By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 4: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen lashed out at state Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin for giving out false figures to criticise the national budget.
He told reporters that Manyin might have used figures cooked up by Barisan Nasional (BN) cybertroopers which was viraled all over social media to criticise the national budget 2019 which was presented by Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng two days ago.
“He (Manyin) said that Sarawak pays 15 per cent of the tax revenue but only get 1.4 per cent allocation from the budget. This is what he said yesterday on Astro Awani.
“I don’t know where he got his figures from. As far as I know, the answer I got from the previous administration in Parliament, the tax revenue that Sarawak paid was about RM7 billion out of RM150 billion total nationwide in 2017. That’s the figure Najib’s (former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) government gave me,” said Chong.
Manyin yesterday told reporters that Sarawak has “got nothing” from the 2019 budget, adding that the state contributed some 15 per cent of tax revenue to the country but only received back some 1.4 per cent as development allocation.
Describing Manyin’s statement as baseless, he said Manyin was either not in the know or purposely being ignorant so long as he could bash the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“Either he is really that dumb or he’s aware of the budget but purposely wants to spread lies. Either of these two possibilities does not reflect very well on him. So my advice to him, “jangan main-main” (don’t ‘play play’).
“This is talking about the government and whole budget. Don’t spread baseless lies which any sensible, reasonable person (with) one look will know this are outright lies,” said Chong.
He also said that the RM4.3 billion allocated for Sarawak’s development was out of the RM54 billion nationwide, whereas the RM250 billion operating expenditure for the federal government would also be used to benefit Sarawak’s civil servants.
“The operating expenditure of RM250 billion is to be used to pay salaries of government servants and maintenance, like our teachers, nurses, doctors, soldiers, police, all these personnel. From the past answers I got, the Sarawak civil service constitutes to about 10-11 per cent of the total nationwide. The RM4 billion that Lim Guan Eng talked about is only in respect of development expenditure,” Chong explained.
He claimed that the viraled figures on social media was intended by BN cybertroopers to paint lies and are of bad intent towards the PH government.
“Common logic will tell you, this is a lie spread by BN cybertroopers and yet for a veteran politician (Manyin), a minister for education in Sarawak (to repeat it), and to also spread lies in the media, no words can describe the idiocity or stupidity of such statement,” Chong said on Manyin’s statement. — DayakDaily