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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Oct 19: Kuching city should be elevated to the second capital of Malaysia as it will become a focal point for the ASEAN region once Indonesia relocates its capital to East Kalimantan.
According to a statement today, Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian in his Parliamentary debate in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Oct 18) said the new capital of Indonesia will be located between Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara consisting two cities namely Balikpapan and Samarinda, which was reported to have been allocated with USD32 billion by the Indonesian government and is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
“The development will certainly strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia because citizens of both countries will visit each other and this is expected to bring prosperity to the region of Kalimantan with Sabah and Sarawak positioned to benefit the most from the economic spin-off.
“Therefore, taking into account its geographical location close to Sarawak and Sabah, the development of the new Indonesian capital will be a catalyst for inter-regional development for the two countries (Malaysia and Indonesia),” he said.
Jaziri who is also the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Sarawak chairman further urged for a greater allocation to be given to Sabah and Sarawak under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
He said the increase of allocation is meant for development of basic infrastructure, digitalisation of connectivity, healthcare services, economy as well as human capital and education.
He said that balanced development between Indonesia and Sabah and Sarawak must be implemented as preparation for more rapid development in Borneo in the future.
“Therefore, I hope the prime minister can allocate at least 50 per cent from the total Federal Basic Development allocation to be distributed to Sarawak and Sabah,” he added. — DayakDaily