GPS gov’t shouldered cost of water, rural electrification projects: Awang Tengah

Awang Tengah presenting a check to one of the recipients.

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SIBU, March 7: The Sarawak government had to spend RM2.8bil for water and RM2.3bil especially for rural electrification projects as the previous PH government had cancelled federal funding to these projects.

Deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in revealing this at the presentation of RM10.6mil land compensation today, said these water and electricity projects had been approved for implementation by the Barisan Nasional government pre-GE14.

However when PH formed the government after winning the 2018 general elections, they were scrapped.

“Many projects had been approved for implementation before they took over. PH before their collapse gave us allocation for electricity supply projects, which were not many. There were none for water projects. Many of these projects had been approved (under BN) but they (PH) did not fulfill them,” he said.

He added that infrastructure projects which included roads and bridges which were due for implementation were also cancelled by PH.

When there was no allocation from the PH government, GPS had to provide allocation of RM2.8bil for water and RM2.3bil for electricity project.

Awang Tengah who is also the Second Minister for Urban Development and Natural Resources said the state government had the financial capability to fund these projects as it had revenue from the sales taxes on oil and gas products.

“We are fortunate our GPS under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg managed to boost up government revenue. One of the source of revenues come from the imposition of sales tax on petroleum companies,” he added.

Although others had paid for the petroleum tax, Petronas failed to comply.

“Petronas has summoned us to court. We will fight for our right according to the law, ” he said.

At the function a total of 202 landowners received compensation for their lands which were acquired for the development of the proposed second trunk road package.

The project, he said involved two sub-packages covering a length of 30km. It included the upgrading of Jalan Tanjung Genting from Jalan Tulai-Lanang Bridge.

“Upon completion of the project, communication between the town, longhouse and kampung will improved. The project will also help to cut short travelling time for the people,” he said.—DayakDaily