Ramlee to Shafee: Sabah’s 1978 revenue was RM524mil, not RM4bil

PETALING JAYA: A Sabah assistant minister has taken Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal to task over his remarks on the state government’s RM4 billion projected revenue for 2018, accusing him of speaking with malicious intent.

Assistant Finance Minister Ramlee Marahaban said Shafie had been lying when he claimed that Sabah’s revenue had been stagnant for the past few decades.

He said a simple check with the archive department of Sabah’s finance ministry showed that the state’s revenue in 1978 was RM479,027,790 while federal grants, contributions and reimbursements stood at RM45,790,248, which put total revenue for the year at RM524,818,038.

“I have the historical records to prove this. So where in the world did Shafie Apdal and the former state accountant-general Ibrahim Menudin get the revenue figure of RM4 plus billion in the year 1978?” he asked in a statement today.

He was responding to a report carried by FMT yesterday in which Shafie had scoffed at the state government’s projected revenue for next year, calling it nothing great.

He said Ibrahim had told him that similar numbers were achieved in 1978, which meant that Sabah’s revenue had been stagnant for more than 30 years.

“I’m not impressed, and the people should be unimpressed too,” he said.

Ramlee said Shafie’s claims that Sabah’s revenue stood at RM4 billion plus in 1978 were “outlandish”, considering that the revenue of the federal government in 1981 was only RM6 billion plus.

“If Shafie wants to lie, at least be smart about it. There are historical records in the archive you can’t dispute.

“He either did not do his homework or was intentionally trying to hoodwink the people, especially those in the rural areas who he thinks can be easily duped,” he said.

Ramlee, who is also Bugaya assemblyman, added that the current Sabah government had managed to improve the state’s economy 10-fold since the Berjaya government in 1978.

Sabah’s finance ministry, under Chief Minister Musa Aman, had also performed “exceedingly well”, with the RM1.24 billion budget revenue in 2001 growing to RM1.56 billion in 2003 and RM2.33 billion in 2008.

It had touched RM3.69 billion in 2012 and surpassed the RM4 billion mark at RM4.58 billion in 2014, he added.

The state budget had also remained consistently close to the RM4 billion mark over the last four years, he said.

“Moreover, it should be noted that Sabah state finances under Musa have achieved a surplus account for 16 years in a row.

“So please give credit where credit is due. Even if Shafie is reluctant to do so, at least don’t lie about it (the budget)” he said.

He also scoffed at Shafie’s remark that Sabah could perform much better than promised by the current government if it was managed properly.

“Shafie wants to make Sabah like Singapore? What a joke. He could not even take care of one ministry when his allegiance was to Barisan Nasional.

“Now that he has abandoned all that he swore to protect, he cannot even be trusted with the truth. He lies through his teeth and nose without even blinking his eyes,” he said. FMT