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KUCHING, Dec 23: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) publicity chief Datuk Idris Buang has called on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to walk the talk.
He said Sarawak had been sidelined for a long time, and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced during the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016 -2020 in Parliament that Sarawak and Sabah would be given priority in terms of development.
“The prime minister, on one hand, said priority would be given to us while on the other, the approved projects of bridge building have been shelved.
“The PH government seems to say one thing and does the other. It made promises and public statements here and there, now and then, but when it comes to implementation, there is nothing.
“Sarawakians want to see the PH government walk the talk and not mere rhetoric,” said Idris in a statement today.
He further pointed out that not only the federal government did not give priority to Sarawak, it even shelved infrastructure projects approved by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“All previous infrastructure projects must be honoured if the PH government is true to its word of giving priority to Sarawak and Sabah.
“The lack of money is not a good excuse. It is the responsibility of the federal government to develop Sarawak.
“And may I remind the federal government that Sarawak is one of the biggest contributors to the federal coffer through Sarawak’s oil and gas?”
Idris was responding to the announcement made by Works Minister Baru Bian in Mukah recently, where he said the building of three bridges over Batang Lupar, Batang Rambungan and Batang Igan had been shelved by Putrajaya.
During the reign of the BN government, the federal government and the Sarawak government agreed to share equally the cost of building the RM1 billion bridge over Batang Lupar, which spans five kilometres across the river.
For the proposed RM300 million Batang Igan bridge and RM130 million Batang Rambungan bridge, the Sarawak government would finance and build them first and bill the federal government later.
Idris said infrastructure development is a prerequisite of development. Sarawakians, especially those living in the coastal areas, need the three bridges as they have a lot of catching up to do.
“I urge the federal government to reconsider the decision and finance the building of the three bridges, even through domestic borrowing. This is its duty. Please do not put Sarawak people’s interest last!” Idris emphasised. — DayakDaily