Kinabalu, 18 November 1998
: ONLY RM97.6 MILLION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN 1999
Kota Kinabalu, Wed. – Langkon Assemblyman Dr. Maximus Ongkili
today claimed there was only RM97.58 million available for development
in the 1999 budget after taking into account the expected deficit
in the development fund for next year.
during the debate on the 1999 State budget in the State Assembly
today, he said the development fund statement for the year ending
1998 projected a deficit of RM503.78 million which would be carried
over to 1999 thereby consuming almost the entire development budget
of RM601.37 for 1999 to cover for this year’s shortage.
financing the development fund deficit for 1998, all that is left
in the development fund account is only RM97.58 million and this
already takes into account the 1999 a deficit in the development
fund of RM176.02 million which is supposed to be met by a special
contribution from the federal government," he claimed.
PBS deputy president argued that the budget balance of RM97.12 million
shown in budget was misleading and did not represent the true financial
state of the government.
financial status of the state is so precarious that if we argued
during last year’s budget debate that the State was financially
insolvent, we have to say that next year the State may face bankruptcy
unless the government is able to find solutions to the problem,"
Ongkili stressed that the real cause of the financial problem was
the failure of the government to realise its intention to list Sawit
Kinabalu on the KLSE which was projected to contribute RM565 million
in 1997 and again RM500 millon in 1998, thereby causing a huge deficit
in the development fund which was still used to finance planned
also reported that illegal logging was occurring in the Banggi forest
reserve and urged the forestry to investigate and take stern action.
Langkon Assemblyman also accused the government of issuing a mining
licence to a company to undertake mining within the permanent first
class (protection) forest reserve of Tanjong Nagas in Semporna and
called on the chief minister to disclose to the Assembly the details
and rationale of the approval.
agriculture, Dr Ongkili stressed the importance of the agriculture
department in spearheading rural development and urged it to adopt
a new approach and outlook in light of the large number of qualified
and trained manpower available in the department, "adding that quarantine
must be given due priority to ensure the protection of the State’s
also urged the ministry of agriculture to explain what happened
to the animal quarantine station in Pulau Mangalum which was involved
in the land swap deal to construct the proposed ministry of agriculture
Ongkili further asked whether it was true that part of the department
of agriculture land in Telupid presently used for the breeding of
buffaloes and deer had been sold to a private sector company.