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By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Nov 21: Sarawak Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian claims that the Sarawak Budget 2023 is the largest budget in the State’s history, demonstrating its financial independence.
Dr Sim said this to reporters after the tabling of the Supply (2023) Bill 2023 by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg earlier during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
“This is truly a people-centric budget; the majority of the budget is dedicated to development, with more than 70 per cent for development, and 60 per cent of the development will be focused on rural areas.
“It is the biggest budget in Sarawak’s history and is truly for the people,” he said.
He went on to say that the Sarawak government has placed emphasis on revenue reengineering over the past few years.
“The budget includes that all the State government-linked companies (GLCs) have to report a profit and give back to the government, which we are doing for the first time.
“In addition to revenue reengineering, there are the dividend policy, carbon trading, and federal government share of funds, all of which will significantly increase Sarawak’s revenues in the near future.
“This is why we always look after Sarawak, jaga Sarawak baik-baik. So, if you look carefully, everyone has benefited from this budget,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Sarawak (MOTS) Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin also commented that the Sarawak Budget 2023 is a very holistic budget not only for next year but also for future generations.
“It is a very holistic budget, and it is not only for next year but also for future generations. And also the proposed establishment of the sovereign wealth fund.
“The budget looks into the various aspects of Sarawakians, including welfare. There are various welfare assistance that is to be given in terms of talent development and enhancing digital infrastructure.
“So the budget is propelling Sarawak towards a modern Sarawak, modern economy, digital economy, and the hydrogen economy,” Lee noted.
He continued by stating that the Sarawak Budget 2023 looks into new sources of revenue for Sarawak rather than traditional sources.
“Our premier also emphasised that our federal government should pay close attention to the voices of the people of Sarawak, particularly in terms of federal contributions to Sarawak, as well as increase contributions.
“The contribution in 2023 is, of course, insufficient for Sarawak. Earlier, we were saying RM5.3 billion, so our Premier was saying that the federal government should also increase the federal allocation to Sarawak in accordance with the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report,” he said. — DayakDaily