KOTA KINABALU — Dec. 20 2017: A Sabah assistant minister has disputed the statistics quoted by Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on the revenue of the state, saying that the latter had quoted inaccurate figures.
According to Datuk Ramlee Marahaban, assistant minister of finance, Shafie was incorrect when he said the revenue of the state government in 1978 was almost the same as the projected revenue in the 2018 budget, which is RM4.1 billion.
He said Shafie’s claim that Sabah’s revenue had remained stagnant over the past 40 years at RM4 billion was made to mislead the people.
Bernama reported that a check with the Sabah Minister of Finance archives department showed that the state’s revenue in 1978 was RM479,027,790 while federal grants, contributions and reimbursements came to RM45,790,248, thus giving a total revenue of RM524,818,038.
“I have the historical records to prove this. So, where in the world did Shafie and the former state accountant-general (Tan Sri) Ibrahim Menudin get the figure of RM4 plus billion for 1978?” asked Ramlee.
Shafie recently allegedly ridiculed the Sabah government budget for 2018 as being nothing great and said he was not impressed and that the people should be unimpressed too.
Also, Ramlee described Shafie’s claim that the state revenue was RM4 plus billion in 1978 was outlandish, considering that the revenue of the federal government in 1981 was only over RM6 billion.
“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,” he said.
Ramlee said the current administration has managed to improve the state’s economy by more than 10-fold in the 40 years after the Berjaya government.
He also said that in the last four years, the state budget had consistently stayed close to the RM4-billion mark. — Bernama