KUCHING: The Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI) hopes that Sarawak will receive an allocation of a few billion in the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
OUCCI president Datuk Mutang Tagal said the fund should be allocated in order to completely restore and refurbish dilapidated schools in Sarawak and Sabah.
“Education is crucial to the nation’s future progress.
“Hence, modern schools with state-of-art learning facilities as well as competent and well-trained teachers should be provided for our students, particularly deprived rural children of longhouses and villages,” he said in a statement on Sunday (Nov 7).
Tagal pointed out that the allocation of RM10 million to encourage children in Sarawak and Sabah to deepen their knowledge of culture and heritage is a pittance given to the two states’ many ethnic groups, each with its own cultural associations.
“A few hundred million should be allocated, similar to what has been allocated to the Chinese, Indian and Orang Asli communities in Malaya.”
“Where is the fairness in distribution? Of the RM234 billion in revenue expected in 2022, RM43.9 billion is expected to come from petroleum, gas and other petroleum-related sources,” he said.
The chamber believes that Sarawak and Sabah are accounted for at least two-thirds of the RM43.9 million, thus, it is disappointing that Sarawak is given RM4.6 billion and Sabah is given RM5.2 billion, despite the fact that the two states are always at the bottom of the pack when a review of the various states’ economies is conducted.
“The two regions, not states, deserve a ‘Marshall Plan’ development strategy and thrust, similar to what happened to Europe after World War 2, to lift Europe out of poverty as a result of the war’s ravages.
“Sarawak and Sabah deserve these massive development funds and efforts, and the federal government must have the political will to make them a reality,” he added.