All Sarawakians deserve to share in state’s prosperity, asserts Sng

Larry Sng

KUCHING, Sept 16: Sarawak PKR will stand up and fight for justice for all Sarawakians in order to ensure none are left behind and all are able to share in the wealth and prosperity of the state.

Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Larry Sng in his Malaysia Day message today asserted it has been for too long that the rights of the majority of Sarawakians have been neglected by corruption and poor governance.

This has resulted in many Sarawakians living in abject poverty, although the country has marked its 57th year of independence from British rule, he opined.

“Sarawak is one of four states (including Selangor, Penang and Johor) that collectively account for 50 percent of Malaysia’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Yet Sarawak remains among the poorest states in Malaysia. This does not match the expectations Sarawakians have for their homeland and this inequality must cease,” Sng highlighted in a statement.

As such, he added, it is the duty of the state and federal governments to ensure that all Sarawakians are able to share in the wealth and prosperity of the state, and not allow this wealth to remain in hands of a minority ruling elite.

Urgent steps must be taken by the Sarawak government to enhance the state’s economic growth and create viable jobs, particularly for rural communities.

“Sarawak is rich in natural resources such as timber, oil and gas. Yet month after month, year after year we see a comedy of errors unfolding on the Sarawak state government stage, with a stunning inability to deliver on development projects from clean pipe water to electricity to safe roads to upgrading clinics and schools.

“Sarawak ministers live in luxury mansions whilst rural communities live in dilapidated housing with no clean water or electricity. An example, Sarawak ministers fly to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore for medical treatment whilst pregnant Dayak women sometimes travel 6-8 hours by four-wheel-drive through dangerous timber roads to reach a hospital where they can give birth,” Sng pointed out, adding that there must be a stop to this as Sarawak’s prosperity must be shared by all.

He stressed that Sarawak government must be held accountable through public accounts committee audits and ministerial asset declarations in a move to curb systemic corruption and incompetence.

Sng reiterated that PKR Sarawak’s top priority following a state election victory will be to restore and protect by way of legislation and amendments native customary right (NCR) of customary land of the people of Sarawak.

“We will restore power to the people by returning their native customary land to them by conducting efficient perimeter mapping and land survey studies. Funds will be provided to carry out a complete study which can accurately identify the Native customary land boundaries and expedite the issue of land titles and deeds.

“This is an initiative already being implemented by the Warisan Plus government in neighbouring Sabah. The response to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive.

“By restoring land to the people of Sarawak we will provide them with a means of economic development, by enabling them to farm on their land or participate in sustainable reforestation programmes,” Sng added.

As for agriculture diversification for sustainable economic grow and food security, Sng said PKR will seek to launch a green revolution aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in rice production.

He explained that potential policy incentives such as the introduction of high import tariffs will be studied, discussed and built into a Food Security Programme will aim to empower local rice farmers (often within the B40 Category), state authorities or public bodies, and local communities, to use land management, irrigation and modern science in order to achieve a high level of domestic production.

“We must ensure that Malaysia achieves full self-sufficiency and lowers the reliance of imports over a certain timescale. Other products such as our world famous Sarawak pepper, engkabang and terung Dayak should also be developed for export to West Malaysia and international markets.

“The fresh water fishing industry should be developed and promoted through an Integrated Sustainable Organic Livestock and River Conservation Programme. We should look at models developed in Thailand, Taiwan and Japan where various districts are provided with government training, support and finance to develop a niche market for particular products,” he added.

Meanwhile, to achieve effective market access and distribution, Sng requested the Sarawak state government to ensure all communities throughout Sarawak, in particular rural communities, are able to fully and actively participate in various aspects of e-commerce, e-government, e-health and e-education.

For this, he pointed out, the government must ensure that 4G or 5G technologies are built, maintained and provided throughout the state urgently. — DayakDaily