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KUCHING, Jan 29: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan has claimed that Sarawakians are neither proud nor happy over the proposed RM30 million ‘tallest flagpole’ project although its funding comes from the private sector.
He said the proposed 99-foot tall flagpole that would be erected in the vicinity of Fort Margherita is said to be used to commemorate Sarawak’s 60th anniversary as a party to the formation of Malaysia.
However, he pointed out that the project will bring not pride but tears, sadness, and sorrow to Sarawakians for having lost the precious marine wealth and oil and gas to Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to feed the coffers of the federal government.
“In a year, it is speculated that Sarawak lost about RM110 billion of its oil resources as pumped by Petronas, but what Sarawak got in return as annual development fund is always less than RM5 billion.
“The huge flagpole will remind Sarawakians of the mistake of joining the federation of Malaya to form Malaysia because, until today, Sarawak had been shortchanged by Malaya or by the federal government with no equality and fairness when fundamental terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) had never been fulfilled,” he said in a statement today.
Voon further said the erecting of such a huge and high structure fails to understand the advice and policy of Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim that the public and government have to be thrifty and spend money wisely because of difficult economic times and a debt of more than RM1 trillion to service.
Additionally, he questioned the project’s objective, which was said to be a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, when the flagpole cannot generate income for the public and may incur public funds for maintenance in the future.
“If there is such a generous company or private sector willing to come with such a huge sum of money, why not the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government persuade them to help the needy people and students?
“Recently, there were floods that damaged many properties and also longhouses (damaged) by fire, and they need help. Such a huge sum of money could help these victims,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily