Sarawak allocates RM252 mln in Budget 2024 to propel eco-tourism, community empowerment

Datuk Sebastian Ting

KUCHING, Nov 21: A total of RM252 million has been allocated in the Sarawak Budget 2024 to transform Sarawak into a leading destination for eco-tourism and business events in the Asean region.

As much as RM52 million is allocated to Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Business Events Sarawak next year for operations, marketing and promotion while RM200 million has been provided for the implementation of various tourism programmes and development projects for new tourism attractions and upgrade the existing facilities.

In stating this, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Deputy Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting expressed appreciation and commented that the allocated budget is necessary for the progress of transforming Sarawak into a leading destination in the Asean region by empowering communities to balance development and sustainability.

He also pointed out that this is because tourism is one of the six economic sectors for economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental envisioned in Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030.

Apart from tourism, he expressed agreement with the Sarawak government’s continual effort in providing targeted “cradle-to-the-grave” assistance and services, from the needs of children to the elderly, the vulnerable and other disadvantaged groups.

“Assistance such as Post Natal Care Assistance, Endowment Fund Sarawak and Death Compassionate Assistance for Kenyalang Gold Card Holders are continuing next year with allocation of RM16 million, RM5 million and RM15 million respectively,” said Ting in a statement in response to the Sarawak Budget 2024 which was introduced by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday.

Ting also took the opportunity to thank Abang Johari for announcing two initiatives of providing book vouchers of RM500 for each Sarawakian student and a free laptop for newly enrolled students of private and public higher learning institutions who are from households with an income of RM1,500 per month and below.

“This is excellent because books and laptops are necessary at higher learning institutions, but many of them do not have the money to buy book and laptop after paying school fees, accommodation and living expenses.

“Hopefully, with this, we can help to reduce financial burden among the low and middle income groups,” said Ting, who is also Piasau assemblyman. — DayakDaily