by Lim Kit Siang at the Tawau DAP
Thousand-People “Towards A New Era” dinner at Lau Gek Poh Memorial Hall,
Tawau on Saturday, 15th
November 2008 at 9 pm:
Parliament is debating 2009 Budget with a
RM7 billion “black hole” as the economic stimulus package has not been
incorporated into the 2009 Budget nor parliamentary approval sought
Yesterday, the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk
Seri Musa Aman presented a walloping RM2.78 billion budget for the state
for 2009, declaring that the amount allocated would be able to keep up
the economic momentum to ensure Sabah’s continuous growth, especially
amidst the current economic turmoil.
He also announced a higher state development fund for next year to the
tune of RM1.040 billion.
Very impressive but where have all the past billion-ringgit development
funds for Sabah gone to, and will the huge budget and massive develoment
funds announced by Musa yesterday go the way of past funds –
disappearing into thin air instead of translated into projects on the
ground to directly benefit the people?
In Tawau this morning, I visited Jalan Sin Onn, an important artery for
Tawau but which is choked with traffic. The Barisan Nasional Government
had promised to build Jalan Sin Onn into a four-lane dual carriageway,
way back in the Seventh Malaysia Plan as part of its “Sabah Baru”
manifesto to capture power in Sabah state.
It was in the Seventh Malaysia Plan as well as in the Eighth Malaysia
Plan. It is now in the Ninth Malaysia Plan but will it again be shunted
to the Tenth Malaysia Plan into a ‘never-never” future, without a single
foot of construction?
Jalan Sin Onn has become a daily traffic nightmare in broad daylight in
I will meet the Works Minister, Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed in Parliament to
check on the status of the upgrading of Jalan Sin Onn in Tawau.
The Sabah Chief Minister should not talk about development in Sabah
until he can resolve once and for all the basic infrastructure problems
like regular and efficient power and water supply.
We just launched my new book “The Cries of Sabah”, which also
highlighted the development nightmare of Sabahans to the extent that it
is said that “If there is no power disruption in Sabah, then it’s not
Sabah” and where SESB stands for “Sabah Everyday Sure Blackout”!
The power breakdown in Tawau in the last two days were so bad (I am told
that the people of Tawau and Sabah have become quite numbed to such
disruptions) that it had turned Tawau’s daily newspaper, Morning Post,
into an evening paper, as it could only be printed and distributed at 4
All over the world, governments are preparing their countries to face
the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years. China has announced a
US$586 billion economic stimulus package while South Korea unveiled a
US$11 billion stimulus package.
In the United States, Congress is working with the Bush Administration
to craft a US$700 billion bailout of troubled US banks.
Malaysia, however, is an oddity. Although the government has announced a
measly RM7 billion economic stimulus package when winding up the debate
on the 2009 Budget on November 4, this RM7 billion economic stimulus
package is quite a mirage as it has not been formally presented to
Parliament by way of an amendment to the 2009 Budget and is therefore
not before Parliament for approval when every sen of government
expenditure must be passed by the House.
This is why there is a complete air of unreality in the 2009 Budget
debate, as there is a RM7 billion “black hole” so long as the economic
stimulus package has not been incorporated into the 2009 Budget and
placed on the agenda for parliamentary approval.
This RN7 billion “black hole” in the 2009 Budget is completely
indefensible and unacceptable. The Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri
Najib Razak has got very lousy advisers who could land him in such a
trouble as not complying with parliamentary procedures and practices in
seeking a formal approval from Parliament for the RM7 billion package.
He should rectify this gross mistake without any delay or he would seen
as acting in a very arrogant and supercilious manner in his relationship
with Parliament – five months before he actually become Prime Minister!
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor