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KUCHING, Oct 27: Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian is appreciative of the 2018 Budget but he believes that it is more important for Sarawak to retain its financial autonomy.
He highlighted some of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s specific allocations for Sarawak.
“Budget 2018 just announced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister today is indeed a more ‘inclusive’ budget compared to Budget 2017 by including Sarawak in many areas in the allocation of federal funds like electricity and clean water supplies for rural areas in Sarawak.
“I also appreciate the fact that our Prime Minister has also allocated RM1 billion for repairing dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
“Nevertheless, I still want to emphasize my constant stand that the ultimate financial panacea for Sarawak is to seek financial autonomy for Sarawak, like mining our oil fields and having our petroleum company, banking licences, having more say in regional flight connections etc. to effectively boost and expedite Sarawak’s economic and infrastructural development so as to catch up with the Peninsular and the rest of the world,” said Dr Sim in a statement today.
He held the view that if Sarawak could regain its financial autonomy, it would be more effective for Sarawak to build up and develop the state, rather than waiting for annual handouts from the federal government.
“I believe with our financial autonomy we can repair our dilapidated schools and hospitals much faster than every year depending on the annual National Budget or Malaysia Plans to take notice of our Sarawakians’ needs.
“I believe that for Sarawak to grow stronger, we must achieve financial independence through more financial autonomy,” said Dr Sim. — DayakDaily