KUCHING, Jan 8: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng should apologise to the people of Sarawak for misleading Malaysians that Sarawak owes the federal government arrears.
State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said the Sarawak government clarified yesterday that the state had always met its financial obligations on schedule as agreed between the state and federal governments.
She added that as a component state of the Federation of Malaysia, Sarawak did not get its loans from international financial institutions to fund its development, as international borrowing was done through the federal Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Soo believed that since the 1980s, MOF obtained loans from Japan at very low-interest rates, such as at 1.5 per cent, and then released the funds to the Sarawak government at a higher interest rate, such as 4-5 per cent.
“These financial packages come in different sizes at different interest rates and for varied projects and at no time has Sarawak been known to default in its payments,” she said in a statement today.
Soo said it was “uncalled for”, especially from a federal finance minister, to hurl baseless accusations in public against the Sarawak government when the state had a track record of meeting its financial commitments.
Lim’s action, she added, confirmed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent comments that most Pakatan Harapan (PH) ministers were not up to mark and improvements in their performance were sorely needed.
‘Pull up your socks and get seriously down to work to manage the economy for greater productivity and to create more jobs. This is what you are elected for,” Soo emphasised. — DayakDaily