KOTA KINABALU – A Sabah assistant minister has questioned the statistics quoted by Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal on the revenue of the state, saying that the latter had quoted inaccurate figures.
Datuk Ramlee Marahaban (pic), assistant minister of finance, said Mohd Shafie was incorrect when he said the revenue of the Sabah government in 1978 was almost the same as the projected revenue in the 2018 budget, that is RM4.1 billion.
He said Mohd Shafie’s claim that the Sabah government revenue had remained stagnant over the past 40 years at RM4 billion was made to mislead the people.
A simple check with the Sabah Minister of Finance archives department showed that the state revenue in 1978 was RM479,027,790 and the federal grants, contributions, and reimbursements came to RM45,790,248, thus giving a total revenue of RM524,818,038 for that year.
“I have the historical records to prove this. So, where in the world did Shafie Apdal and the former state accountant-general (Tan Sri) Ibrahim Menudin get the revenue figure of RM4 plus billion in the year 1978?” he asked.
Shafie, in an online publication recently, allegedly ridiculed the Sabah government budget for 2018 for being “nothing great” and said he was not impressed and that the people should be unimpressed too.
He said Shafie’s claim that the state revenue stood at RM4 plus billion in 1978 was outlandish, considering that the revenue of the federal government back in 1981, just three years after 1978, was only RM6 billion plus.
“There are historical records in the archives that you can’t dispute. He either did not do his homework or was intentionally trying to hoodwink the people, especially those in the rural areas,” he said.
Ramlee, who is the assemblyman for Bugaya, said the current Sabah administration managed to improve the state’s economy by more than 10-fold in the 40 years after the Berjaya government.
He said Sabah under Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman had performed exceedingly well, whereby the state revenue had grown, from RM1.24 billion in 2001 to RM1.56 billion in 2003, to RM2.33 billion in 2008, to RM3.69 billion in 2012 and surpassed the RM4-billion mark at RM4.58 billion in 2014.
He also said that in the last four years, the state budget had consistently stayed close to the RM4-billion mark.
“Moreover, it should be noted that the Sabah state finances under Musa had achieved a surplus account for 16 years in a row. So, please give credit where credit is due,” he said.
Ramlee cautioned the people against those who were willing to stoop low to try and change history for their personal agenda.