KUCHING, July 2 — The Sarawak government’s flagpole project is not a case of misplaced priorities as alleged by certain detractors including Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, said Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.
The chief political secretary to the Sarawak Premier reminded Chong that this project was undertaken by the private sector as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), where no state funds were used.
“The project component under the RM30 million project value also includes other amenities near the flagpole as well as its compound.
“This will be a symbol of pride for Sarawak, being a tourist attraction, which will in turn benefit small businesses especially residents living in nearby villages,” he said in a statement.
He was responding to Chong who yesterday described the project as the state’s “most expensive erection of a structure ever” and said it “showed the non-accountability of the state government”.
Fazzrudin pointed out that the justifications for this project and its value had been explained numerous times in the press.
“It is surprising to see a lawyer, politician and an assemblyman to have such limited ability to grasp basic facts and instead chooses to distort these facts,” he said.
The Tupong assemblyman stressed that the Sarawak government has always adhered to the concept of transparency and accountability in its financial management while also maintaining its priorities to develop the infrastructure throughout Sarawak.
“I would like to remind Chong that the Sarawak government under the leadership of Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg has spent billions in terms of infrastructure development.
“These include the millions that were spent on completing the bridges that were initially cancelled by the (federal) government Chong was part of after the 14th General Election,” he said.
Other initiatives, Fazzrudin said, were the billions spent to ensure a complete water supply infrastructure throughout the state as well as uninterrupted electricity supply; the various assistances rendered during the Covid-19 pandemic where the state government spent around RM6.7 billion through the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) packages; and the RM1 billion advance payment to the federal government a few years ago to pay for the repair of dilapidated schools, while also using state funds to build its own schools in the state.
“Concerted efforts are made to develop Sarawak by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government,” he said.
Fazzrudin said Chong’s statement is exactly the demeanour of the DAP which people might view as anti-development, anti-transformation and anti-progress, where they harp on petty matters while overlooking obvious benefits.
“If DAP is still confused as to why people have little confidence for the party, it is because of petty politicking and their inability to understand the aspirations of the people of Sarawak, who want to see their state being developed in terms of tourism through the construction of a new landmark,” he said.
In this regard, Fazzrudin urged Chong and the DAP to do more for the people of Sarawak rather than express their grievances in the media.
“They should work hand-in-hand with the Sarawak government to cater for the needs of the people on the ground.
“That is what unity means with both DAP and GPS being part of the unity federal government, and with DAP Sarawak as a responsible opposition at the state level,” he said. — Borneo Post