In Malaysia Day speech, PM vows RM9b allocation to ‘share prosperity’ with Sabah, Sarawak

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob attends the Malaysia Day celebration at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) in Kota Kinabalu, September 16, 2021. Also present is Sabah Yang Dipertua Tun Juhar Mahiruddin. — Bernama pic
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob attends the Malaysia Day celebration at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) in Kota Kinabalu, September 16, 2021. Also present is Sabah Yang Dipertua Tun Juhar Mahiruddin. — Bernama pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — Putrajaya has allocated some RM9 billion to Sabah and Sarawak while reiterating its commitment towards equal partnership with the two East Malaysian states.

In his speech during the Malaysia Day celebration, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the federal government will send some RM4.66 billion for Sabah and RM4.47 for Sarawak with the intention of sharing prosperity across the nation.

“It will be channelled through the development fund under the Rolling Plan 1, 2021 in the 12th Malaysian Plan that will be tabled in Parliament on September 27. This is among the highest allocation we are giving compared to other states, as proof of our commitment to increasing the economic health and wellbeing of the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

“With a principle of ‘working with the people’, we will continue to focus on these two states so that we can all achieve equal levels of prosperity,” he said.

He said that the federal government will continue to find solutions to problems of the people raised by Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, and his Sarawak counterpart Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.

Ismail Sabri also said among their focus was to ensure that internet connectivity was improved in the two states and to this end, dedicated a total of RM7.7 billion in the next five years — Sabah with RM3.61 billion and Sarawak with RM4.09 billion — under its Jendela programme.

“Hopefully after this we won’t hear of any more Keluarga Malaysia, who are forced to climb trees or rooftops to get internet connection,” he said, referring to Sabah student Veveonah Mosibin who spent 24 hours on top of a tree in the jungle for her online examinations.

He also acknowledged that Malaysia Day every year brings around the issue of equal partners between the two states and West Malaysia and the outstanding provisions under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“The government, under the MA63 Special Council promises to give due attention to issues that are of importance to Sabah and Sarawak. We guarantee that we will continue to resolve the issues through negotiations under the Council, which is chaired by myself. We are committed to seeing this through.

“Despite being separated by the South China Sea, we will overcome the challenges with democracy and tolerance, based on the Constitution and laws,” he said.

Ismail Sabri urged all Malaysians to come together like a Malaysian family and celebrate its unity.

He is here on a one-day visit, his first as prime minister, to launch the Malaysia Day celebration which was held at the Sabah International Convention Centre.

Earlier, he attended a briefing on the state’s affairs and also visited some families in Penampang whose homes were affected by the floods and landslides yesterday.

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