PM's proclamation a "double insult" to people
Feb 23, 2012: Tawau MP Datuk Chua Soon Bui has described the Prime Minister's
recent proclamation that Sabah is now no longer the poorest State in Malaysia as
a desperate spin to cover up the sad and shameful reality affecting the people
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She added that it was also a "double insult" to the people of Sabah, who had
gone from riches to rags, despite being endowed with God-given rich natural
In a statement here Tuesday, she said measurement of poverty should not be based
on average per capita income as the only pointer as stated by the Prime
"This is especially so where the gap between the rich and the poor has greatly
widened in the recent years in Sabah," she said.
Nothing that such measurement is very deceiving to the people, she demanded the
Prime Minister's Department give the true picture on the new Poverty Line Income
in Sabah, compared with other states.
She contended that with the escalating cost of living and food prices, the
Poverty Line Income (PLI) in Sabah of RM1,048 (PLI for Sarawak is RM912, for
Peninsular Malaysia is RM763) should be reviewed, adding that the average people
in Sabah have been struggling to make ends meet, almost every day.
Chua, who is also a vice president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), said since
the Government has done a survey through the BR1M registration, it should not be
a problem for the Government together sufficient statistic to reveal the true
With the reported 400,000 cases of BR1M approve in Sabah it is estimated from
the total households of 621,500 (2009 report), 54 per cent of Sabah households
earn less than RM3,000 and about 100,000 households earned less than RM1,000
(2010 report) i.e. below the Poverty Line Income, she noted.
"It is therefore a miracle that Sabah being the poorest state as reported in the
Would Bank (2009) suddenly finds many poor families had disappeared. It is very
unfair to paint a rosy picture to hide the reality of the suffering of the poor
families," she said.
“Do we need another World Bank report to confirm this?" she asked.
She urged the Federal Government to grab the bull by its horns and to reinforce
its poverty-eradication programme, instead of painting a rosy picture to mislead
the entire nation, the people of Sabah in particular, to think thet the
situation has improved for better when it has in fact worsened.
While concurring with the Prime Minister's statement that Sabah has huge
potential to surge forward with all the rich natural resources, Chua nonetheless
regretted that all the riches had not fully benefited the people of Sabah, as
highlighted by the Sabah Oil an Gas Contractors Association (Sogca) recently,
lamenting that major contracts in the state oil and gas industry were not given
to Sabah companies.
She especially regretted that a large portion of Sabah's wealth was usurped by
the Federal government, largely through some unfair policies such as the meagre
five per cent oil royalty and the lopsided Cabotage Policy which is the main
contributing factor to the high cost of living in Sabah.