Unfair to tap into limited RTP funds: Dudong rep stresses Local Govt Ministry responsible to resolve people’s needs

Tiong fielding questions from members of the press at DUN Complex on Nov 29, 2023.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 29: It is unfair to dig into the RM5 million Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) allocation for elected representatives to support local councils in implementing necessary infrastructure upgrading projects as this amount is already insufficient to address the growing needs of Dudong constituency and its constituents, stressed Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.

The Dudong assemblyman insisted that the funding to support local councils for such projects should come from from the Ministry of Public Health, Housing, and Local Government.

“I want to thank him (Dr Sim) for the remarks but I hope he will understand where I’m coming from.

“The fund should come from the (Ministry of) Local Government which by right should bring up and look into these issues seriously as they are the requests from the people.

“He should not ask funding from elected representatives. Elected representatives only have RM5 million which is already inadequate to take care of the many and growing issues and needs within the constituency,” he told reporters when met at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex today.

Responding to Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian’s claims that he (Tiong) had not allocated any RTP funding for Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC), Tiong, who also serves as the Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, stressed the unfairness of tapping into the funds meant for elected representatives, especially with a constituency boasting 60,000 voters.

He questioned whether all the people in the constituency should be neglected, pointing out that the combination of RM5 million from RTP and RM2 million from the Minor Rural Project grant is inadequate to meet the diverse needs of the constituency.

“So all the people no need to be taken care?” he questioned, while admitting that he was surprised at Dr Sim’s response.

During his winding-up speech on yesterday (Nov 28), Dr Sim suggested that Tiong allocate some of his annual RTP funding to SMC and SRDC and seek Project Rakyat funding from the Premier for Dudong constituency.

Dr Sim disclosed the allocations made by former Dudong assemblyman Datuk Tiong Thai King from 2017 to 2020, indicating amounts provided to SMC and SRDC under the RTP. — DayakDaily