Bills passed without debate

TAKING PRECAUTIONS…Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg sanitising his hands before entering the State Legislative Assembly for the one-day sitting yesterday. The sitting, which lasted about one and a half hours, was held without the usual opening ceremony and address by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud. Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said the sitting had to proceed as such since it was held during a challenging time where health precautionary measures of the highest level had to be implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19.

KUCHING: The State Legislative Assembly yesterday unanimously passed two Supplementary Supply Bills involving a total of RM681,491,777 for expenditures that were not covered in the 2020 State Budget.

The Bills, tabled by state Deputy Chief Minister and Second Finance Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, were the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020 involving an amount of RM299,171,014 and the Supplementary Supply (2020) Bill 2020 for RM382,320,763.

The two Bills were passed without debate by the 76 members at the one-day sitting, from which five assemblymen were absent.

Following the passing of the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill, 2020, RM299,171,014 was authorised out of the Consolidated Fund for expenditure on the service specified in the Schedule not provided for or not fully provided for by the Supply (2019) Ordinance, 2018 and the Supplementary Supply (2019) Ordinance, 2019.

Uggah, when presenting the Bill, said the Second Supplementary Estimates of Ordinary Expenditure 2019 comprised an additional sum of RM299,171,014.

“This additional expenditure is to meet the cost of various ministries and departments which were not given funds or had insufficient funds for 2019,” he said.

“The total additional allocation required is RM21,176,380. The amount required was from savings among the subheads concerned or advance from Contingencies Advances,” he said.

In passing the Supplementary Supply (2020) Bill, 2020, RM382,320,763 was authorised for the service specified in the Schedule not provided for or not fully provided for by the Supply (2020) Ordinance, 2019.

Uggah elaborated that the additional expenditure is to meet the Special Financial Assistance worth RM65,906,000 for the federal government’s civil servants working in Sarawak last year; RM45,300,000 for village development and security committees; RM28 million for buying six vessels for the Sarawak Coast Guard (SCG); RM50 million for rebuilding and repairing dilapidated longhouses this year, as well as state grants worth RM129,838,475 for 26 local authorities for the 2016-2019 period to compensate them for the loss of revenue as a result of the reduction in assessment rates for residential properties.

Additionally, RM4,705,000 is required for implementing Kenyalang Gold Card programme for Sarawakians aged 60 years and above; RM3,516,500 for the treatment of kidney patients; RM30,473,140 to subsidise electricity connection charges for low-income urban households throughout Sarawak; RM8 million to subsidise free water particularly for rural communities; RM3,906,170 for Rabies Control and Elimination Programme in 2020; RM12,675,478 for implementing flat rate bus fares of RM1 per trip per person for all urban public bus transport this year.

Uggah also revealed that the House resolved to refer to the Committee of Supply the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2020 in which there are 22 sub-activities and 37 sub-sub-activities for which the additional provisions are required.

“The total additional allocation of RM788,900,000 is for expenditures comprising RM314,700,000 for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development to implement various projects such as Jalan Sg Bidut/Kampung Tutus/Kampung Sebedil/Kampung Bungan Kecil in Sibu Division amounting to RM32,500,000; construct road from Sibu Jaya to Jalan Kong Yit Khim in Sibu (RM34 million); proposed upgrading and rehabilitation of Belaga to Menjawah Road in Kapit (RM39 million); construction of Jalan Rantau Panjang/Rassau at Batang Igan Phase 1 (RM19,200,000); proposed Sg Limbang Bridge, Sg Bunut No.2 Bridge and connecting roads in Limbang (RM30 million); Cantilever Bridge over Batang Kemena at Sebauh, Bintulu (RM20 million); proposed upgrading of the existing eight Bailey bridges along Lundu-Sempadi Road in Kuching (RM40 million); and replacement of temporary council bridges (RM34 million).

“A total of RM50 million is required by the Ministry of Utilities to supply electricity to schools not connected to the state grid while the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources requires RM37 million for the redevelopment of Kampung Datu, Kuala Lawas, Limbang (RM25 million) and placement of Kampung Sungai Bedaun, Kuching project (RM12 million),” he said.

The Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development needs RM10 million for building RGC Long Lama in Miri.

Some RM132,200,000 is required by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to complete Miri regional sewage plant and sewer pipe network (Phase 1).

The construction of Miri City Hall requires RM43.3 million; RM95 million is required by the state financial secretary for the RMM at Darul Hana (RM30 million); RMM at Ranggau, Limbang (RM15 million) and a grant to Mutiara Mortgage Sdn Bhd (RM50 million), while RM150 million is required by the state secretary for the ongoing ‘Projek Rakyat’ throughout the state.