Abang Johari (right) with his budget speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) last November. On his right is Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. In his budget speech, he allocated a total of RM6.597 billion for development purposes from the total of RM9.891 State 2020 Budget. Photo: Ramidi Subari
It is no secret that Sarawakians always envied their Malayan counterparts for the pace of development across the South China Sea.
After playing catch-up for the last 56 years and
finally standing on its own two feet, Sarawak has had enough.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg
made it a point for the state to be as developed if not more than Malaya.
In doing this, he announced what was the largest
development budget tabled in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) leaving the
Malayan leaning opposition members red-faced.
RM9.076 billion was set aside for development in the
RM11.9 billion State 2019 Budget.
In the State 2020 Budget, a total of RM6.597 billion
out of the total RM9.891 billion was channelled towards development.
Some 63 per cent or RM4.141 billion of the development
allocation is for rural development.
A bird’s eye view of the State Legislative Assembly building on the banks of Sarawak River with a section of Petra Jaya in the background.
To put that into context, Putrajaya, or rather Malaya,
the state’s partner in the Malaysia federation only allocated RM4.4 billion to
Sarawak for the same purpose in the Federal 2020 Budget.
Abang Johari viewed that to propel Sarawak forward, it
could not rely on the usual annual allocation in the federal and state budget
which he described as far from sufficient.
A view of the Darul Hana bridge taken from a tambang while crossing the Sarawak River. Photo: Ghazali Bujang
The hydrogen powered car — energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Photo: Nadim Bokhari
Aerial view of Bakun Dam. Bakun HEP is the largest hydropower plant in Malaysia and one of the two largest in Southeast Asia. The acquisition of Bakun hydroelectric plant (HEP) from the federal government is a “feather in Sarawak government’s cap. The Sarawak government is committed to transforming rural areas to become a developed state by 2030 and ensuring no one including rural folks is left behind. Abang Johari has set aside RM4.141 billion which is 63 per cent of the total development expenditure under the State 2020 budget. Abang Johari (third left) together with (from right) MBKS Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng and DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohmad Asfia Awang Nassar look at the model of Kuching as a Smart City in the near future while being briefed by SMA General Manager Dr Zaidi Razak (centre). Also seen SAINS Chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri George Chan Hong Nam. Photo: Ramidi Subari STATE PRIDE… An artist’s impression of the proposed Rambungan Bridge, which is modelled after The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. The RM98.5-million facility, approved by the previous BN government but cancelled by Pakatan Harapan when it took over Putrajaya, is fully financed by the state government and scheduled for completion in 36 months. Map shows the Coastal Highway (red lines), Pan Borneo Highway (black line) and Second Trunk Road (in dotted lines).