indication of depleting forest revenues, Dullie said the estimated state revenue from timber royalties in the 2011 budget was less than RM80m.
The DAP, he said talks about the 32,000 acres of plantation lands as a source to pay the RM200m to the peo ple. By the time they rely on the plantations for dividends, the core business (timber) will not be doing well, thereby making it risky to fork out RM200m plus taxes to give to the people.
As for falling back on shipping and tourism investments, he said it is sheer desperation on the part of DAP to imagine that it can add up profits from these two minor sector of Yayasan Sabah to make up the proposed RM200m.
The DAP should realise that the gestation period for plantation of softwoods needs at least eight years before it can be harvested.
“Therefore, DAP promises is unrealistic and is a pure lie to hoodwink Sabahans. Sabahans no longer can be fooled by rhetorical promises from leaders from the peninsula," he said.
In fact, he said the SAPP Supreme Council has been formulating a policy to pay cash dividends like in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong to boost consumer spending to revitalise the economy.
If at all, a SAPP State Government will pay "dividends" in the future, he said the most viable source of funds is the Sabah Heritage Fund that was set up in 1997 pursuant to the Heritage Fund Enactment 1996.
As practised in some other countries like Norway, Ghana, Canadian Alberta, he said SAPP propose to channel part of the petroleum royalties to this fund as savings for future generations when the oil runs out.
If there is sufficient oil royalties for a particular year, he said this fund or State funds (tax free) can be us to pay RM200 per Sabahan adult with genuine Sabah IC.
The need for a Sabah IC, Dullie said, would eliminate fake and dubious IC holders from taking advantage. In the past, he said oil royalties amount to only RM80m annually.
But recent years, due to higher oil prices and increased production, Sabah's five per cent oil royalty have amounted to RM800m, he said.
"It can reach RM1 billion in the next few years. If the royalties can be increased from five per cent to 20 per cent, then the bonus is obvious," he said.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011