KUCHING, June 19: Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian today described Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing as being “thoroughly irresponsible and selfish” for suggesting that the government spend all of the state’s reserves before the next state polls.
The MP for Selangau said Masing’s most ‘ingenious’ suggestion that the incoming government would not have the chance to ‘look good’ in the eyes of Sarawakians showed that he (Masing) only cared about his own political survival.
“The reserves belong to the people of Sarawak and not for GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) to spend their way to glory. They are supposed to manage the funds for the benefit of the people, not to make themselves score in the popularity stakes,” Baru said in a statement.
He said Sarawakians should be worried about this mindset of the deputy chief minister – someone entrusted to manage the affairs of the state.
“We need leaders who are prudent and who will utilise the funds of the state wisely and in accordance with the needs of the rakyat, and not someone who is desperately thinking of ways to hinder the work of the new government, when the ‘old BN in a new bottle’ is removed from government.”
Baru, who is also Ba ‘Kelalan assemblyman, opined that every government was expected to invest in development, but Masing’s suggestion implied rash spending of the RM31 billion in the reserves over the next three years just because he did not want the new government to use the funds.
Worried about unnecessary projects, wastage, leakage and possible implementation of projects without the necessary due diligence due to haste, Baru cautioned that such a spending spree might lead to borrowing, exceeding budgeted expenditure by multiples, and cause the next state government to be saddled with debts.
Baru said Masing appeared to be too caught up in his political agenda now, and his actions and words betrayed his real fear that GPS was going to lose in the next state election, which is due by 2021. — DayakDaily