The question is, can it even deliver those promises?
In a recent article posted on Tian Chua’s Malaysia-Chronicle, Pakatan made a promise to Sarawakians – a promise that they claim the Barisan Nasional can never match.
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A DEAL NAJIB CAN NEVER MATCH: SARAWAK TO KEEP 50% TAX REVENUE, 20% OIL & GAS ROYALTY, DECISION & EDUCATION RIGHTS TO BE RETURNED TO STATE GOVT – HARAPAN
Politics | January 20, 2018 by | 0 Comments
Pakatan Harapan’s Sarawak manifesto pledges that the state will retain 50 percent of all tax revenues collected in the state.
The state will also receive 20 percent from oil and gas royalties or its equivalent value from the federal government, according to the manifesto titled ‘New Deal for Sarawak Part Two’, which was released today.
“The government of Sarawak shall use these funds to shoulder the fiscal responsibility of the federal government in education and health,” the manifesto states.
Harapan also promised to set up a Petronas equivalent in the state, to be named Sarawak Petrogas, which would be wholly owned by the state government.
Sarawak Petrogas, which will be directly answerable to the Sarawak legislative assembly, will jointly manage oil and gas resources within the territorial borders and waters of Sarawak, together with Petronas, the manifesto says.
This is similar to Petroleum Sarawak, an oil and gas company started by the current Sarawak state government, which is meant to be an equal partner with Petronas for oil and gas activities in the state.
‘State can localise education syllabi’
With the decision rights returned to Sarawak in education and healthcare, the state can localise the education syllabi, review staffing and administrative policies, improve and upgrade the quality of all hospitals in the state and equip hospitals with cancer and heart centres, among others.
Harapan will also focus on speeding up the supply of clean water and electricity to all houses in Sarawak, both suburban and rural, as well as roads connecting rural native heartlands to stimulate economic growth in the interiors of Sarawak.
It will also ensure top priority is given to competent and eligible Sarawakians for employment and promotion in federal government departments and agencies in Sarawak.
World-class coaching facilities and a sports institute will be developed in Sarawak, the manifesto states, to equip and harness the potential of Sarawakian athletes.
Aside from its commitment to restore Sarawak to its original status within the context of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, Harapan said it would also form a Royal Commission to review various legislations that affect Sarawak’s rights to its natural resources.
These legislations include the Continental Shelf Act 1966, the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the Territorial Sea Act 2012.
Harapan said Part Three of its New Deal for Sarawak would be released at a later date.
But before you even start to dance with joy, let me remind you that this is another one of those ad nauseam promises made, which can never be fulfilled, and will later be blamed on the Federal Constitution and the Federal Government.
Pakatan Harapan Sarawak cannot deliver fully on this promise because it is merely a state entity and cannot arrogate to the state what are Federal rights. As usual, Pakatan Harapan will refer to its non-existent utopian Federal Constitution when making such promises.
Even if it is a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government promise, it cannot fully deliver without the consent of the 11 Peninsular Malaysia states and Sabah because the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is an agreement inter se.
Any increase in the rights of one state vis a vis its position with the Federal Government diminishes the position of the other states vis a vis that one state as well as with the Federal Government . It will need the agreement of the other states in the Federation.
Therefore, Pakatan Harapan should stop making false promises and giving the people false hopes just because they (Pakatan Harapan) have false intelligence.