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KUCHING, Sept 27: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) alleges that Malaysia has failed miserably in its economic planning in five decades to uplift poverty and bring development to Sarawak.
Its president Lina Soo made the point, citing 2020 Household Income Estimates and Incidence of Poverty Report released by the Department of Statistics on Aug 6, 2021 which shows that the incidence of absolute poverty in Sarawak had increased by 12.9 per cent in 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019.
She said Sarawakians need to treat the country’s National Plans with pragmatism and realism.
“Now with the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) being tabled in the Parliament, Sarawakians must take stock and do a critical analysis of the Malaysia Plans if they have achieved their targets with success in fulfilling the aspiration of the people of Sarawak for progress and development as promised 58 years ago upon the formation of the federation of Malaysia,” said Soo in a statement in response to the tabling of 12MP in Parliament today.
Soo said Sarawak is officially the third poorest State in Malaysia, after Kelantan and Sabah based on monthly gross household income, as revealed by the Department of Statistics.
The statistics show an increase in the number of poor households in Sarawak where 20 per cent of the M40 income group (RM4,840-RM10,959 per month) has been reduced to the bottom B40 (less than RM4,850) income bracket, making the middle-income poor and the poor to become poorer still.
She said, this 12MP which is a five-year (2021-2025) plan, themed “A Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable Malaysia”, aims to steer the nation out of the Covid-19 pandemic and put the economy back on track with the focus on social welfare and protection for workers and the rakyat, particularly the needs of the bottom 40 per cent (B40) group.
“As usual, every Malaysia Plan has its rhetorics but fails miserably on delivery.
“Why is it after 11 Malaysia Plans, Sarawak who is the richest State in terms of oil and gas production and contributes the bulk of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the national coffer the third poorest State in Malaysia?
“Why are the people of Sarawak in the rural areas still so deprived with little access to clean water, infrastructure, healthcare and educational opportunities, keeping us poorer and poorer?” Soo asked.
She said politicians serving Sarawak have failed to bring progress and development, and this dereliction of their duty to protect the Sarawak people and its wealth has resulted in great economic loss to Sarawak every single day for the past 58 years.
“Sarawakians need no more glamourous and grandiose Malaysia Plan to hoodwink the people of Sarawak. We only need to have our sovereignty over our continental shelf up to 12 nautical miles, and all economic rights and ownership over our oil and gas, and Sarawak shall be a rich nation at the top, instead of at the bottom today,” adds Soo.
She further urges the people of Sarawak to look at their surroundings, and use their vote wisely so that Sarawakians need not remain poor forever. — DayakDaily