Sedar calls for ‘viable policy’ to transfer state wealth to Sarawakians

Datuk Othman Abdillah

KUCHING, July 22: Sarawak needs a viable policy to transfer the state’s wealth to her people which will have a direct impact on their wellbeing.

In commemorating Sarawak Day today, Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar) president Datuk Othman Abdillah emphasised the need to give some thoughts to the progress Sarawak had made for the wellbeing of the people.

“Yes, it has been more than half a century we Sarawakians have been granted self-government status to manage Sarawak’s own affairs and to put the wellbeing, progress and prosperity of our people in our own leadership.

“(However) it is sad to say that we are still among the poorest Malaysians despite Sarawak being high up on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures,” he asserted in a statement today.

Othman pointed out that the recent upward adjustment of the poverty rate as announced by the federal government will expose the reality that there will be an increase in the number of people falling below the poverty line.

“The growing income gap between the T20 and B40 is ever growing. There is no other explanation to this situation other than an unequal wealth and economic system which does not drive economic growth of the lower income group.

“As people, we must claim our rights on the wealth of Sarawak by a viable policy to transfer the state’s wealth to (become) the people’s wealth,” he added.

Such policies, he continued, should enable the direct transfer of cash into the people’s hands and also include the creation of a permanent social wealth fund.

Othman opined Sarawakians must now resolve to put in place leadership which has concrete plans which will immediately and directly impact the wellbeing of the people and create equitable prosperity.

“While it was equally important to continue the struggle to regain the state’s rights eroded under the watch of the leadership in the last 57 years, let us now as people ensure that from now on our welfare, our rights to access opportunities, to prosper individually and as a community be our utmost priority.

“We cannot and should not retain the status of the poorest people in Malaysia any longer,” he added. — DayakDaily