SIBU, July 27 — Sarawak has yet to settle RM350 million of the RM1 billion it owes the Federal Government.
According to Sibu member of parliament Oscar Ling Chai Yew, statements issued by the Sarawak government on the matter had been confusing, leaving many questions unanswered.
He said the people were anxious about the state’s current financial situation.
“Therefore we urge the state government to present the financial report so that we are informed of the state’s financial position,” he told a press conference at DAP’s headquarters here today.
Ling said Gabungan Parti Sarawak under the leadership of Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had yet to pay the RM350 million which the federal government planned to use for rehabilitating rundown schools in the state.
He said the people were also questioning the state government’s announcement about implementing mega projects using the state’s RM30 billion reserves.
Meanwhile, he said the federal government could not extend a fund advance to the state for the school rehabilitation projects as it could affect the country’s credit rating.
He said based on its current fiscal performance, the federal government is confident that it could achieve the 3.4 per cent fiscal deficit target compared with the gross domestic product (GDP) this year. Giving the advance to Sarawak would increase the federal government’s expenditure.
“It is important to maintain the credit rating for the federal government to be able to further gain foreign investors’ confidence and draw them to invest in the country,” he said.
Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong yesterday was reported as saying that the state government was ready to settle the sum any time this year and the balance in stages next year. — Bernama