GST collected from Sabah helps fund state's development: CM

BRANDON JOHN



KOTA KINABALU: Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Sabah, collected by the Federal government, is channeled back to the state in the form of Federal allocations, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said today.

He was addressing an additional question by Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin (Parti Harapan Rakyat-Klias) on whether the state would see fair returns from its contribution to the GST.

Although all GST collections go to the Federal government, it is not a one-sided relationship, where only Sabah is giving away its resources, Musa said.

"In fact, the Federal government has allocated billions of ringgit for Sabah.

“The total salary for teachers throughout the state alone is RM3.6 billion... that's not to mention other sectors, such as buildings, infrastructure and defence, all of which require billions to fund.

"So it is safe to say that funds that go out of Sabah will come back to benefit the state," he said during the question-and-answer session at the assembly sitting here.

Earlier, State Assistant Finance Minister, Datuk Ramlee Marhaban, replied to Lajim's original question regarding the amount of GST collected so far from Sabah, stating that he does not have that information, as it lies outside of his ministry's jurisdiction.

Ramlee, however, said he has forwarded the matter to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, and is currently awaiting their clarification.