By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Dec 9: Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian has described the lesson learned during the 22-month period ruled by the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government as an economic awakening for Sarawakians.
He observed that during PH’s administration from May 2018 to February 2020, budget allocations to Sarawak were reduced and some federal government projects were canceled.
As a result, Dr Sim said the state government had to find other ways to generate more revenues for the state for development.
“The 22-month of PH government has definitely taught us something. It is important to have money. If you look at the years before 2018, Sarawak’s revenue was about RM6 billion a year.
“In 2018, when there was a change of government, and then insinuating that we will be bankrupt, that’s when the second waking up of Sarawakians will start looking at how to look for money.
“It can be a political waking up but this is an economically waking up,” he said in his speech prior to the Excellence Service Award 2019 presentation at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly here today.
Dr Sim noted that the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has managed to improve the financial performance of the state government by generating more revenues in 2019 and 2020.
He projected that by 2023, the state government will be on target to achieve RM15 billion annual revenue collection.
Thus, Dr Sim asserted that the state government is on track to double up its revenue collection in a span of five years’ time (2018-2023).
He believed a stronger Sarawak is yet to come as the state government is steadily growing its revenue.
Hence, he urges civil servants especially the staff of the Ministry for Local Government and Housing to provide excellent service delivery to the public.
“All of you represent our spirit and determination to ensure the policies are implemented on the ground.
“Your perseverance is needed to ensure that service delivery to the rakyat is not disrupted during these challenging time,” he said
Besides, Dr Sim added civil servants must also embrace integrity in their work to earn public trust and not expect any return in their service delivery.
“Excellent service and integrity come hand in hand as widespread corruption can hike up the government’s procurement costs.
“This will eventually affect the delivery system and short change the strive to becoming a developed state due to leakages amounting to losses in millions of ringgits,” he said.
Among those present at the Excellence Service Award 2019 presentation was Assistant Minister for Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Ministry for Local Government and Housing’s permanent secretary Datu Antonio Kahti Galis, Kuching South City Council mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang. —DayakDaily