KUCHING, Nov 13 — Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the state’s ruling coalition, wants to work closely with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government for the benefit of the country, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing said today.
“Since we are both the governments, that is our strength. Let us, therefore, govern this country to the best of our ability. The people expect nothing less of us, but to administer this country,” he said in his winding up speech at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.
He cited the proposed construction of the RM800 million Batang Lupar bridge in Sri Aman Division as an example of where the state and federal governments could work together.
He said it had been proposed in June last year that the state and federal governments each contribute 50 per cent of the total cost of construction.
Masing, who is also the state minister of infrastructure development and transportation, said the state government was agreeable to the federal government’s proposal to construct an alternative route for Pan Borneo Highway Phase 2, by-passing Brunei, from Marudi to Mulu, Limbang and Lawas then straight to Sabah, with a subsidiary road to the Bario highland.
“These are examples of utilising our strengths for the betterment of the country. It is a win-win situation for both parties, and the beneficiaries are the people of Malaysia, particularly Sarawak,” he said.
He also expressed his appreciation to Works Minister Baru Bian for securing funding through the federal Budget 2019 for continuous infrastructure development in Sarawak.
“With adequate funding, we will achieve greater opportunities in economic growth, thus reducing economic and social disparities between the urban and rural dwellers,” he said.
He said there are many projects that require federal funding, like school construction and repair, roads and bridges.
However, he said funding for these projects has been slashed by the federal government.
Masing also asked politicians from both sides to stop the blame game and finger pointing.
He said they should focus on each other’s strengths and on what they have in common, instead of on their differences and highlight their opponents’ weaknesses.