Premier: Federal allocation to S’wak ‘far from enough’ to meet State’s devt needs, address State-Peninsular gap

Abang Johari Tun Openg

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 20: The federal allocation of RM5.8 billion to Sarawak under Budget 2024 is far from enough to meet the State’s development needs and address the imbalances between the State and Peninsular Malaysia, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said while there is an increase from RM5.6 billion allocation for Sarawak in Budget 2023, the RM5.8 billion allocation represents only 6.4 per cent of the total federal development budget of RM90 billion for 2024.

“It is far from enough to meet our development needs and address the imbalances between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, and our federal counterpart knows this very well.

“Given Sarawak’s significant contribution to the national economic growth, as well as the Federal coffer, especially revenue from oil and gas, I call upon the federal government to provide more allocations to us in its future Budget,” he said when tabling the Supply (2024) Bill, 2023 during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

Abang Johari, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, further said that the State government would continue its efforts to reclaim Sarawak’s rights that have been eroded under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), with the latest being the federal government’s approval to return Bintulu Port Authority to the State.

“We will continue the efforts to reclaim our autonomy in education, health, and environment.

“I urge the federal government to hear and understand the Sarawakians’ aspirations so that the future of Malaysia will continue to be in peace and guaranteed.

“I believe the current good and close relationship between GPS government and the Federal government would provide a final solution that we had hoped for,” he added. — DayakDaily