SUPP claims Sarawak Pakatan didn’t fight enough for state in Budget 2020

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tables Budget 2020 in Parliament October 11, 2019.― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tables Budget 2020 in Parliament October 11, 2019.― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUCHING, Oct 12 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan today accused the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) of not doing enough to protect the state’s financial welfare, citing its allocation under the federal Budget 2020.

She said Sarawak is the biggest oil and gas producer in the country yet it is being marginalised by the PH federal government.

“Even Sabah gets more allocation than Sarawak,” she said when commenting on the Budget 2020.

Kho said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was also finance minister when tabling Budget 2018, had set aside RM1 billion to repair dilapidated Sarawak schools.

“But current Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng allocated RM783 million to fix dilapidated schools in both Sarawak and Sabah,” she said, pointing out that Lim made no mention on the construction of any new schools in the hornbill state.

She said Najib also allocated RM1 billion for the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission to develop communications centres and broadband facilities in Sabah and Sarawak.

Kho said Lim, on the other hand, allocated RM250 million to leverage on various technologies, including via satellite broadband connectivity in Sabah and Sarawak to improve connectivity.

She noted that companies that use green energy will enjoy tax reduction of up to 70 per cent for 10 years under Budget 2020, but it is limited to solar energy.

“Sarawak uses hydro energy and it is green energy too. And it is the only state in Malaysia that uses more green energy (70 per cent) than the traditional coal or diesel generated electricity,” Kho said.

Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar claimed there is nothing to shout about regarding the allocations for electricity, clean water and rural road projects in Sarawak under Budget 2020.

He said these projects are to replace the ones which were approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government in 2016 and 2017, but were later withdrawn or cancelled by the current federal government after the 14th general election last year.

He said he will study whether all the withdrawn projects are to be revived by the PH government.

Wan Junaidi also said the one-off payment of RM500 to be given to former armed forces personnel who served during the first emergency from 1948 to 1960 and the second emergency from 1969 to 1989 should also be extended to former police personnel who served during the emergency from 1962 to 1990 in Sarawak.

“This is a clear case of discrimination of the failure to recognise the struggle of the former police during the emergency in Sarawak,” Junaidi, a former police officer, said.

He said it should not be allowed to happen and cannot be accepted.

Lim, in his Budget speech, had said the government values the sacrifice and heroism of the armed forces, particularly holders of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia.

“Hence, the government will accord a one-off payment of RM500 to the 70,000 holders of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia, with an allocation of RM35 million,” Lim said.

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