Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Abang Johari: l can assure you Sarawak will not go bankrupt

Secara Rawak

That is our right. If somebody doesn’t want to pay that is a crime because it is within our law, passed by DUN. Only 5 % bukan banyak, sikit sahaja. But I must extend my appreciation to the players. They have registered with us and they are paying the 5 % sales tax. Thank you very much to these players.”

The following is an excerpt of CM’s speech at Official Opening of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Kuching office yesterday morning

“I have to share with you because these are professional people in front of me. I cannot just say anything that I know because you will evaluate me whether I am competent or not competent.

\As you know when you run an economy there are three that you must look into. Firstly, is you saving. You must monitor your saving. Secondly, it is your investment. Your investment must be strategic in order to give long-term return. Thirdly, it is consumption. These are three factors that you must know when you run the country’s economy.

For that my government, the GPS government, are taking these factors into consideration when we run Sarawak’s economy. When we spent money on infrastructure – roads and bridges, it is a long-term investment; the return will be there in the long run.

Number 1, you will have the connectivity. Number 2, you will provide logistical support. Number 3, of course, you’ll increase consumption because people always need something and therefore the private sector will definitely improve themselves and they got they basic infrastructure there, that is road.

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Number 2, is power. You need power. So we are spending money to extend our power provision. And thank God, we have taken over all utility (power generation) by Sarawak including Bakun. It is no longer under the federal government and it is ours. In other words you can determine your tariff, tariff will determine your cost of production and this is what we are going to do.

And we are putting our money to accelerate the distribution of power including our rural areas.

Number 3, is water supply. You need water, so we are spending more money for water. For water and power we have allocated RM5 billion for them to spend within two years in order to provide the basic provision of water and power. At the same time, we are, as you know building our coastal road.

The next thing is this – we also know while we spend we must know where your money comes from. Spending without knowing your income is dangerous. Price Waterhouse will tell you; that is the first thing (they will ask), “where is your money?” So I have explored this revenue; how to get revenue and this revenue is meant to fund the programme that I’ve said. While you do that you must also protect your saving.

So these are the main criteria when we run our economy. Thank God Sarawak leaders know about these. I can assure you that Sarawak will not go bankrupt in three years.

Perhaps, we can get more money through this particular investment in the long run. As you know Sarawak has certain rights. We have imposed sales tax on our oil and gas. That is our right. If somebody doesn’t want to pay that is a crime because it is within our law, passed by DUN. Only 5 % bukan banyak, sikit sahaja. But I must extend my appreciation to the players. They have registered with us and they are paying the 5 % sales tax. Thank you very much to these players.

But there is one more thing, we are still negotiating. I have said that it is our right and they have admitted. It is our right. The question is the quantum. They want us to review our 5% but I can tell you we review, give me equivalent in terms of revenue.

In other words when we spend RM11 billion in 2019 budget, it is based on the revenue of also almost RM11 billion. Normally, we have surplus budget. I have to tell people for fear they don’t understand. You know sometimes there’s a limit for politics. Everything should not be politicised. There’s a limit. You must work based on what you feel should be done for the people. And my government is doing that; not too much politicking but we want to upgrade the standard of living of our people while at the same time enhancing our revenue.

That is why the three factors, saving, investment, consumption are very important and you have to take them into consideration as part of your formula.”

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