By Karen Bong and Lian Cheng
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19: Dr Annuar Rapaee has described the promises of 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent tax be returned to the state government as “ridiculous”
In the end, Sarawak would be at the losing end due to additional responsibilities in the stipulation, said the state Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research.
“It is a very good promise as 20 per cent (oil royalty) will give us more, between RM5 and RM7 billion revenue to the state. However, it comes with a condition that Sarawak will take care of its education and healthcare.
“It is not money given to the state government without additional responsibilities,” he added.
Dr Annuar raised the issues and challenges faced by the state during the Sarawak Dialogue on “Reimagining Education: Equity Through Equal Opportunity” at Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2019 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition here today.
Education and healthcare are both under the purview of the federal government, he reminded.
“If they fulfil these promises of 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent returned of taxes to Sarawak, the state government will have to take over the responsibility of education and healthcare services.”
Dr Annuar explained the stipulation with an analogy: “A father gives the son RM5 per day for food allowance but today, the father decided to increase the allowance to RM6 per day, which is an increase in 20 per cent.
“The father also said starting today, the son will have to take care of transportation to school. With the RM1 increase now, the son will have to take care of his own food and transportation.”
With this regards, he said: “What does that mean, you give me an increase but you also add another responsibility. So is this a gain or not? It is not a gain, there is no profitability.”
Dr Annuar said that the expenses for education and healthcare will continue to escalate every year, as the number of population increases, so does sick patients.
“As such, if it is fixed at 20 per cent and 50 per cent, but given two responsibilities back to us, at the end of the day, we will make a loss.
“Going back to the analogy, the fee for bus transportation will increase but 20 per cent increase in allowance is maintained. At the end of the day, the son will have less allowance daily,” he added.
Dr Annuar reminded that it is easy to make promise but not easy to deliver. He advised Sarawakians not to be easily consumed by promises. — DayakDaily