Friday, 21 June 2013

State Assembly speech on TYT policy address by ADUN Luyang Hiew King Cheu 18.06.2013


I stand to thanks the policy speech delivered by the Tuan Yang Terutama yang di Pertua Negeri.

The issues I am mentioning here are some of the few major ones to alert the government to overcome problems faced by the Sabahan, and to look at possible solutions to tackle and address the problems at their roots.

Corruption and Abuses of Power

The corruption and abuses of power is serious. This can strip and bleed the nation of its wealth and will eventually bankrupt the state and country.

Former Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Adviser Tan Sri Robert Phang on October 3, 2012 said that the international anti-corruption conference in Kuala Lumpur was a waste of time and an occasion for the Malaysian government to pretend that it is serious about fighting graft.


Lim Kit Siang said, “No reason to celebrate but many grounds to rue over Transparency International (TI) 2012 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which ranked Malaysia 54th as compared to 60th in 2011 as least corrupt country in the world”. Malaysia is below average in international rankings and scores. In 1995, under Mahathir, we were at No. 23; by 2003 under Abdullah Badawi we were at No. 37; at the end of Badawi administration in 2008 we were at No. 47 and today under Najib, we are at No. 54 (2012).

Creditability, accountability, transparency and the fight against corruption have positive results as seen in the Philippines and Indonesia. Penang and Selangor have also produced excellent results in four years results since 2008 and have improved as reported by the Auditor General. The people in Sabah like to see Sabah can follow the same.

Malaysian Plan Projects

Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan projects for Sabah we were allocated with RM16.9 billion for the 27,120 projects (2006-2010), the government did not manage to complete all the projects and use up the full allocation.

The allocation granted under the Tenth Malaysia Plan projects for Sabah (mid-term now) is RM20.3 billion (2011-2015). The amount must be fully utilized and the projects should be fully completed, of course the projects carried forward from the ninth plan should had been completed by now. Sabah has been given allocation and we want the allocation to be fully utilized, in fact, we should be asking for more.

The State Economy

The Sabah economy is not vibrant enough to generate sufficient business so as to create demands for products and services. These in turn does not provide more job opportunities which would in turn provide derived demands for goods and services for economic activities to move at a faster pace despite the acclaimed state reserves. There is a lack of value-added activities to spin off other economic activities, the economy thus remain rather stagnant. It the urgent duty that the government to explore into ways and means to bring about a vibrant economic growth to benefit the Sabahan. They are depending very much on the government. Therefore, show them how you can bring Sabah to a higher.

Jobs opportunity

More than 100,000 Sabahans are currently jobless. Over 1.2 million Malaysians including Sabahans are migrating, working and living overseas. This has caused a very serious “brain-drain” and manpower lost. In return, we have to depend heavily on the foreign workers who had brought many problems like crimes and social impact to us. We need to address the problem quick or else we will face the consequences. The government should be doing its best to tackle this problem and we want to see some result.

Sabah Revenues

The revenues derived from the Sabah main exported commodities such as petroleum and palm oil benefited only the big petroleum operators, plantation owners and oil millers (mostly West Malaysian and Government Linked Companies or GLCs). Sabah contractors and small holders did not benefit much. The huge earned revenues are being siphoned out of Sabah. Even worse still, the bulk of the taxes collected in Sabah are for the Federal coffers. The implementation of GST will surely draw more money from us.

If this is a problem, this will be another important area where the state government will have to study and find solution to the problem.

Outflow of Cash

The outflow of cash by foreign workers to the neighboring countries has caused heavy currency flights. A foreign worker earning RM800 per month can easily send away RM200 per month to their family in Indonesia or the Philippines. If there are 300,000 workers (conservative figure) sending away our Malaysian Ringgit, the figure is astonishingly amounting to a staggering RM720 million yearly. These foreign works do not pay taxes, but enjoy many free facilities paid by us, like medical, power, water, and even our prison. There should be ways to tackle this problem, and I would suggest here for the government to set up a special committee for the purpose.

High Cost of Living

The high costs of utilities, transportation charges, shipping and port handling charges have contributed to the high cost of living in Sabah and it is amongst the highest in Malaysia. Besides that, the importation of raw material, finished products, food stuffs, consumer goods and supplies, including our daily bowl of rice have aggravated the situation.

We need to systematically and take steps to lower the living cost.

Land Development, Agriculture and Food Security

Lack of government commitment in organizing and amalgamating land for development of integrated food parks and collection centers had not help the agriculture development in Sabah. This has not put Sabah into a position of achieving long term “Food Security”. The failure of KPD is a good example, where billions of ringgits had been spent but no significant achievement. The government must take special attention in uplifting this area.

Has the money allocated for agriculture development like “rice bowl” development, food security, irrigation, drainage, subsidies for seeds, fertilizers, etc. being properly and fully utilized?

Electricity and Water Supply

In Sabah, the problem of electricity and water supply shortage is still a major problem. There are currently 39 water treatment plants in Sabah producing treated water for the main urban populated areas. There is still a great insufficiency in the supply of clean treated water to urban centers outside of Kota Kinabalu, most sub-urban and rural areas.

Sabahans have long suffered the frequent disruptions of the power supply in their homes, workplaces, factories and in many places. The problems on how to attain enough and steady power supply in Sabah remain unsolved. The people continue to sustain losses and inconveniences due to the incapability and inefficiencies of the government and its privatized company SESB. Sarawak has an excess capacity of 2,000MW that they planned to send to West Malaysia or Kalimantan, Indonesia at high costs. Electricity, once generated, will go to waste if not consumed. Why not send to Sabah? It is only a short distant from Lawas, or Limbang. The total power generation capacity in Sabah is only 950MW. System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) for Sabah was 2,540 minutes in 2005 compared to West Malaysia’s SAIDI of 101.6 minutes. This has retarded overall development.

Road Network

Sabah Eastern and Western sub-regions are connected by a poor network of roads. In 2005, 61% of all roads were still gravel and earth works. This indicates that only 39% of the roads are sealed in Sabah compared to about 90% of roads in West Malaysia. Sabah has 1,428km of federal roads and 14,249km of state roads. The 1,048km Pan-Borneo Highway linking Sabah and Sarawak has to pass through Brunei. This has made travel and economic activities between the two Borneo states of Malaysia very inconvenient and costly.

Land Grabs

There have been many complaints in the forms of letters, memorandums, and in persons related to land issues from the Bumiputra or natives of Sabah. Some of these cases have gone to the court. The problems did not show any indication of being resolved any time soon. The grabbing of land by outsiders or big companies, either directly or indirectly, are causing mental and physical hardships to the poor rural natives folks and inhabitants.

DBKK

Since my Luyang constituency is within the DBKK area. Luyang is having problems with lack of car parking space, traffic congestion and needed better public transport system. It is high time that the government should pay special attention in solving the problem once for all.

END