By Karen Bong and Chris Bishop
KUCHING, Jan 5: Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian criticised opposition leaders for lack of will, efforts and commitment in bringing change and greater development to Batu Kawah when they were in power.
Since receiving the mandate of the people in 2016, Dr Sim who is Batu Kawah assemblyman, pointed out that the area has grown rapidly and tremendously with support from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the Sarawak government.
“(I) Was told before 2016, YB Adun for Batu Kawah just ‘tengok sahaja’ (look only).
“In fact during the 22 months of PH (Pakatan Harapan) government, when the MP was also a deputy federal minister, not only ‘tengok sahaja’ but helping Putrajaya to ‘tarik balik’ (withdraw funding for projects). Some of our MPs forgot they are Sarawakian. What to do when they ‘takut boss’ (afraid of boss),” he said.
Dr Sim highlighted this at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new sports and community hall with innovation hub officiated at by Abang Johari at the abandoned Ang Cheng Ho quarry near Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong here today.
Updating on the progress of various development projects in Batu Kawah, he revealed that Phase 4 of the Batu Kawah Riverside Park will be retendered this week as funding supposedly by Putrajaya was withdrawn by the former PH government.
He also expressed great pride at witnessing two great turning points in Sarawak’s history which are in 2014 with former Chief Minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem on Sarawak’s autonomy and in 2018 with Abang Johari on financial autonomy.
“With Chief Minister Abang Jo’s financial re-engineering strategy to ‘cari money sendiri’ (find one’s own funding) after PH withdrew funding and boldly said Sarawak will be bankrupt in three years.
“But with CM Abang Jo’s leadership, after three years, Sarawak did not go bankrupt but (instead) Sarawak’s revenue has doubled from RM6 billion in 2018,” he emphasised.
Abang Johari, he continued, is without a doubt the chief architect and engineer for Sarawak to become a high income and advanced state by 2030.
Dr Sim pointed out since 2018, Sarawak has gained many assets including Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), TVS, Yayasan Sarawak International School, Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), its own coast guard and the Sarawak Pay e-wallet system.
“We hope to also have our own telecommunication company and digital bank,” he added.
Even with the hardships posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Sim said, the state government has rolled out Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) with more than RM2 billion in assistance for the people, apart from free Covid-19 vaccines and covering the cost of hotel quarantines and Covid-19 screening for its people.
“GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) is truly walking the talk by putting Sarawak and Sarawakians first,” he added.
State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang were among those present. — DayakDaily