Budget not just hot air, says CM

Nazmi Suhaimi

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Amid criticism from the opposition bloc on his State 2020 Budget tabled on Nov 4, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun came out swinging to silence his doubters.

He insisted that the state budget was not hot air as claimed by state Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

Last week, Chong alleged that the GPS government tabled a budget without having the financial backing to do it, and he compared it to hot air.

“As long as we are in power, we have ways of finding funds for development,” he said when officiating at Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) third anniversary dinner at a leading mall here yesterday.

Abang Johari revealed that the state recouped RM2 billion in dividends from their 25 percent equity in LNG products.

“Our state budget is not hot air. We worked on it and for it, so don’t take us for fools,” he said.

The chief minister then stressed that unity of the people was paramount to sustain development.

“Don’t be influenced by Malayan politics. If we follow their lead, that will be the end of us,” he said.

“They lost in Sarawak in the GE14; we won. We have 19 of the 31 seats contested. Then after much deliberation, I said that it’s time that we exit (the federal Barisan Nasional coalition).”

Abang Johari pointed out that it was best that the state was managed and developed by Sarawakians themselves.

On the development of Kota Samarahan, the chief minister revealed that there was a request by MPKS chairman Datuk Peter Minos for a new office building for the council.

“We will take it into consideration and will include it among the other projects in the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12).

“Hopefully the building will be completed by 2025, the final year of RMK12. After that, we will shift development in Samarahan to ensure its prosperity.

“So remember that in the next few years, if the building is not completed, you can me remind of it,” he said in jest. 

The chief minister was accompanied by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Infrastructure and Ports Development Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

Also present at the function were Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang; Stakan assemblyman Datuk Mohamad Ali Mahmud; Sadong Jaya assemblyman Aidel Lariwoo; MPKS chairman Datuk Peter Minos; Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) mayor Datuk Junaidi Reduan.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg receives a souvenir from Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Datuk Peter Minos (third left) after officiating at the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) third anniversary dinner at a leading mall in Kuching on Monday. Looking on (from left) are Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and Infrastructure and Ports Development Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi.
Abang Johari (front row, 8th right), Minos (9th right), Abdul Karim (10th right), Idris (13th right), Dr Sim (7th right), Mohamad Ali (5th right) and Lo (3rd right) pose with the MPKS staff and other dignitaries. Photos: Ghazali Bujang.
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