Chong: Abdul Karim is out of touch with peoples’ suffering

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, Nov 1: Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has criticised Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for the latter’s recent statement on Sarawak having RM30 billion in State reserves, calling him “out of touch with the current plight of the people of Sarawak.”

Saying that while the one per cent like Abdul Karim and his Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) colleagues do not feel the pinch of high inflation, Chong reminded that 99 per cent of Sarawakians are “have-nots” who are now struggling with the escalating high costs of living and price of goods.

“It is pointless of Abdul Karim to keep bragging about the RM30 billion State reserves when 99 per cent of common Sarawakians struggle to make ends meet.


“While Sarawak attracted a total approved Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of RM23 billion in 2020 and 2021, the Opposition state of Penang managed to attract an approved FDI of RM83 billion for the same period, more than three times the FDI figures than Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.

Chong, who is Stampin incumbent, added that this is despite the fact that Penang is an Opposition (Pakatan Harapan) state has no natural resources whatsoever, even to the extent that Penang has to purchase water from Kedah.

“On the other hand, Sarawak is blessed with natural resources, oil and gas, coal mines, timber, water, hydroelectric dams, forests, sand and even gold.

“Had GPS managed Sarawak better, we should be able to attract three times the FDI than Penang, instead under GPS, we could only manage one-third of what Penang has achieved,” he said.

Beside the lack of proper incentives to attract FDIs, Chong emphasised that the GPS government has also neglected the development of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

“All such lackluster economic planning and management by the GPS has resulted in a lack of high-paying jobs for average Sarawakians, especially the youth who have no choice but to move to other states in Malaysia and even overseas to seek better jobs,” he said.

To close the gap between the rich and poor, Chong said the GPS government must focus on creating a more robust and conducive investment environment and creating more high-paying jobs. — DayakDaily