Sarawak to end funding for government-linked companies from 2027, starting with SEDC, BDA

Abang Johari speaking to reporters when met after officiating at National Auditors Conference 2024 at BCCK on June 25, 2024.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, June 25: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced that starting from 2027, the State government will cease providing funding to government-linked companies (GLCs).

According to the Premier, the first GLCs to be affected by this decision will be the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).


“The Sarawak government has provided budgets to GLCs and statutory bodies. What we want now is for them to find their own revenue.

“They have to explore to get a new revenue stream. Because some of their subsidies are involved in commerce, in economic activity, just like running a company,” he told reporters when met after officiating at National Auditors Conference 2024 held today at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

Abang Johari cited an example of how GLC subsidiaries in the palm oil industry can increase their revenue by exploring new products and innovations, such as waste-to-energy solutions.

“This allows them to generate new revenue streams that can be distributed to the main statutory body, eliminating the need for the government to provide funding.

“So the government, the savings that we get, we can channel them into infrastructure development where the return is low,” he added.

In addition, the Premier elaborated on how the savings could be utilised by the State government to carry out essential infrastructure projects such as schools and clinics.

“In other words, when your infrastructure is there, then the economic activity you have, then the economy is stable. When the economy is stable, then people get the benefit,” he said.

He also underlined the need for GLCs to shift their perspective from relying on the government for funding.

Abang Johari further said that the budget the State produced will result in savings when questioned about the projected amount of savings.

“Say we give one statutory body RM500 million, we will save RM500 million,” he stated.

Moreover, when questioned about the selection of SEDC and BDA as the first to experience the cease, he stated that they possess the capability to make investments and generate revenue.

“For instance, SEDC has a stake in methanol (production). They can get income from methanol.

“The same with BDA. BDA has a lot of potential for investment. They can invest in industries at the Samalaju Industrial Park,” he pointed out.

The Premier also expressed confidence that they could stand on their own.

During his speech earlier, Abang Johari explained that the decision to stop funding GLCs was intended to promote efficient management and improve their financial stability.

The event was attended by various dignitaries and officials, including Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman), Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya; Sarawak Deputy Minister for Transport (MOTS) Datuk Dr Jerip Susil; Deputy Sarawak Secretary (Operation) Datu Hii Chang Kee; and Auditor-General Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi. — DayakDaily