KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliamentary chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof has taken to task Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affair Chong Chieng Jen for claiming that the development allocation for Sabah (RM5.2 billion) and Sarawak (RM4.4 billion) is equivalent to 31.9 percent of the total development budget of RM56 billion in the 2020 Budget.
Fadillah pointed to a statement on Wednesday (October 16) where Chong had essentially said that RM9.6 billion development allocation for Sabah and Sarawak was equivalent to 31.9 percent of the total development budget hence this fulfilled PH’s manifesto promise of 30 percent of all development budget.
“Chong justifies this ridiculous calculation by claiming that Sarawak and Sabah must also bear a share of the RM25.9 billion development budget that is not directly allocated to Sabah and Sarawak, as he claims that Sabah and Sarawak also benefit from this,” the Petra Jaya MP said.
Fadillah remarked that a 30 percent share of development expenditure of RM56 billion for Sarawak and Sabah does not work out to RM9.6 billion.
“It should be RM16.8 billion not RM9.6 billion,” he stressed.
Fadillah stated that Sabah and Sarawak do not get anything from the federal government’s allocation to reduce toll rates in Malaya, which is expected to cost billions.
He added that the previous Barison Nasional (BN) government, of which GPS was a part of, had ensured that all tolls in Sarawak had been abolished.
“Neither do we benefit from the ECRL (East Coast Rail Link), the MRT2 (Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line), the LRT3 (Light Rail Transit 3) and other projects in Malaya funded by the federal government,” he said.
Fadillah said that for DAP to suggest that Sarawak and Sabah should also bear a part of those allocations was ‘ridiculous’.
“As a son of Sarawak, Chong must stop colluding and conspiring with the federal government to help them justify why Sarawak and Sabah should not get what was promised as per the manifesto,” he remarked.
He stated that for a start, Chong must insist that Sarawak and Sabah get RM16.8 billion for the development expenditure in the Budget 2020 (not RM9.6 billion), 20 percent of oil royalty and 50 percent of tax revenues collected from Sarawak and Sabah to be paid back to these states.
“A promise is a promise. As a son of Borneo, Chong must fight for us, not fight for the federal government against us,” Fadillah added.