Soon Koh tells Uggah to check facts in funding dispute

Photo supplied by Wong showing an excerpt from the Budget 2019 speech on page 40.

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KUCHING, May 13: PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh advises Second Finance Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to refer to the Chief Minister’s Budget speeches, to support his argument there is no contingency funds under the Sarawak 2020 Budget.

“I beg to differ from what he (Uggah) said.

“As stated in the (Sarawak) Budget 2019, there was a RM250 million provision for contingency fund. But for 2020 Budget, there is none,” he stressed in a press statement issued yesterday.

The Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president was responding to Uggah’s statement yesterday (May 12) insisting that RM500 million was allocated as contingency funds under the Sarawak 2020 Budget.

With his statement, Wong included photos of excerpts from budget speeches delivered by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, from page 40 for Budget 2019 and page 25 for Budget 2020, to support his argument.

Photo supplied by Wong showing an excerpt from the Ordinary Estimates of Budget 2020.

“Clearly there is no contingency fund provided for Budget 2020.

“Only a sum of RM6.4 billion is appropriated to finance the various development programmes and projects,” he claimed.

Wong thus advised Uggah to refer to the 2019 and 2020 Budget speeches so not to mislead the public that there was a RM500 million contingency fund.

Meanwhile, Uggah had questioned why Wong did not attend the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) one-day sitting on Monday (May 11) where he could have the opportunity to seek clarification on this matter.

He pointed out that the DUN, attended by elected lawmakers, would have been the proper avenue for any discussion at the highest level.

Uggah gave assurance that there was a RM500 million contingency fund under the 2020 budget and that claims that the Sarawak government lacked funds to fight Covid-19 “did not occur and will not happen”.

Following Uggah’s ministerial statement in DUN, Wong had alleged that there was no contingency fund provided in the Sarawak government’s 2020 Budget which can be used to support aid packages of more than RM2 billion which were rolled out in the wake of the Movement Control Order (MCO). — DayakDaily