By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Oct 28: The Sarawak government decided to open its safe containing RM31 billion recently and allocate a sizeable portion of it on rural development because it knows a change in government is “imminent” in the next state polls if it maintains a tight grip on the purse strings.
State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen described this political manoeuvre as “an irresponsible act of the highest degree”.
Speaking at a press conference here today, Chong highlighted that although the state had RM31 billion in its bank account, the majority of rural areas in the state were very underdeveloped.
“As the state government for over 50 years, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (formerly Barisan Nasional (BN)) is clearly irresponsible with bad public planning by keeping rural people poor.
“On one hand, they chose not provide rural areas with basic infrastructure like electricity, treated water supply, tarred roads and proper schools, while on the other hand, they have RM31 billion sitting idle in the bank,” he said.
Chong noted that in the past, the Sarawak BN was reluctant to spend for the people, but, shockingly, now that the change of state government is imminent, GPS decided to use the reserves within the remainder of its current tenure.
“PH Sarawak will remain committed to entering into an equitable and fair revenue-sharing with Sarawak to enrich and empower the people,” he said, adding that it was only through equitable and transparent financial management that all ordinary men and women would get to enjoy the benefits.
“Otherwise, despite our rich resources in Sarawak, only a few business empires will be ‘in power’, while ordinary people remain impoverished, and Sarawak continues to be underdeveloped. This was what happened to Sarawak for the past decades,” he lamented. — DayakDaily