Pending rep proposes Sarawak govt provides free electricity to Sarawakians

Yong participating in the Supply Bill 2023 debate in DUN today (Nov 23, 2022).

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.


By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, Nov 23: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has proposed that the Sarawak government gives free electricity to all Sarawakians since the State is “rich in renewable hydropower” and blessed with high rainfall and has many rivers.

As Sarawak has full autonomy to decide on electricity matters, Yong said free electricity for Sarawakians can become a reality with “just a stroke of the pen” if the Sarawak government has the political will to do so.

“Since money is not an issue for Sarawak, the State should do more for the people as many staying in the interior are still struggling with no basic amenities.

“I suggest one of the welfare schemes that Sarawak can afford to provide to its people is giving free electricity to all Sarawakians,” she proposed when debating the Supply Bill 2023 in the august House today.

Yong from Democratic Action Party (DAP) pointed out that free basic amenities like electricity and water for the people is not a far-fetched request, especially with a number of hydroelectric dams in Sarawak to generate power.

“We have Batang Ai, Bakun, Murum while the Baleh dam is expected to be commissioned by 2027. We also have hydroelectric plants (utilising) thermal energy from coal at Sejingkat near Kampung Goebilt, Mukah power plant, Bintulu’s combined cycle plant and Balingian power plant just to name a few,” she said.

Furthermore, she added there is no reason not to allow Sarawakians to enjoy free electricity when Sarawak, through its utility company, Sarawak Energy, can afford to sell additional electricity to neighbouring countries like Indonesia.

“The Premier (of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) has always claimed that Sarawak is one of the richest states in Malaysia, having the most natural resources in oil and gas, gold, timber, land, coal, oil palm plantation, sales tax… name it we almost have it all.

“In his (Abang Johari’s) budget speech, he said Sarawak is projected to collect a revenue of RM11.035 billion for the year 2023, the highest ever revenue,” she said.

Yong even urged Abang Johari to emulate Qatar, which has rich natural resources like Sarawak, that provides free electricity, water and even healthcare to its people.

“If Qatar can do it, why can’t Sarawak do it. This is all about managing our resources well and sharing the wealth appropriately. It is only fair that the rich resources are shared among Sarawakians to lighten their burden,” she added. — DayakDaily