KUCHING: Ninety-six per cent of Sarawakians are reportedly unhappy with the Budget 2020 allocation to Sarawak.
Sarawak Patriots Association conducted a two-day survey involving 20,000 respondents aged 25 to 70 years through a Whatsapp and WeChat installed in their smart phones over the weekend.
SPA president Datuk John Lau in a statement yesterday, said he was surprised with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who said he (Lim) was surprised Sarawakians are very unhappy with the Budget 2020 he tabled in Parliament on Friday.
In the Budget 2020, Sarawak was allocated RM4.4 billion in development expenditure, much less than Sabah, which was allocated RM5.2 billion.
SPA queried if he (Lim) has forgotten his press conference in Kota Kinabalu prior to the 14th General Election (GE14) where he stated that Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak were equal partners.
“We were very excited to learn about his thoughts and understanding of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“However in his recent statement, he said that state of Sarawak has the second highest fund allocation. Has the Finance Minister forgotten that Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners? By equal partners, it means equal rights, equal privileges, equal distribution of funds and equal allocation of budgets,” he added.
Lau noted that in the Budget 2020, Malaya had taken 83 per cent of the total allocation of RM56 billion while Sabah received 9 per cent and Sarawak 8 per cent.
“We want to ask Lim Guan Eng whether this is fair, justified and reasonable.
“The Finance Minister, who always advocated transparency and accountability, should be more transparent on the formula he applied in the Budget 2020 allocation.
“Therefore, we ask the minister to allocate fund based on MA63, an internationally recognised treaty. Does he still recognise the MA63 or does he treat MA63 as void?” he asked.
Lai assured that members of the association support peaceful resolutions to disputes, oppose all forms of hegemony and power politics.
“This is why the association is supporting Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s call for Sarawakians to support the Sarawak government’s initiative to develop the state. Let us do it the Sarawak way,” he said.