Rose calls for equitable devt funds including for opposition-held constituencies in Sarawak

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KUCHING, June 13: Non-governmental organisation Rise of Social Efforts (Rose) is calling on the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to allocate equitable constituency development funding (CDF) to five opposition-held constituencies in Sarawak.

This came following recent news reports that Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed to allocate Minor Rural Project (MRP) funds for the Bawang Assan constituency which is currently under the opposition Parti Sarawak Bersatu’s (PSB) Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh as its elected representative.

In making this call, Rose president Geoffrey Tang emphasised that the GPS government should provide development funding equally to all State assemblypersons regardless of their political affiliation given that it is from public funds.

“We wonder if the other five opposition-held constituencies in Sarawak will get the same allocation as well.

“As CDF is from public funds, it should not be used to the advantage of certain political parties in the Sarawak government, but instead be allocated to all elected representatives no matter their affiliation,” he said in a statement today.

Tang pointed out that this is to correct the perspective of voters being punished for voting the opposition to represent them, instead of the ruling party.

He added that the CDF allocations are crucial for addressing urgent development or delivery gaps, especially in rural constituencies which deserved more attention.

“Hence we also call on the GPS government to emulate other state governments like Selangor, Perak and Johor which give out equitable CDF to be channelled through all elected state representatives,” he said.

Tang noted that currently in Sarawak, all elected representatives from government parties are allocated a total funding of RM8 million per year respectively for purposes of faster delivery or implementation of small, rural or minor projects for the benefit of the local people, instead of waiting under usual circumstances for development project budgets to be approved and presented under relevant ministries.

“We also join the calls of other civil society organisations such as Ideas and Bersih for a law on equitable CDF for purposes of accountability including to take away the discretionary nature of such allocations,” he added. — DayakDaily