Jimmy Adit

Lim Guan Eng calling Sarawakians ‘greedy beggars’! That’s the second time the word ‘greedy’ is used on Sarawakians.

The first was on April 1, 2018 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Sabah and Sarawak would only progress at a faster rate if the politicians in the state were less greedy.

He was quoted as saying: “Sabah (and Sarawak) face a lot of administrative issues. We find too many people from the administration are greedy … want to make quick money.”

Not too fast Mr Prime Minister, as rightly pointed out by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan two days later, the two states had lagged behind during the 22 years of Dr Mahathir’s rule; Sabah and Sarawak only saw serious development after he retired.

Pairin went on to ask: “What did Dr Mahathir give us when he was prime minister? Pittance compared to what we are getting now. He is in no position to talk about giving us better infrastructure. As the prime minister, he did not do it. He is going to start giving at 93?”

Well, Dr Mahathir is a year older now and he hasn’t given Sarawakians anything but brickbats.

As for Lim, he must know that in the run up to GE14 he was among the most vocal of the PH people about what he and his party DAP would give to Sarawak if they took over Putrajaya.

So is it any wonder that so many Sarawakians, including leaders such as SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and former law minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, are unhappy with the finance minister?

Maybe we sound greedy because we are insisting to be given more, but to call Sarawakians ‘greedy beggars’?

Sarawakians are no beggars. We can’t be beggars when our oil and gas are being sucked by the millions of litres annually to feed the national coffers.

If we are beggars, we are rich beggars made poor by an unjust system and by an unfair finance minister.

Lim proudly declared that the PH government had saved RM1.2 billion from the Pan Borneo Highway project, following a rationalisation exercise that reduced the cost to RM29 billion.

Why wasn’t this RM1.2 billion returned to Sarawak?

“It is difficult to satisfy their wishes. They always say they are not satisfied even though we have allocated more,” Lim was quoted as saying.

He was further reported as saying that if Sabah and Sarawak are not happy despite getting the highest allocation, then “other states will also not be happy”.

Lim conveniently forgot that Sarawak and Sabah are not one of the 13 states but one of the three signatories to the Federation of Malaysia.

In Nancy’s rebuke of him, a report said:

“A few days ago, he insulted the people of Sarawak by calling us greedy beggars when we, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), were only carrying out our responsibility with regards to the budget.

“We were only demanding our rights. From the allocation of RM9.6 billion or 17.1% of the total development expenditure for 2020, Sarawak and Sabah only received RM4.4 billion and RM5.2 billion, respectively.

“Is it necessary for Sarawakians to be insulted this way? I’m aware the minister doesn’t have any consideration for GPS, but does he have to insult us with a budget that breaks the promises PH made?”

Nancy reminded Lim of PH’s pledges to Sarawakians before the 14th general election.

“I don’t have to repeat myself, please watch the video. The minister knows what he said (before the polls).”

I watched one video on YouTube entitled ‘In Conversation with CM Lim Guan Eng’, a dialogue with the Penang Chief Minister along with Mariam Mokhtar organised by The Monsoons Book Club London, London UK 12/07/2017.

And this is part of what Lim said there:

“I think first we have to understand the history of Malaysia, the role played by Sabah and Sarawak.

“Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners. Bear in mind, without Sabah and Sarawak there is no Malaysia.

“In 1963, Sept 16, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore formed Malaysia, Singapore later left … so we are looking at Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia.

“Sabah and Sarawak are those days, or individually each of them, are not one of the 14 (sic) states; they are one of the three. Without Sabah or without Sarawak no Malaysia. So they are equal partners, yet why are they treated as just another one of the 14 and not one of the three?

“That is why Sabahans and Sarawakians are so unhappy.

“I think the time has come for us to honour our agreement and to ensure they are able to live with dignity.

“I think it is an utter shame.”