LGE told not to belittle Sarawak

Voon Lee Shan

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, June 22: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) today took a swipe at Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for saying that Sarawak will go bankrupt in the next three years if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) maintained its RM11 billion budget annually.

PBK president Voon Lee Shan urged Lim not to belittle the ability of Sarawak to run its own economy.

“It would be up to Sarawakians to choose their government, and if the GPS government is not up to the mark, surely we will remove them,” he said, adding that Malayan political parties had no business in the state.

Voon insisted that Sarawak belongs to Sarawakians, not Malayans.

“Our late Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had advised Sarawakians to take care of Sarawak properly. Therefore, it is not for Malaya people to poke their nose here. Do not get your proxies or agents to destabilise our economy and harmony here.

He said since the British left Sarawak in 1963, Sarawak had governed itself and over the years, despite allegations of pilferage and abuse, Sarawak was able to make much profit in most of its investments.

For this reason, Voon said Sarawak has, in its coffer, RM31 billion.

“We still have so much money in our coffer despite the fact that most of our revenues were taken by Malaya.

“If Pakatan Harapan (PH) is so capable to manage the economy, then return back to Sabah and Sarawak all marine wealth, territorial waters or sea territory, oil and gas and let us see whether Malaya can survive or not,” he said.

Voon added that the fact that Sarawak was able to manage itself well despite much money being taken by Malaya was because Sarawak always had good and patriotic finance ministers.

He said the federal government should have known Sarawakians are better fund managers and the federal government should appoint a Sarawakian, not a Malayan, as its finance minister.

“Sarawak has many outstanding and dedicated professionals, and Sarawakians should be called to help sick industries or government-linked companies to steer them to profitability.

“When our Malaysian Airlines System was in financial trouble, it was Sarawakian Dato Sri Idris Jala, from the Sarawak hinterland, that steered MAS out of trouble. When Idris Jala was no more with MAS, problems arose again,” he said.

Voon said despite the huge amount of revenues collected by the federal government from Sabah and Sarawak, the federal government could not manage the funds well, causing debts to accumulate.

“Why should Sarawakians and Sabahans be made to shoulder the national debts that are not caused by them?” Voon questioned.

He said the revenues that went to the federal government from Sabah and Sarawak were not only 95 per cent of their oil and gas but also revenues collected by government departments like Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and Land Transport Department.

“Gone now are also our marine wealth as licensing for deep sea fishing are controlled by Malaya. We have very little return of our money taken by Malaya to develop Sarawak,” Voon lamented.

He claimed that Malaya’s second wave of imperialism by `Tawan Sarawak’ strategy is to capture the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly. If it succeeds, Sarawak’s lands, especially Dayak lands, which many still remained unsurveyed and untitled, would be at the mercy of the PH government.

“There will be nothing to prevent mega companies from Malaya to be alienated with huge lands. The Dayaks will find endless struggles to protect their lands from encroachments,” predicted Voon.

He said if PH, of which DAP is a part, rules Sarawak, Sarawakians fear that they would go all out to mine all of Sarawak’s natural resources.

“Mega companies from Malaya will be called in to mine them. We still have unmined gold in Bau area. We also have coal and many other resources in which our state government, until now, dared not mine for fear that Malayans will swarm into Sarawak to dig our property away.

“Soon, not only our oil and gas which are now gone, our other resources including lands will be gone too,” he said.

Voon added: “The people in the rural areas, where most Dayaks live, will have to wait, perhaps another 50 years to be connected by proper roads. This is because the federal government will forever ignore us by withholding funds from us.” — DayakDaily