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KUCHING, Sept 29: The federal government is urged to build more hospitals in Sarawak and expedite the completion of the Pan-Borneo Highway under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) so as to boost the State’s development, an objective enshrined in the aforesaid blueprint.
Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Women’s wing secretary Cherishe Ng pointed out that under the 12MP, a mere 50 per cent of the Federal Basic Infrastructure Funds is to be allocated to States lagging behind in development and it is to be shared by Sarawak, Sabah, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis where each receives less than 10 per cent of the funds, which to her, is of little significance.
Ng said the federal government needs to review the ‘meagre’ allocation for Sarawak to at least 30 per cent of the overall budget for basic infrastructure if it were indeed sincere to redress the problems in Sarawak.
Ng asserted this in a statement in response to the 12MP unveiled by Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently.
She expressed regrets that the 12MP has left out construction of new hospitals in Sarawak altogether, in lieu of which 26 clinics are planned for the two States of Sabah and Sarawak.
The candidate hopeful for PKR in the Batu Lintang constituency said new hospitals for Sarawak are highly essential amidst the current pandemic when hospitals are running short of beds and treatment facilities.
“Health services have now become the most important global issue in the face of an unprecedented pandemic and the sparse population and backwardness in health infrastructures of the State has made it most vulnerable to the virus attack.
“While clinics are important, it will not be as helpful as hospitals when coming to treating patients of severe cases requiring medical attention of specialist and ICU facilities.
“Furthermore, the 26 clinics are shared between the two States of Sabah and Sarawak, meaning which Sarawak is given less than twenty clinics, an allocation that seems negligible in strengthening the health services infrastructures considering the geographical vastness of the State,” said Ng.
She said the only road infrastructures project for Sarawak in the 12MP is the Nanga-Pelagus Road linking Kapit Town and there is no specific mention of the completion of the Pan-Borneo Highway.
“Roads are the very foundation of development; no roads mean denial of movements and all talks of development would become futile,” said Ng. — DayakDaily