KOTA BELUD TODAY, 2 JULY 1998
: State Government May Be Bankrupt
BELUD, Wed. – Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) today repeated its call
to the Sabah government to disclose the true financial state of
the administration in light of on-going claims by contractors and
statutory bodies that they face difficulties in getting payments
or disbursements from the government.
deputy president Dr Maximus Ongkili made the call while officiating
the annual general meeting of the Kadamaian PBS division in Kg.
Tamu Darat near here attended by some 500 party leaders and supporters.
Ongkili recalled that the new minister of finance cum deputy chief
minister Datuk Osu Sukam made a public statement last month that
the government’s financial situation was good and dismissed the
opposition’s claim that the State was on the verge of bankruptcy.
re-affirms the view that the government has not been the telling
the truth about the true state of affairs in respect of the administration’s
finances. It is public knowledge that many contractors who undertook
work for the KKIP project have been waiting for many months for
their claims to be settled.
are also aware that other companies are owed a huge sum of money
by the government, including the famous Angkatan Hebat Sdn Bhd that
rents out vehicles to the government which has an outstanding claim
of at least RM60 million," he said.
Bandau member of parliament also claimed that many government departments
are reported to be having problems paying salaries to their staff,
aside from the fact that many officers were yet to receive their
1997 bonus such as the staff of municipal and district councils.
even the forestry department is facing a problem paying the salary
of its staff and have applied to the government for allocation from
the consolidated fund. If this is true then the financial situation
of the State must be really be in a shocking state especially when
the forestry department is supposed to be the chief collector of
the State’s revenue," he alleged.
Ongkili stressed that based on the existing economic scenarios the
State government would not have enough revenue even to meet its
current expenditure by the end of the year.
government had originally forecast a revenue of about RM600 million
from the forestry sector. Due to inconsistent timber policies, failure
of the government to check illegal logging and the depressed market
for timber products, the government will be lucky to receive even
RM200 million from the sector.
public listing of the SLDB was supposed to contribute some RM500
million to the State coffers. There is no reason to privatise and
float SLDB which is earning about RM200 million profit annually
and paying dividends to the State government. In any case given
the poor state of the share market there is no economic logic for
anyone to consider listing a highly profitable agency, " he said.
Ongkili said given the circumstances, the 1998 budget would be short
of at least RM800 million thereby making the government unable to
meet even its supply expenditure, adding that "the government may
even be bankrupt before the end of the year."
urged the government to be transparent about the true financial
state of affair of the government and stop giving the wrong picture
and thereby mislead the public.
advise the government to be honest about the situation so that the
ordinary public, entrepreneurs and government officers can cooperate
with the government to cut down expenditure, reduce wastage, and
practise financial prudence and thrift," he stressed.
Ongkili pointed out that it was useless for the government to continue
covering up the State’s financial position because the "public knows
exactly what is happening."
present at the function were vice-president and Tuaran MP Yunof
Meringking, Penampang MP Paul Nointein, Datuk Mohd. Noor Mansor,
former AKAR president Datuk Mark Koding, Kadamaian PBS divisional
chief Herbert Timbun Lagadan, supreme council members and divisional