An open letter to James Masing

By SKY (Sim Kwang Yan) ([email protected])


Dear James,

You have been reported by the Borneo Post online (31.3.2009) as blaming Jawa Garang for the lack of development in Batang Ai, because Jawa did not lobby for projects during his five terms as MP.

This sort of political narrative from a personal friend of 25 years astonishes me.  Surely a person with such academic credential and long record in politics like you can say something more inspiring?

Development projects are a right to be enjoyed by tax payers, and not candies to be dangled by the ruling parties in any election to fish for votes. 

Ibans are tax-payers too

The poor Ibans in Batang Ai may not pay much in income tax, because they are so poor in cash income.  But for everything they buy, such as daily necessities, farm tools, fertilizers, fuel, machinery, construction materials, food, clothing, seeds, and everything they need, they pay the excise tax, sales tax, and the import tax already hidden in the retail price.

The only tax-free things they enjoy are the air they breathe. As tax-paying citizens, they have the basic human right to development in basic infrastructure.

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