KUCHING, Oct 19: A Sarawak Opposition leader claimed the Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) government is performing far worse than the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in Penang in terms of economic polices and management.
State PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said that every Sarawak family should be richer by at least RM3,000 per month if the Sarawak state government can manage Sarawak’s economy as well as the Penang state government, with the addition of the revenue generated from natural resources.
“From the statistics, it is clear that the BN Sarawak government has done a great disservice to ordinary Sarawakians by allowing a few select families and cartels to monopolise and control the exploitation of our natural resources while impoverishing the majority of ordinary Sarawakian families,” Chong told a press conference today.
He cited figures by the National Statistics Department, which show that ‘Mean Household Income’ and ‘Median Household Income’ of Penang in year 2016 are 25 per cent and 30 per cent higher than Sarawak respectively.
“The difference is made even more significant if one were to take into consideration the natural resources available to the two states,” said the state DAP chief who is also Bandar Kuching MP.
While there is hardly any natural resources for Penang, Sarawak has an abundance of natural resources, he added.
He pointed out that oil and gas royalties alone generate more than RM1.5billion in annual revenue for Sarawak, while mining and quarrying generated RM23 billion for Sarawak’s GDP in 2016, and the timber industry generates RM7 billion in export revenue for the state annually.
He thus called for the liberalisation and socialisation of the state’s natural resources so that all ordinary Sarawakians have a share in and get to benefit fully from the natural wealth of the state.