Sarawak needs RM153b to attain developed status, Putrajaya told

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar - file pic

KUCHING, July 24: Sarawak is seeking RM153 billion from the federal government over the next 12 years to achieve its target of becoming a developed state by 2030, said Santubong MP Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“During my debate on the royal address yesterday, I highlighted the fact that under MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), the federal government is obliged to assist us in our development agenda. Right now, in order for us to become a developed state by 2030, we need at least RM153 billion in the next 12 years,” Wan told DayakDaily today.

He reiterated that over the last 55 years, the rights of Sarawak under the MA63 had been eroded.

“I have also asked the Pakatan Harapan federal government whether it will continue the pledges of the previous federal government under Barisan Nasional, whereby it had agreed in principle to give back Sarawak’s rights.

“We have been on track to achieve the set goals because at least 13 items have been achieved, including the appointment of more local teachers to teach in Sarawak,” he said, adding that a technical committee had been set up to study the devolution of powers between the federal and state governments.

Wan Junaidi, who is formerly MP of Batang Lupar, said he had been defending Sarawak rights in Parliament all this while.

“Over the years, there were many rights that were taken away from us. For instance, when the Sarawak Gambling Ordinance was repealed in Parliament 1993, I was against it as it was our right even though we know that gambling could lead to social ills. It should be under state purview.

“And of course, the most glaring right is over oil and gas, which the federal government took over with the enactment of the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, whereby the Sarawak Legislative Assembly was not consulted at all. So, we are fighting for these rights back,” he stressed.

Wan Juniaidi hoped his requests would be highlighted by the federal ministers during their winding-up speeches, which starts on July 31 and lasts four days. — DayakDaily