Abdul Karim calls Chong out for over-sensationalising impact of MCO on businesses, SMEs

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 1: Sarawak would have plenty of money if both DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Sarawak DAP chairman kept their promises in the election manifesto to pay Sarawak its dues such as 20 per cent oil royalty and returning to Sarawak the 50 per cent tax collected.

In pointing this out, PBB vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah asserted that they had failed to fulfill these promises when both of them were in the Federal Cabinet during the Pakatan Harapan government.

“If YB Chong and Lim have not lied to Sarawakians and have given to Sarawak what they had promised in their Election Manifesto and in the DUN assembly, i.e. oil and gas royalty to Sarawak be increased from 5 per cent to 20 per cent and 50 per cent of taxes collected from Sarawak be returned to Sarawak, I’m sure Sarawak Government now would have lots more money to assist Sarawakians including the SMEs.

“YB Chong and Lim as Finance Minister were in the Federal government for two years and they have all opportunity to assist Sarawak and commit their pledges but they chose not to,” Abdul Karim said in statement issued today.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture claimed that Chong had lied to all Sarawakians by not fulfilling their election pledges.

“And now he (Chong) suddenly becomes very Sarawakian at heart again. It’s better for him to shut up at this trying time and let the new Federal Government and State Government address this global Covid-19 problem the way they think best,” he said.

Abdul Karim asserted that the top priority now was to make sure the implementation of MCO would prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“It’s a temporary measure. It’s only two weeks that the MCO is imposed and YB Chong is already saying many SMEs are going to close shop and go bankrupt. Don’t be rhetoric and politically over-sensationalising things.

“The government is not dishing out monies like Santa Claus. Lots of the perks and benefits are meant to reduce burden of entrepreneurs, SMEs and companies too.

“Has Chong even bothered to check all this or is he trying to ride on that call by some SMEs and running down what the has done?” asked Abdul Karim.

The Asajaya assemblyman was responding to Chong who suggested that the State government use its reserves to assist SMEs due to MCO as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. —DayakDaily