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By Adrian Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16: Julau MP Larry Sng is seeking the federal government to build a fire station in the Julau constituency.
He observed that there were four fire incidents which happened in Julau between 2018 and 2020.
Thus, he urged the federal government to build a Category E fire station in Julau next year and included that in the planning under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) from 2021 to 2025.
“For example, in Julau which is as big as Perlis and Malacca, there is no petrol station or fire station.
“From 2018 to 2020, there were four fire incidents which happened in three longhouses and a boarding school.
“Therefore, I request the federal government to include the construction of a fire station in Julau as one of the priority projects for development next year and in 12MP,” he said during the debate of the National Budget 2021 in Parliament today.
On another note, Sng who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman claimed that there was a lack of internet connectivity in Julau.
He disclosed that he has seen a resident of a longhouse in Julau who had to get internet connectivity by lifting up the telephone line to the ceiling before getting connected to the internet.
Sng noted some of the people in Julau also had to venture into the jungle, climb mountains and sit by the roadside in order to obtain internet connection in his constituency.
He revealed that there were six telecommunication towers in Julau with 2G and 3G bandwidth.
Nonetheless, Sng noted the telecommunication services in Julau were insufficient to accommodate the demand for the people there.
Sng added some of the infrastructure in Sarawak and Sabah were also in bad conditions although the country has achieved independence more than 57 years.
Thus, Sng called on the federal government to speed up its efforts to develop Sarawak and Sabah in order to bridge the development gap between Peninsular Malaysia and the two states in Borneo.
He said there should be more allocation provided by the federal government to enhance the infrastructure development in Sabah and Sarawak as both states still lack behind in many aspects despite being the equal partners to the formation of Malaysia.
He observed the special development expenditure of RM4.5 billion allocated to Sarawak was reduced to 6.5 per cent from 7.8 per cent from the total development expenditure in the 2021 budget as compared to last year’s national budget.
As for the special development expenditure to Sabah in 2021 amounting to RM5.1 billion in 2021, Sng noted the amount was cut down to 7.4 per cent of the total budget as compared to 9.3 per cent in last year’s national budget.
Thus, he questioned whether the figures were sufficient to bridge the development gap between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
Sng explained that he brought up the matter at the Parliament because Sabah was ranked the highest in terms of poverty in the country whilst Sarawak came in third place.
He noted the 2019 index poverty line (IPL) for Sabah was 19.5 per cent while for Sarawak, it was at nine per cent.
In terms of healthcare services, Sng said the ratio of health clinics as compared to the ratio of population in 2018 for Sabah was one to 13,129 people and for Sarawak was one to 11,682 people.
He noted the ratio of healthcare services in Sabah and Sarawak was two times worse as compared to that in Pahang which was one health clinic to 5,048 people, the best ratio in the country.
He added in 2019, 15.5 per cent of the households in Sabah and 8.4 per cent households in Sarawak were staying more than nine kilometres away from the nearest health clinic.
He opined that the National Budget 2021 which was tabled by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz last November 6 was unfair to Sabah and Sarawak as it lacked funds for development in many aspects.
Hence, Sng believed there should be more allocation for development provided to Sabah and Sarawak to enhance its infrastructure and facilities. —DayakDaily