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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 2: The 2019 Budget appears to be an urban centric budget with nothing much is in store for Sarawak which has a huge rural population.
According to Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, generally there were allocations for the B40 groups but there was no specific allocation for Sarawak rural folks which made up more than 40 per cent of the total population of Sarawak and Sabah.
“There are allocations to ease urban dwellers in terms of subsidies for public transport such as railway and the Rapid system. So the benefits announced are only those staying in the urban centres especially in states like Johor, Selangor and Penang.
“We don’t have the public transport they have, so we are not entitled,” Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily after the tabling of 2019 Budget by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today.
Wan Junaidi pointed out that nothing has also been mentioned about the flood mitigation projects that had been approved in previous budgets.
“The flood mitigation projects in Kuching, Sibu and Miri between 2015 to 2019 amounting nearly RM1 billion which have been cancelled were not mentioned in the budget. What will happen to these projects?
“I am very disappointed that these projects are no longer being brought up. However, I will not assume that they are totally scrapped. I will make enquiry during the debate and they (Pakatan Harapan-led federal government) will have to answer my queries,” he said.
Wan Junaidi expressed hope that Sarawak may get some allocation from the RM16 million designated for environmental conservation
“However, no criteria of its implementation was mentioned. I hope the allocation will not come with stringent criteria. Sarawak no longer issues timber concessions and we should be able to meet the criteria.
“Furthermore, there is much to be done for Heart of Borneo conservation. I do hope there will be some allocations for the environmental conservation in Sarawak,” said Wan Junaidi, who was former Natural Resources and Environment Minister. — DayakDaily