Is Sarawak a trophy to be won? — STAR chief

State Reform Party Sarawak president Lina Soo

KUCHING, Dec 30: Politics in Sarawak is entering uncharted waters and facing internal and externals assaults from all quarters.
 
State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo opined that Malayan parties had now unabashedly declared their designs upon Sarawak with their `Tawan Sarawak!’ battle cry.
 
“Is Sarawak a trophy to be won? This is for Sarawakians to decide? she said in a statement today and pointing to the fact that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), with its race-based agenda, had spread its wings to the state.  
 
“This is ominous given the federal government’s interest in Malaysia’s richest region, with billions in ringgit value of oil and gas spirited away every year to swell the federal coffers and fund the development of Malaya and also the corruption,” she lamented.
 
Soo is also disappointed that Putrajaya had not only cancelled many of the projects approved for Sarawak but reduced allocations for the state, too.
 
“Even the grass along federal roads is not cut, posing visibility hazard to motorists. At the same time the Minister of Works, who happens to be a Sarawakian, announces the cancellation of three bridges for Sarawak as mega projects are being announced for Penang and Kedah.

“No money for Sarawak but there is money for development in Malaya.”
 
Soo added that Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s election promises to return 50 per cent of Sarawak taxes and 20 per cent of oil royalty had taken a hike to no man’s land.
 
“For all its rosy promises, Sarawak PH has failed to deliver the goods to the voters who voted for change and reform.” 

Soo further pointed out that there was nothing to cheer about on a two cents’ fall in the price of an egg, while the prices of food and drinks in coffee shops had shot through the roof.
 
“Prices of commodities like palm oil and pepper have dived to new lows, the stock market remains bearish and foreign funds have fled our shores.
 
“There are no new jobs being created and unemployed graduates are increasing. What should go up has fallen and what should be lowered has shot up.” 
 
PH Sarawak has also failed to convince SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) to investigate Sarawak’s corrupt leaders. For all these failings, which are too many to mention here, Sarawak PH owes the people of Sarawak an overdue apology.”  
 
Soo said that the federal government had spared no effort to strangle Sarawak’s economic lifeline by cutting off allocations to the state, especially with regards to education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Even the rabies outbreak has yet to be contained. Meanwhile, ambitious projects such as third national car, crooked bridge and infrastructure development in the Malaya are being announced.
 
“STAR, therefore, urges the Sarawak government to impose not a 5 per cent but a 20 per cent sales tax on petroleum-based products to fund our schools and infrastructure and also to start a sovereign fund for future generations.  
 
“It is time Sarawak start looking after ourselves to catch up with the other states of Malaya instead of being their cash cow for as long as we remain in the federation.” — DayakDaily