KOTA KINABALU, Nov 17 ― Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said policy makers or elected representatives at the federal or state level need to make cultural and service reforms to make Malaysia, and Sabah particularly, able to go further.
He said there was no meaning in just reforming the law but the way of thinking, culture and the service of the elected representatives were still the old ways with the tendency towards wealth accumulation.
“The way I look at it, we need not only reform the law but we also need to ‘reform’ the culture and the way we serve. Today, the elected representatives have big houses, have many cars, I think (from now on) don’t have more houses, don’t have more cars (but) increase the service,” he said.
Mohd Shafie said this when speaking at the Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen law dialogue session and dinner here last night. Also present was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
According to Mohd Shafie, who is also Sabah’s Finance Minister, there was no point in becoming a lawmaker or policymaker if they were less likely to work but focused their attentions on collecting more assets thus contributing to the leakage of state revenue.
He said that, as a person who had an economic education background, (he knew) Sabah should be able to table an annual budget of up to RM15 billion a year compared to since independence in 1963 but it could not be done because of leakage and wastage.
According to Mohd Shafie, he recalled around 1978/79, Sabah tabled a budget of RM3 billion and now, in 2018, Sabah was still presenting a budget of about RM4.16 billion, an increase of only RM1 billion since about 40 years ago.
Comparatively, he said Sarawak, was able to present a budget of RM11 billion for next year because of its ability to manage its finances well so they have a large financial reserve. ― Bernama