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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 5: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen said he supported the State Budget 2019, so long as it is legally and constitutionally right.
The Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs commented that the budget as tabled by Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today showed that a “little competition” in politics would be good for the people as the state government would always be on its toes.
“We will support (State Budget 2019) so long as anything that is legally and constitutionally right. Just that we were wondering why it takes so long. All this while, the sales tax (of petroleum-based products) have been the right of the state.
“But of course it is evident that it proved the saying a little competition is always good, especially in politics. Then the ‘rakyat’ will benefit.
“At the end of the day, despite all the allocations, its the way it is implemented, whether there will be efficiency, transparency and no corruption involved that is important,” he told reporters after the budget was tabled.
Chong, however, cautioned the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition that the people would always remember that GPS members are actually former Barisan Nasional (BN) members.
He said it was ironic that Abang Johari took pride in the budget announcement when all along the cause of the problem, especially the backwardness of Sarawak, had been BN and their fault in the first place.
“It is a very big irony for Abang Johari to say all this while we (Sarawak) have been neglected, rural areas have been neglected, only now that the GPS starts to buck up on development (of Sarawak).
“Now that they (GPS) felt under threat of losing their power as the state government, I think now only they step up the effort, put some serious effort into uplifting the development of the rural folks,” opined Chong.
Taking the 1,000 plus dilapidated schools as an example, Chong said this problem did not happen overnight. He said those and all the other backwardness, including the neglected development of the state, especially in the rural areas, were not neglected for the last six months but has been going on for the past 50 odd years.
“Therefore, for Abang Johari to say he takes pride in trying to address an issue that they are the culprit and accomplice to creating the issue is irony. They are part of the problem and, of course, we view that better late than never,” he said — DayakDaily