PETALING JAYA: DAP has outlined its autonomy plans for Sabah and Sarawak, vowing to return 50% of all tax receipts collected from the two states.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP is committed to granting autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) should Pakatan Harapan and its allies form the federal government.
“This includes full autonomy in the funding and administration of healthcare and education,” Lim told media today at a press conference following the DAP National Leadership Retreat 2017 held at a hotel in Subang Jaya over the weekend.
He added however, that the autonomy in education will still be subject to the national curriculum.
On the issue of financial commitment to the two states, Lim said a Pakatan-led Putrajaya would pay out 20% in oil royalty from Sabah and Sarawak’s respective oil revenue as well as return 50% of all taxes collected, including from the GST, to the states’ coffers.
Presently, Sabah and Sarawak only receive a 5% royalty from their respective oil revenue.
Under the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Sabah and Sarawak are supposed to receive 40% of their respective states’ revenue from Putrajaya. In recent times, this has been a contentious issue, especially among opposition parties in the state.
“Sabah and Sarawak will be fully responsible for the administration and financing of health and education in their states. They should have enough funds from the increased oil royalty and returned taxes,” Lim said.
“Those who want autonomy, please support DAP.”
Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who was also present, said that DAP would hold true to its promise of autonomy and claimed that this was unlike Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN).
He claimed that even though Sarawak BN spoke on issues of autonomy, in reality it is a “servant and master” situation where the Sarawak government has to “beg” for autonomy from Putrajaya. – This article was first published in freemalaysiatoday