Chong questions dearth of funding for Sarawak under Budget 2021

Chong Chieng Jen

By Adrian Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30: Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen questioned the large allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) and comparative lack of allocations for Sarawak under Budget 2021.

When debating Budget 2021 today, he asked why the allocation for development expenditure under the PMD was increased to RM7.22 billion as compared to RM2.93 billion under Budget 2020.

“If we look at the details, there exists several items which can be classified as ‘slush fund’.

“There are no specific purposes for the allocation and the needs depend on the desire of the prime minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin).

“For example, one is the public-private partnership project. Who is the beneficiary of that project?

“In Budget 2020, there was no allocation for such project being mentioned but in Budget 2021, RM813 million was allocated, and also why is there a special project which was added by RM900 million to RM1 billion?

“What is the special project? Is it for the prime minister to gain support from MPs?,” he questioned in Parliament here today.

Chong who is also the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman claimed that despite the large increase of estimated expenditure under the PMD, the allocation for poverty eradication for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak was slashed by 30 per cent to RM63 million.

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman also claimed that the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Department under the PMD was not allocated any development expenditure and only RM22 million for management expenditure, a far cry compared to the estimated management expenditure of RM4.47 billion for the whole PMD.

He also noted that the allocation for Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) under Budget 2021 was just RM665,000 as compared to the allocation for the development corporations of other states which amounted to millions.

Hence, he believed the allocations under Budget 2021 for Sabah and Sarawak were unfair and he did not support Budget 2021.

At the same time, Chong also called on Sarawakian MPs to reject Budget 2021 as he claimed details were unclear over the allocation and large sums of funds allocated to PMD. — DayakDaily