Adequate state budget to implement critical projects, asserts Salang

Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, June 8: The Sarawak government has enough budget to implement critical and vital projects such as water, electricity and roads for the rural areas, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum.

As such he said, the proposal to build the Second Trunk Road was not at the expense of other critical projects for rural areas.

“With regards to the Coastal Road, are the areas it passes through not rural that also need development?

“As for the Second Trunk Road, it is cutting across rural areas mostly inhabited by Dayaks. (So), is it wrong to bring development to these areas through provision of infrastructure and modern utilities?

“The question is, does Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) also bring development to the ulu areas or can it do so because the fund is exhausted by implementing the two mega projects?

“To my knowledge, there is enough fund for these two projects and other necessary projects for other areas,” Salang told DayakDaily when contacted today.

Salang reiterated that it was challenging to develop Sarawak due to its sheer geographical size which is as big as the whole of Peninsular Malaysia.

“Yes, it is true that Sarawak needs accelerated development because we were slow to start and if this is a fault of GPS, one must remember that GPS is only about two years old and leaders of PSB are equally guilty of the neglect,” he said.

He was commenting on PSB’s recent Facebook post that it will scrap mega projects especially the Coastal and Seconf Trunk Road and instead will use money to develop the rural areas, if it wins the coming State election.

“Reality check is to go to the ‘kawasan’ of these leaders and see if they are developed,” stressed Salang, who was a former Julau MP and former deputy federal minister.

On the allegation by PSB that GPS was working with Perikatan Nasional (PN) especially with Pas and Umno, Salang clarified that GPS is independent of outside parties although it works together with PN for the good of the country.

“GPS fights for and protects Sarawak’s rights and will continue to do so in the context of maintaining national harmony since we are not fighting for independence, and we are glad to work with any party or group that recognises and respects Sarawakians’ aspirations,” he explained

On PSB’s intention to take over the Sarawak Government in the coming 12th State election Salang said, PSB’s intention is to replace GPS which has been in power all this while and yet it prides itself with having members formerly from Barisan Nasional (BN).

“The question is, have these (former BN) members been better than the others or they left their previous parties because they didn’t agree with the way Sarawak was treated?,” he asked.

On PSB’s promises of better Sarawak if it forms the next State Government, Salang asked, “PSB makes very nice promises but says it will cross the bridge only after the elections, very interesting. They want to fight alone, noble, but why not (contesting in) all the 82 seats?”. —DayakDaily