Aspirasi: Budget 2022 a kick in the teeth for Sarawak

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Nov 1: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo opines the RM4.6 billion allocated for Sarawak in Budget 2022 is a kick in the teeth.

Soo in a statement today said, unveiled at RM332 billion, Sarawak gets a development expenditure of RM4.6 billion, an increase of RM0.1 billion from RM4.5 billion in the previous year’s allocation.

“What is even more appalling is that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) administration happily accepted the development allocation of RM4.6 billion amidst profuse thanks to the federal government, as reported in the media in Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s response to Budget 2022.

“If GPS is so satisfied with this allocation, does it mean that GPS agrees that development in Sarawak is already very good and advanced?,” asked Soo.

According to Soo, an allocation of RM4.6 billion out of RM75.6 billion is merely 6 per cent of the total development expenditure set for 2022.

She pointed out that if RM75.6 billion is divided by thirteen states, this comes to RM5.82 billion, and this means that Sarawak, who gets RM4.6 billion, still get less than the average share of RM5.82 billion for each state.

She said the national revenue for 2022 is projected at RM234 billion, and Sarawak contributes the most to the national coffer with its oil and gas production of which Sarawak gets a meager 5 per cent cash payment and 5 per cent sales tax, putting Sarawak in continual impoverishment and backward development.

“Is GPS truly fighting for “equal partner” status? Then the Sarawak government must question why Sarawak’s allocation of the budget expenditure is not RM75.6 billion to be shared among the three partners at RM25.2 billion each,” she queried.

Meanwhile, Soo also called on the GPS administration to stop being so compliant and submissive if it is genuine in its fight for “equal partners”.

“When the people can see that all Sarawak can get is a few miserable crumbs from the national budget year in year out, the people will realise that the government is merely lip-syncing “equal partners” rhetoric without any real meaning, while Sarawak continues to languish in poverty and backwardness,” she said. — DayakDaily.