RM40 mln water subsidy budget better used to build infrastructures instead — PBK

Jamie Tiew

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KUCHING, Nov 7: Sarawak government should have utilised the RM40 million allocation to subsidise water supply to the people to build infrastructures instead.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) treasurer-general Jamie Tiew said the needs of the rural people in Sarawak should be given utmost importance in the budget, especially in lifting the rural socioeconomy.

“While the free water policy are welcome, it is something the people in the rural areas without water connectivity could enjoy.

“The RM40 million allocations for free water supply for the urban and rural areas could be put to a better use, such as for providing water supplies to rural schools as the provision of clean water to school children in rural areas is more important than provision of free water to households in the urban areas,” she said in a statement.

She felt that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government seems to have lost sight on the importance of lifting the plight of the rural population.

She also deemed the free school bus service to students in Kuching as not being a sound policy, although the government is seen as sympathetic to poor students in urban areas who could not afford transportation to school.

Tiew said the GPS government has to understand that students in many rural areas have to walk miles to school.

“Such allocations should be put to better use for building of small paths or walkways for the school children and rural folks,” she said.

Tiew opined the agriculture sector was not been given enough attention in the state budget. With huge land mass, Sarawak should aggressively develop its livestock and agriculture sectors in large scale, she said.

“This will reduce import of dairy products, rice and vegetables from foreign countries, in which, are mostly expensive due to transportation and logistics costs.

“If our livestock and agriculture sectors are developed, this will encourage young people working abroad to come back to work in the state,” she continued. — DayakDaily