Kota Kinabalu, Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Once the IDS Chairmanship was handed over to a full-time politically partisan politician, IDS has begun to lose its professionalism and objectivity. The recent public discourse between its Director (Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Johari) and its Chief Executive Director (Anthony Kiob) is a clear sign of the top down political interference on the management of IDS. The Warisan President, as CM, has damaged IDS when he appointed his party Deputy President, Datuk Darell Leiking as IDS Chairman earlier this year to replace a retired senior public servant, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.
There is no way that Datuk Darell can exercise the professionalism and objectivity that is strictly required in a “think-tank”. A think-tank must be free and fearless to express its views, its finding and its recommendations to the government of the day.
As for the economic paralysis and financial problems facing the Sabah State Government, it is abundantly clear that the 2019 GDP growth of only 0.5% had nothing to do with the Covid-19 pandemic which started only in February 2020. Even the 2018 GDP growth, at 1.5%, was the lowest in the country.
As for the 2020 State budget of RM4.1 billion, any economist and finance officer can vouch that the projected revenues will fall far short of the budget.
This is due to the drastic drop in crude palm oil prices, oil and gas prices, lower land revenues due to reduced development, a meagre tourism tax and timber royalties. The Chief Minister/Minister of Finance has stubbornly failed to say how the government plans to balance the 2020 budget. It is an impossible task.
RM1 billion bond
The CM claimed that the payment if the RM billion bond is proof of the good economy. But the State Budget expenditure did not show from where the RM1 billion came. It means the the State Government must have borrowed a RM1 billion to pay the RM1 billion bond.
This is called digging a hole to cover another hole.
RM900 million Covid-19 fund missing?
Where is the RM900 million Covid-19 fund that has been touted by the Sabah Government?
How was it spent? Who are the recipients? How much was dispersed to or through the Warisaan YBs?
RM3 billion Papar Dam, RM2 billion Tenom Railway, RM billion ringgit Kudat Port
Where is the government going to source funds to pay for these multi-billion mega projects?
The cost of the controversial, unnecessary Papar dam has ballooned from RM2 billion to RM3 billion without any explanation.
The company selected is linked to another controversial mega project called the Penang Undersea tunnel.
How is the Sabah Government with an annual budget of only RM4 billion going to pay for all these multi-billion dollar projects?
Now is the time that the Warisan caretaker Chief Minister/Minister of Finance must tell the people.
Datuk Yong Teck Lee
SAPP President/ex-Chief Minister
Member of IDS