Home > English (General) > Sarawak Budget 2012: ‘Here’s the truth about Sarawak’

Sarawak Budget 2012: ‘Here’s the truth about Sarawak’

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by Joseph Tawie

The Sarawak government can continue to sing the ‘same old tune’ about its marvelous Budget 2012 , but the reality speaks for itself.

KUCHING: The state government has continued, year-in-year-out, to gloat over how marvelous the budget surplus is and how sound Sarawak’s financial position is.

But here’s the truth – Sarawak is not rich, not advanced and not successful, although it should be, said DAP’s Meradong assemblywoman Ting Tze Pui.

“Lets just look at a few economic facts of Sarawak. Undeniably Sarawak is the biggest state geographically but sadly not the most advanced or the richest state in Malaysia, though our state is endowed with such a large land mass.

“Beneath and above this massive land, there is an extraordinary and immense abundance of natural resources compared to all (other) states in Malaysia.

“But we are still regarded generally as one of the five poorest states in Malaysia.

“Our state of infrastructures like roads, bridges, hospitals and other public amenities are universally regarded as both deplorable and grossly inadequate.

“For instance, until now divisional towns like Sri Aman, Betong, Saratok, Bintangor and others do not even have a proper public hospital each,” she said.

Shoddy roads

Ting said that despite huge amounts being spent on road maintenance per kilometer per month, Sarawak has one of the most inferior and shoddy roads found in the whole of Malaysia.

Every year on the Borneo Highway from Kuching to Miri, hundreds of accidents occur, not necessarily because of careless driving but because of poor road conditions, such as big cracks and potholes, huge bumps, winding bends, slippery or rocky road surfaces, she said.

“One very fundamental reason as to why we have rather inferior roads is because we have in actual fact been shortchanged financially by the federal BN government which is taking more than giving us.

“Despite the fact that Sarawak and Sabah form the main pillars of strength in the form of fixed deposits (of voters) to the BN government and their ultimate political power and dominance in Putrajaya, the federal government has back-stabbed Sarawak and Sabah.

“It back-stabbed these states by ceding vast expanse in the tune of three to four million acres of our maritime territory off Limbang and Sabah coast called Block L and M, wherein lies multi- billion ringgit worth of oil and gas reserves, to the Brunei government.

“The state government has failed again to make even a simple protest to-date to the Federal Government,” Ting said.

‘Budget 2012 only sounds good’

She said that despite the many assertions of how sound the state economy was and how good the state ratings are, Sarawak still remains a backward state.

“Our state budget surplus would be a billion dollars more than the estimated RM79 million should the federal government oblige our state more generously.

“The grants and reimbursements from the federal government only account for RM122 million while the federal government is racking in billions in revenue from Sarawak for the greater betterment of the states in West Malaysia.

“This state government has failed over the years to persuade the federal government to give greater financial allocation to Sarawak which we rightfully deserved.

“In short, the 2012 budget only sounds good,” Ting said.

Source: FMT

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