Finance Minister Denies Govt Neglecting Development in Sarawak
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today refuted claims that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had neglected the infrastructure development of Sarawak.
He said the ruling party has allocated RM4.3 billion for the state this year alone, which is more than what the previous Barisan Nasional administration had allocated for the state in Budget 2018.
Lim said while it is true a sum of RM2.28 billion has been allocated to develop 49 projects in Sandakan, Sabah for the next five years, he said the total budget set aside for Sarawak reaches a sum of RM41 billion.
“There are more than 550 development projects throughout Sarawak with the total cost of RM41 billion. For 2019, RM4.3 billion is allocated for Sarawak, which is the second largest allocation between the states in Malaysia, after Sabah.
“Sabah is allocated RM5 billion for development projects in 2019, whereas the total cost allocated is RM42 billion. The allocations for the two states do not take into account other projects like the Pan Borneo Highway, which is funded through loans at the Federal level.
“As promised, the PH government is allocating more for the development of Sarawak in Budget 2019, as compared to Budget 2018 under Barisan Nasional,” he said in a statement today.
Lim added that the RM600 monsoon season aid that was distributed in late 2018 and earlier this year, was handed out to 275,000 rubber smallholders, where 58,000 were from Sarawak in comparison to 6,000 farmers from Sabah.
“The recent announcement on the additional disbursement for the monsoon season aid is to include the 70,000 rubber smallholders in Sabah who were previously excluded from receiving the aid,” he said in reference to the announcement made on April 26 of the disbursement of RM42 million to the said recipients, following an appeal by the Sabah Rubber Industry Board (SRIB).
On April 25, Batang Sadong MP Datuk Nancy Shukri had accused Putrajaya of neglecting development in Sarawak following the approval of the 49 projects in Sandakan worth billions.
She said Sarawak is entitled to its portion as it is the largest oil producing state in the country and have contributed a lot towards the nation’s income.