Putrajaya must honour past commitments

PUTRAJAYA is urged to honour past pledges and commitments in terms of federal projects by the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said that BN had approved 59 projects which included roads and bridges with a total scheme value of about RM2.2 billion in the state.

“However, with the change in government at the federal level to Pakatan Harapan (PH), some of the projects were discontinued,” he said in his winding-up speech in the state assembly here yesterday.

“Sarawak government has to take over the implementation of the projects and at the same time ensure that sufficient budget allocation is provided as approved earlier by the then BN government.”

Masing exhorted Putrajaya to be mindful of the much-needed infrastructure required for Sarawak in order to achieve its developed status by 2030.

“The current PH government, as successor to the previous government, must honour the commitment made to carry out infrastructure projects diligently and in good faith.”

On the federal 2020 Budget, the deputy chief minister stressed that Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya are equal partners as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“However, the allocation does not reflect the fair and equal wealth distribution between the  partners that formed Malaysia.

“The distribution of development allocation for 2020 is not consistent with what is envisaged under the 2030 Shared Prosperity Vision, that is fair and equitable distribution across income groups, ethnicities, regions and supply chains.”

Masing pointed out that in the budget tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the development allocation for Sarawak was only nine percent, while for Sabah — 11 percent and Malaya — 80 percent.

“This imbalanced development fund given to the three regions which formed Malaysia, throws a different light to the concept of shared prosperity as conceptualised by the prime minister.

“Therefore, I would like to urge the federal government to be fair or unbiased in the distribution of its development allocation to Sarawak.

“The size of Sarawak is almost the same as that of Malaya, and plus the fact that Sarawak is one of the nation’s major revenue contributors via its oil and gas sector assets,” he added.

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