Commission of Inquiry to identify the “political locusts” who have laid Sabah barren, reducing it from a wealthy state to the same economic league as Kelantan in the past 40 years and to stop the rot before Sabah is sucked dry and become the poorest state after Kelantan in 2020
by Lim Kit Siang
(Semporna, Wednesday): I have found considerable support and resonance from the people of Sabah to my speech at the DAP 37th Anniversary Dinner in Kota Kinabalu last Friday decrying “political locusts” who, in the past 40 years, have laid Sabah bare, reducing it from one of the wealthiest to one of the poorest states in Malaysia.
I fully agree with the verdict of the former second Finance Minister and now National Economic Action Council executive director Datuk Mustapha Mohanad who said at a dialogue at Universiti Malaysia Sabah in February this year that “the management of Sabah’s resources, civil service and political situation” were among the factors which have caused Sabah, “once a wealthy state to reach a point of no return” and reduced to the same economic league as his native Kelantan.
In the 1994 Sabah state general election, the Barisan Nasional campaigned on the theme of a “Sabah Baru” which promised among other things, to increase Sabah’s per capita income from RM3,600 to RM10,000 in six years from 1994 to 2,000.
The Barisan Nasional ‘s election pledge to raise the per capita income of Sabahans to RM10,000 in 2000 is not only an abysmal failure, Sabah has fallen from the state in Malaysia with the second highest per capita GDP to the second lowest, only better than Kelantan.
In 1971, Sabah’s per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was RM1,302, second only to Federal Territory and Selangor which stood at RM3,826. (Fourth Malaysia Plan 1981-1985). By 2000, Sabah per capita GDP had slipped to the second lowest of all states, at RM3,720 (as compared to RM3,695 in 1990), better only than Kelantan which stood at RM2,411 in 2000 (as compared to RM1,727 in 1990), with Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory topping the nation at RM15,329 in 2000 (as compared to RM8,501 in 1990). (Source – Seventh Malaysia Plan 1996-2000)
Sabah has not only failed to achieve the 1994 Barisan Naional election pledge of a per capita income of RM10,000 in 2000, it has fallen to the economic league of Kelantan despite being under Barisan Nasional rule in the past nine years.
DAP calls for a Commission of Inquiry to identify the “political locusts” who have laid Sabah barren, reducing it from a wealthy state to the same economic league as Kelantan in the past 40 years and to stop the rot before Sabah is sucked dry and become the poorest state after Kelantan in 2020.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman