Clearly, newly-minted Housing and Local Government Minister, Ong Ka Chuan of the MCA, has not got the message from the general election result, observes Tingang. He’s saying that so-called “federal funds” will go to the PR-ruled states through a separate federally, i.e. BN, controlled channel. This is spitting in the faces of the people who voted in the PR governments.
GOPENG: Opposition-led states will continue to receive federal funds for development projects in new villages through a mechanism expected to be set up by next month, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said.
“We want to make sure that the people will not lose out in terms of projects like roads and drainage,” he said yesterday after attending a dinner function hosted for election workers of Gopeng MCA division.
Four states – Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor – fell into the control of the Opposition after the March 8 general election.
Ong explained that the mechanism was for the states to have a federal development officer (FDO) to take charge of federal funds and a state development officer (SDO) who will only handle state funds.
“The FDO will receive and channel federal funds to the ground for development,” said Ong, who is the Tanjong Malim MP.
He pointed out that federal funds for development projects in Barisan Nasional-led states were being channelled directly to the state government through the SDO, who also handled federal funds.
“We will now have to separate the mechanism of channelling federal funds in states controlled by the Opposition,” he said, adding that the mechanism was learnt from the experience with the 18-year rule by the Kelantan Pas-led government….
Abdullah Badawi told the people to use the proper channels to demonstrate their discontent, and not go demonstrate. So, the people did, and in no uncertain terms, whacking the BN, and especially the MCA, Gerakan and MIC, right over the head to make sure they got the message.
But clearly, newly-minted Housing and Local Government Minister, Ong Ka Chuan of the MCA, has not got the message.
He’s saying that so-called “federal funds” will go to the BR-ruled states through a separate federally, i.e. BN, controlled channel. This is spitting in the faces of the people who voted in the PR governments.
So, it looks like the people have to spit back.
In the first place, what “federal funds” is Ka Chuan going on about? His funds?
- Corporate taxes contribute about one third of federal revenue. These corporations are located in one or another state and, okay, the federal territories of KL, Putrajaya and Labuan.
- Income taxes contribute about a tenth of federal revenue. These come from people living and working in one or another state and, okay, the federal territories of KL, Putrajaya and Labuan.
- Sales and service taxes contribution about 8 per cent of federal revenue. Again, these are paid by people living and working in one or another state and, okay, the federal territories
Let’s forget about stuff like road tax, import and export duties and the like. The three items listed amount to over half the federal revenue.
As these clowns haven’t learnt a single thing, we have to hit them harder on the head.
Looks like even more than local council elections, what we need is fiscal decentralisation. That’s the only way to force these goons and bullies to respect the people’s democratic rights and not seek to ubvert them at every opportunity.
Lawyers and legislators — please pore over the state constitutions and the federal constitution and see whether there’s any way the state governments can pass legislation forcing such fiscal decentralisation to cover at least the following:
- states to get a proportion of the sales and service tax incurred in the state.
- states to get a proportion of the personal income tax paid by state residents. Let’s be fair, respect our fellow Malaysians, and don’t ask for more than the state’s proportion of the total population. If this can be done, the five states under the BR will get at least half of the total personal income tax collected, net of administrative costs. In fact, they will get more since Penang and Selangor have a much higher income than other states.
- states to get a proportion of the corporate tax paid by corporations operating in the state. Okay, this is a bit more complicated, but it can be proportionate to the value-added in the state.
If this can be done, let’s see their faces turn pucat again, as on election night. And we can all yell loudly, padan muka. We really don’t want to have to do this, but if they can’t learn any other way, then so be it.
But short of this, perhaps it’s time for civil society to consider a tax strike, at least on personal income taxes. Worth a thought? The goons won’t have the resources to go after a few million taxpayers doing something like this and transparently — we do up our forms properly, and let it be known what we are doing.
I say, squeeze the bug***s!