Budget had no impact then, it has no impact now — Snowdan

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

KUCHING, Oct 12: The RM4.4 billion development allocation for Sarawak, a mere RM100 million increase from this year’s budget, will not bring significant improvement to the state’s infrastructure development.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan said the state barely see any major developments brought about by the federal government from the previous Budget 2019 of RM4.3 billion.

“Now with a mere RM100 million increase in Budget 2020 for Sarawak, I have little hope it would give any significant impact on the state’s development.

“Furthermore, since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over Putrajaya in 2018, many development projects in Sarawak have been cancelled, while some saw budget cuts.

“Twenty per cent oil royalty disregarded, only a mere RM100 million incremental budget for Sarawak. On the surface it may appear convincing, but going into details, it is otherwise,” the Youth and Sports Assistant Minister said in a statement.

Snowdan asked whether Putrajaya would reinstate cut budgets for cancelled projects.

“The RM4.3 billion allocation meant for 2019 have not truly been felt and visible thus far, as far as development in Sarawak is concerned.

“We have not seen any impactful federal projects that have been launched or completed thus far. It won’t be wrong to say it’s only a mere budget,” he said.

Snowdan the RM1 billion Batang Lupar Bridge project, which would have been equally borne between the state and federal government, as an example of cancelled projects.

“The Pakatan government cancelled these project, leaving the state to bear all the cost though it had been approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government.”

Snowdan also lamented the non-mention of Sarawak oil and gas royalty during the Budget 2020 tabling.

He said the budget not only ignored Sarawakians but deprived them of what they desired most, which was the 20 per cent oil and gas royalty.

Snowdan claimed Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng manipulated the sentiments by bargaining and riding on the special grants of RM32 million, which was much less than Sabah of RM53.4 million, thinking that Sarawakians would be ignorant about it.

Taking into account the dilapidated schools situation throughout the state, he said Sarawak would like to demand a bigger chunk of the RM783 million fund allocated to Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the Budget did not reflect well on Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 as envisioned. — DayakDaily