State govt urged to intensify efforts as federal funds flow to USA

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing and the state government were asked to step up efforts to demand for Sarawakians’ rights by Paren Nyawi, Special Assistant to Sibu Member of Parliament Oscar Ling.

Paren was referring to Masing’s recent statement in FMT on Sept 4 which offered his thoughts on the federal government’s lack of assistance towards fixing and improving rural schools and Putrajaya’s reluctance to help Sarawak.

“Barisan Nasional’s (BN) leaders in the rural constituencies always harp that only the BN government can bring development to the rural areas in Sarawak. Currently, Sarawak is in dire need of funds to fix over 1,400 shaky schools. It is sad that when Sarawak is in such trouble and needs help, our Prime Minister chose to take the country’s money to invest in the United States of America (USA),” Paren said.

He added that the insincerity of the federal government was again exposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his recent visit to the USA where he pledged to help strengthen the US economy; among others, committing to buying Boeing 737 Max 10 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes.

He also announced that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) would seek to invest US$3-4 billion (approximately RM12.58-16.77 billion) to support ‘infrastructure redevelopment in the US’.

“Instead of investing the money in a developed country like the USA, Najib should focus on his own country’s flagging economy. That money should be used to develop the rural divisions in Sarawak. We have many rural areas that are in dire need of development: basic infrastructure such as road access, electricity and treated water, upgrading our healthcare and school facilities or even the revival of SK Nanga Musah in Katibas which was abandoned in the last 16 years,” Paren said.

He added that the federal government have repeatedly made promises to help but in the end, the Sarawak government had to make use of its own money first to rebuild and replace dilapidated schools.