Deputy minister: Sarawak Budget 2024 likely rural-centric in view of ‘enormous necessity’ for devt

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

KUCHING, Nov 18: The coming Sarawak Budget 2024 will likely be rural-centric given the enormous necessity to develop infrastructure such as roads, utilities, and connectivity within the State, opined Datuk Snowdan Lawan.

Snowdan, who is Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief, said apart from that, Sarawakian students and youth will also get the attention as hinted by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg during recent Lan Berambeh event in Kuala Lumpur.

“Our civil servants can also expect some good ‘perks’ too, given their contributory factor in realising the State’s development agenda,” he said in a statement today.

Snowdan says this when asked by reporters about his expectations and wishes on the Sarawak Budget 2024, which will be tabled by Abang Johari in the coming Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting on Nov 20 to 29.

As for tourism, he said, it had been a significant contributor to State coffer.

According to him, with the three million visitors target surpassed and tourism revenue receipts at RM8.07 billion generated as of October 2023, tourism is an industry worth highlighting and reckoning with.

“Abang Johari, at a function with TV Sarawak in Gedong (Nov 11), also hinted that the Sarawak government will allocate grants to its tourism, creative industry, and performing arts to uplift the industry’s growth into greater heights, especially in the film industry. We await this in 2024,” he said.

Meanwhile, for his constituency Balai Ringin, Snowdan said he expects more funds to come soon, especially from dedicated agencies such as the Greater Kuching Coordinated Development Agency (GKCDA) and Sri Aman Development Agency (Sada) to realise the ongoing and approved projects.

He also said they will seek more Projek Rakyat (People’s Project) along the way.

“We have high hopes that the newly elevated Pantu District and the sub-district of Balai Ringin will receive some focus and dedicated funds to align the development with their elevated status.

“On an urgent basis, I hope the water supply projects in the Balai Ringin constituency will receive its due consideration in the form of “fast track funding” in view it was highlighted by His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah during his convoy visit (Jelajah Borneo) to Sarawak recently,” he said. — DayakDaily