KUCHING, Feb 13 — The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women’s wing today thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his vote of confidence in the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government.
Its chief Kho Teck Wan claimed Dr Mahathir’s confidence in the economy and governance of Sarawak under GPS was contrary to the concerns expressed by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen.
“Lim had warned Sarawakians in June last year that with the state Budget of RM11 billion and state reserve at RM31 billion, Sarawak would go bankrupt in three years’ time,” she said.
Kho said Chong, when commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg’s state Budget 2020 in November 2019, had echoed Lim’s warning by stating that Sarawak was heading down the path of bankruptcy if continued to be ruled by GPS.
She claimed the prime minister has a different picture on the state’s financial position and economy from the “negative” concerns expressed by the two DAP leaders.
“During a recent dialogue session organised by the Malaysian French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Cyberjaya, Dr Mahathir had urged foreign investors to invest in both Sabah and Sarawak as both have good governance.
“In his answers to foreign investors, Dr Mahathir had stated that Sarawak was the richest state in Malaysia with a budget of RM11 billion compared with other states,” she said.
Kho stressed that Sarawakians and Malaysians, in general, should evaluate Sarawak’s financial performance based on its international credit rating.
She said GPS’ prudent spending and governance has earned global confidence when S&P Global Ratings affirmed its “A-“ rating on Sarawak with stable earnings outlook in December 2019.
She said the baseless warnings made by Lim and Chong, who is a Sarawakian himself, were selfish.
“Their actions clearly proved that they are willing to sacrifice Sarawak’s potential earnings and reputation, merely for their short term political gains.
“Instead of trying to sabotage Sarawak’s financial status, I would like to urge Chong to focus on realising the Pakatan Harapan federal government’s promises to give Sarawak 20 per cent oil royalty, return the 50 per cent of the total tax collection in Sarawak back to the state government and return to the autonomies of education and health to the state,” she said.