KUCHING: Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin described the 2020 federal Budget as ‘imbalanced’ as Sarawak gets less in special grants than Sabah.
He said this in response to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who said that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was giving Sarawak a lot more than the previous Barisan National (BN) government’s administration.
Lee criticised Lim for comparing the current and previous governments in justifying the matter and to put the PH in a positive light.
Sarawak was also allocated less (RM4.4 billion) in development expenditure compared to RM5.2 billion for Sabah in the 2020 Budget which amounted to only about 17 per cent of the total development expenditure of RM56 billion.
Lee explained that although there was an increase in financial grants to the state, PH had failed to keep its promise of allocating 30 per cent of the development expenditure to Sabah and Sarawak.
“Firstly, Sarawak is almost as big as Malaya in size, and of course bigger than our neighbour Sabah.
“We (Sarawak) are most lacking in development, healthcare and education in this country,” he told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.
He implied that the size difference alone makes it hard for Sarawak to be developed on a par with other states, made worse with the little funding it is given.
“Thus, the budget allocation for the state is unfair. Sarawak is not getting its due shares of funds,” he said, stressing that Sarawak was a founding partner in the formation of Malaysia.
“In general, many Sarawakians are not happy with the budget. It is disappointing as it adds up to the list of unfulfilled PH promises,” he said.