Masing: Budget unveils Pakatan’s true colours, Sarawak treated like a ‘stepchild’

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 13: The national Budget 2020 has unveiled the true colours of the Pakatan Harapan government, which seems to have treated Sarawak like an ‘anak tiri’ (stepchild) in its so-called Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, expressing his views, said all Sarawak wanted was a fair share of the SPV policy amid its vast geographical area compared to other states in Malaysia.

“The bottom line is, Sarawakians knew in their heart that Budget 2020 is nothing more than the ‘anak tiri’ policy and nothing like the so-called SPV 2030.

“This is proven, as each states in the Peninsular Malaysia gets RM4 billion each, even though in term of size and contribution to the federal, they put in peanuts.

“Is this what the Pakatan government mean by SPV 2030,” he said in a statement.

An image depicting development budget allocation under Budget 2020.

Masing, who is also state Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development, opined that the Budget tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Friday unveiled the true colours of the Pakatan government on how it treated Sarawak.

“Sarawakians only wanted a fair share of funds so that they too could enjoy better infrastructure facilities like the one they enjoyed in Malaya.

“The federal government has failed to address the imbalance in development between the peninsula and Sarawak in the 2020 Budget.

“Thus, we wonder what the government meant by their Shared Prosperity Vision 2030?” he said, while lamenting that states like Sarawak, with rich natural resources, give to those which have nothing.

After more than 56 years, Masing said there should be a fair re-adjustment being made to address the imbalance with respect to the economic wealth sharing of the nation’s oil and gas revenue.

This could have been reflected in the nation’s Budget 2020, he added.

“Sarawak is an equal partner with Malaya as agreed in the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63). Thus, the financial allocations in the budget must reflect the fair partnership that has been agreed between all the parties during the formation of the federation,” he said.

Masing claimed that the Pakatan government seemed to have purposely allocated more to Sabah, which received RM5.2 billion, whereas Sarawak received RM4.4 billion.

“This glaring difference is undoubtedly by design and it does reflect the Pakatan government’s attitude towards Sarawak, to which, without qualms, they allocated an unequal wealth distribution between the three nations that had formed the Federation of Malaysia.

“The 2020 Budget is supposed to reflect the equal prosperity vision 2030, however, the Pakatan government has a different idea, as it wanted to show their true colours. Their vision is merely a rhetoric,” alleged Masing.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak president asked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir what SVP 2030 meant, when Sarawak is treated as one of the states in the peninsula.

“Tun Mahathir, in his book the Malay Dilemma, stated that ‘Melayu Mudah Lupa’ (Malays forget easily) and this could be true to the core (with regards to the federal government).

“The Pakatan government seems to have forgotten the fact that each day, about 850,000 barrels of oil is being produced in Sarawak,” Masing said. — DayakDaily