Editor’s note: Corrected from an earlier version which attributed the statement to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
KUCHING, June 23: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is a responsible government that has always practised and upheld the principles of disciplined and responsible financial management, says the state Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
In a statement today, the minstry said the Auditor-General of Malaysia had accorded Sarawak with an unqualified report for the past 17 consecutive years. Besides that, international rating agencies namely Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s had also re-affirmed the state’s investment credit rating at A3 and A-, respectively.
“These achievements are clear testimony of the state’s continuous sound financial management in exercising financial prudence and financial discipline at all levels.
“The Sarawak government had recorded budget surpluses for many years as a result of higher revenue than expenditure. These continuous budget surpluses has enabled the state to build up its reserves,” it said.
This statement comes in response to a claim made by Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng on June 21, that Sarawak will go bankrupt in three years’ time if it continues to be ruled by GPS.
The state Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning also released figures that showed the state’s revenue has exceeded its expenditure for the past five years.
“As such, the statement made by the Federal Minister for Finance that Sarawak will go bankrupt if it continues to be ruled by GPS is totally misleading and with political motive,” the ministry said.
“As Minister of Finance Malaysia, it is incumbent upon him to be careful and responsible as any statement from him will be taken as signal to the health of Malaysian economy.”
The ministry also said the state government will continue to strengthen its financial management under good government practices, strict financial discipline and prudence at all times.
“We will always ensure that the state government will have the capacity and ability to finance any plan or commitment undertaken for the benefit of the people of Sarawak.”
It further reiterated that negotiation is still on-going on the effort to restore the rights and status of Sabah and Sarawak under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“So, does it mean that the statement made by the Federal Minister for Finance reflects the stand of the PH federal government for not being willing to restore the equal status?” queried the ministry. — DayakDaily