KUCHING, Nov 6: While taking into account the challenges faced by the country due to Covid-19 pandemic, SUPP top leaders however expressed their disappointment with the seemingly small allocation to Sarawak.
Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said he was disappointed that Sarawak and Sabah were not getting a much bigger allocation.
Additionally, Dr Sim who is also Minister of Local Government and Housing said, Sarawak’s 65,000 traders and hawkers should get the same Prihatin Special Grant of RM1,000 as those given to Sabah’s traders and hawkers under the said grant.
“We will need to scrutinise the details on Ministry of Health’s allocation to see any funding for our Cancer Centre or the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s allocation for Sarawak and see how many of the 14,000 RPR houses or 3,000 low-cost houses would be allocated to Sarawak,” said Dr Sim when commenting on the Budget 2021 tabled by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Parliament today.
Concurring Dr Sim’s sentiment, SUPP Youth Central Chief Michael Tiang expressed his disappointment that Sarawak was allocated RM4.5 compared to Sabah’s RM5.1 billion.
“This Budget 2021 further resonates among Sarawakians when we are once again being allocated with a mere RM4.5 billion for state development projects. This federal allocation to Sarawak does not justify the fact that Sarawak is one of the three equal partners in the federation,” he said.
He stressed that the government must be reminded that the Covid-19 pandemic affects not only the livelihoods of the lower-income groups, it also affects all trades and all levels of society.
“We all need help regardless of what income groups we are being categorised by the government. One prime example is that the loan moratorium should not only automatically for B40 and micro industries, but it should also be extended to all, especially to the small and medium enterprise which are struggling with retaining their business and workforce as well as cash flow while facing multiple spikes of the pandemic since March this year,” said Tiang.
However, he was glad that the budget focuses on the battle against the pandemic such as giving a one-off RM500 grant to the 100,000 frontliners and Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat to lower the lower-income groups, especially the B40. – DayakDaily