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KUCHING, June 22: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang today thanked Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for giving Sarawakians an unforgettable Hari Gawai-Raya gift in the form of a “bold insult”.
Hence, Idris demanded an apology from Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.
“What he said insinuates and insults our intelligence in that Sarawak would become bankrupt in three years as it would utilise its RM31 billion coffer to cater for its budgeted development, as if the state economy would be ‘dead’ and without income for these three years.
“Clearly that cannot be the case. Our economy is dynamic and vibrant, just that it needs to be supported by all sectors, including the federal government, which constitutionally, legally and morally have designated obligations towards the state,” said Idris in a statement today.
As finance minister, he said Lim should know Sarawak’s needs for strategic infrastructural developments as well the prospect and dynamics of its economy.
“And it is as a federal minister that he uttered this ‘insulting words’ in the face of all Sarawakians, especially during the Hari Gawai and Hari Raya seasons. I take it as quite crude,” he said.
Idris said Lim had failed to give proper consideration of the real economic situation of Sarawak and its prospect as well as the sound financial management of the Sarawak government before making such a statement.
Lim also failed to understand the needs of development in Sarawak, particularly the huge rural needs.
Year after year, the Sarawak government brought up the need for more allocations for rural roads, bridges, electricity and treated water supply. The most recent case being the need to build the three bridges of Rambungan, Batang Lupar and Igan but the federal government claimed it had no money.
That being the case, the Sarawak government was forced to take over federal duties to provide for the people. The same situation happened to its needs for reconstructing and repairing thousands of dilapidated schools, rural electrification, enhancing and expanding treated water supply systems to the sprawling and scattered towns and settlements.
“I thought that the finance minister, when he came to Sarawak during this festive month, he would bring good news on project approvals for Sarawak by the billions, just like what he did in Kedah and Sandakan a few months back but instead, he came with this insult.
“At least he should apologise to Sarawakians for the federal government’s failure to help Sarawak as well as the PH government’s failure to fulfil the many election promises and manifestos, now proved to be mere election rhetorics just to fish for votes.
“That should be the least he could do. Instead, he chose to arrogantly insinuate and ridicule our state budget and belittle the capability in GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) leadership,” Idris lamented.
Idris said Lim should also acknowledge the good financial record of the Sarawak government.
“Another thing he could do is to humbly acknowledge the good financial management by our state government for many decades and the clean bill of our financial health as vouched by international analysts like Moody, S&P, and Fitch.
“The billions of ringgit inflow of our FDIs (foreign direct investment) recently is a testimony of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Team’s dynamic and hardworking efforts.
“Yes, at least Lim properly should take cognizant of that in the light of the gloomy dull and boring international reports about the general economy of Malaysia since his PH government took over,” he highlighted.
Muara Tuang assemblyman Idris also said Sarawak had been one of the main contributors to Malaysia’s GDP through its oil and gas. As much as 95 per cent of the state’s oil and gas money had been used by the federal government.
“Instead of being grateful to Sarawak and re-inject what Sarawak deserves, he came to ridicule Sarawakians, who, void of help, is now trying to do it themselves.
“Another vital thing he should consider acknowledging is to say on behalf of the PH government their heartfelt gratitude for having the support of Sarawak oil and gas through Petronas. None of the leaders in PH ever said that. Why? I just wonder”, Idris quipped.
To Idris, Lim’s argument on the RM4.3 billion budget for Sarawak was only an afterthought.
“Lim’s reference to the RM4.3 billion budget, which is merely perfunctory on his part, really irks me. He is not thinking of us. His statement shows that he could not care less about Sarawak,” said Idris.
Idris was responding to Lim who said that Sarawak would go bankrupt in three years’ time if GPS continued to rule the state.
Lim said Sarawak’s coffers of RM30 billion would be exhausted in three years if GPS were to maintain Sarawak’s annual budget at RM11 billion.
Lim said this while attending Sarawak DAP’s fundraising dinner themed `Sarawak here we come” in Kuching here last night.
Idris concluded that Lim was merely interested in getting the power to rule the state, and from his statement and insult plus the present rate or lack of federal financial support, especially by his ministry to Sarawak, he is far from being sincere and supportive to help Sarawak achieve and fulfil its development needs. — DayakDaily