STAR proposes Sarawak sets up sovereign fund

Lina Soo

KUCHING, June 20: Sarawak should set up a sovereign fund like Norway’s for the state’s future generations.

All gains from the state would go to this fund, said Lina Soo, president of State Reform Party (STAR).

“This is for the future generation,” said Soo at a press conference here today.

She added that if Petronas were to comply with all regulatory activities, there would be more money coming in, meaning an ‘Oil Sovereign Fund’ should be set up.

Soo was commenting on an article by The Borneo Post on Tuesday which quoted Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing as suggesting that the state government used up all the state’s reserves before the next state polls.

However, Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, told DayakDaily yesterday that he was misquoted by the English daily.

Soo said Masing could say he was misquoted, “but what I want to say is that Sarawak’s reserves belong to the government of the day. It belongs to the people of Sarawak, held in trust by the government to nurture, guard and use wisely for the future or on rainy days.”

She opined that whichever party come into power after the state election had to safeguard these reserves and to use it appropriately for the benefit of the people.

“Sarawak reserves are not for squandering,” she emphasised.

She pointed out that even after the Japanese Occupation ended, Sarawak still had a surplus with some European banks, and all this while, the state had never been in deficit or taken on international debt.

“But today we have to share the national debt, which to me is about RM700 billion, not RM1 trillion as mentioned by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. I don’t know how he got it (the figure),” said Soo. — DayakDaily