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MIRI, Dec 30: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting believes that the year 2020 will be full of hope as the Sarawak government is fully committed to striving for and developing the state, as well as improving living standards for all Sarawakians.
He emphasised the welfare of the people remains a priority for the Sarawak government.
“We firmly believe that the year 2020 is going to be a good year for Sarawak. The state government has implemented several key initiatives to sustain Sarawak’s rapid growth and development in improving the living standard of the Sarawak people especially the rural folk,” he asserted.
Citing several several new programmes initiated by the state meant to help the people, Ting highlighted the subsidising of the first RM5 on water bills, allocating RM1,000 for newborns, giving RM450 to new mothers during confinement months and the implementation of the Kenyalang Gold Card to provide privileges and benefits for senior citizen of age 60 and above.
“In less than a month, we will soon be welcoming the lunar new year of the rat. In general, the rat symbolises strong vitality, a trait that Sarawak must have to endure the growing trade uncertainty in the global economy and the sluggish national economy from federal policies,” he opined.
He added, with the implementation of the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO 1958 as amended) and the Distribution of Gas Ordinance 2016, Sarawak is poised for greater involvement in local oil and gas industry upstream activities starting next year 2020, as the OMO 1958 will give Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) the regulatory power over its oil and gas resources.
“Petros and the implementation of 5 per cent State Sales Tax on exported petroleum products will of course increase the much needed revenue for Sarawak to implement the many approved projects with the objective of bringing Sarawak to the next level of rapid development.
“We hope and pray in 2020, we will continue to have unity, peace and harmony in Sarawak so we can continue to stay focussed on more important tasks ahead in developing Sarawak to be a developed state by 2030,” he added.
“We certainly do not want to be like in the Peninsula, crippled by apparent racism, fear and mistrust between the government and the people.”
In this regard, he pointed out, the Sarawak government must continue to have full immigration autonomy and whenever is necessary, religious bigots and extremists must be banned and stopped from entering Sarawak.
“They are not welcomed in Sarawak.”
Ting appealed to all Sarawakians, irrespective of their political stripes, to support the Sarawak government in its court action against Petronas in defending Sarawak’s rights to levy or impose a 5 per cent sales tax on exported petroleum products.
“Other oil companies operating in Sarawak have paid their 5 per cent sales tax. Only Petronas has hitherto refused to make such payment,” he stressed.
“Even if Sarawak is rich in natural resources, we cannot depend on them forever as they will slowly and surely be depleted. We must look into (developing) a more sustainable economy and that is why next year 2020, Sarawak government remains focussed in investing heavily in the digital economy and providing the necessary infrastructure for it.”
This he added, will create new and more job opportunities for young graduates in fields such as automation, artificial intelligence, information technology and bio-engineering. — DayakDaily