Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Willie don’t be a hero

MP wrongly claims credit for state-funded RTP which is unique to Sarawak

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin has come for some bashing for “claiming credit” for state-funded projects.

The Willie-bashing has been going on for quite some time since the first-term MP made a social media post saying that state projects under the Rural Transformation Project (RTP) are actually federal-funded.

That post drew a flurry of responses, telling the PH parliamentarian he should know that the RTP was the brainchild of the late chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, which was why it was unique to Sarawak.

Yesterday Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan described Willie’s attempt at claiming credit for state-funded projects as “shallow, ignorant and without reference to historical facts and origin”.

He said obviously Willie does not understand how revenue collection and expenditures are derived in a federation like Malaysia in relation and pursuant to a binding Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“One of the reasons why Singapore left in 1965 was because it insisted on having control of its internal economy and to have the liberty to spend what’s collected internally without having to remit to the federal government.

“One of the very facets of the birth of Malaysia during then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time was the Federated Malay states would uplift the development of the two Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah to be on par with Malaya.

“Little did these two Borneo states during the 4th prime ministership (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), for 22 years from 1981 to 2003 that, far from developing us, our wealth and riches were exploited to develop Malaya instead, all on the pretext of national integration.

“Still what is dug out from us, dubbed the black gold (oil), and taxes in the form of various taxes such as stamp duties, excise duties, import duties, RPGT (real property gain tax) and oil and gas revenue far exceeded what we received all along considering Sarawak’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contribution overall,” he told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.

Snowdan further stated that if Willie was a true Sarawakian, he would know from where the RTP fund comes, knowing too well Sarawak is a major contributor.

“It would be more honourable of him (Willie) to pull in more funds for Sarawak coffers from the federal government to leapfrog our state’s development agenda. It now appears he is more of a stumbling block instead of accelerating our efforts,” Snowdan said.

On Monday, Willie took to his Facebook page claiming that the federal government also channelled funds for RTP and insinuated that the RTP funds in Sarawak are mainly contributed by major tax collector states, Selangor and Penang.

He said when the federal government announced the annual budget, funds would be channelled to the state government through SFS into “Consolidated Fund” established under the Constitution of the State.

He explained that from there the money would be distributed to RTP, therefore RTP is not solely state government’s contribution.

“As long as RTP is from state coffer, therefore, it is deemed that part of the inflow fund component is also from the federal government. There is no doubt that RTP is state project but to say that RTP is purely state finance from solely direct collected revenue is not correct as it is also partly inflow from the federal government contribution. Whatever it is, it is tax-payers’ money,” he said.

To this Snowdan said: “This is another show of mere ignorance by him as he did earlier in criticising the granting of RM300 allowance to our appointed councillors, not realising that Selangor councillors received a much higher sum.

“When will he repent from reasoning irrationally?” Snowdan asked.

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