Uproar as Uggah and Chong clash over alternative financing model

Uggah (lower left) raises his voice to tell off Chong (lower right) as Mohd Asfia observes the exchange from his seat in the House, as seen in this photo of the in-house DUN broadcast.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 13: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has hit back at opposition members for creating a fuss over the ‘alternative financing model’, saying they were jealous that the state government has the resources to develop Sarawak.

“In fact when you stand up here, you are jealous that we have the resources to develop Sarawak — ‘cemburu’ (jealous) because you cannot bluff the people of Sarawak,” he lashed out.

In turn, Uggah reminded Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen that the state government would not have to go for the alternative financing model had he kept his promises.

“The alternative financing model will be elaborated upon by Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) when he addresses this question (in his winding-up speech later today).

“However, this is not necessary if the Yang Berhormat (Chong) kept his promise to give us 20 per cent oil royalty and (return) 50 per cent tax (collected from Sarawak). You never keep your promise.

“Secondly, federal projects (include) notably, bridges, and if you (Chong) had fought hard enough for Sarawak, then this issue does not arise,” he said after Chong interjected when the former was delivering his winding-up speech in the august House this morning.

Chong had again questioned the state government’s alternative financing model which he viewed as a risky and indiscreet mechanism by the government to borrow such a huge sum of money (RM13 billion) through the capital market and private sector, but only seeking to approve a RM6.5 billion development expenditure.

Uggah’s reply provoked an uproar in the House but Uggah refused to give the floor to Chong or others to speak until he had finished putting his points across while citing Standing Order 23.

“As I have spelt out on the Budget, we have a responsibility to do. One, we want to make Sarawak developed by 2030, which means we must improve the livelihood of the people, that is a GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) commitment.

“But we are lucky because we have a very smart Chief Minister who understands economics, (and) does not politicise…” he said, as laughter errupted in the House, then added, ‘enda bula, enda menang’.

“The Chief Minister is a responsible leader who adheres to the policy of prudence, principle of…. it is (Finance Minister Lim) Guan Eng who is bankrupt… now we know the truth who advised Guan Eng, who came here and told Sarawakians we are going to get bankrupt. These are the advisors… because of your ignorance,” he said, raising his voice.

DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar calmed the members and explained that the Deputy Chief Minister was responding to the question raised.

“And if you don’t want him to answer, don’t raise the question. He is only responding…” he said while calling for order in the House to let Uggah continue with his winding-up speech.

As members of House started to raise a fuss, Uggah also raised his voice: “What number (Standing Order)?! What number?! Sit down, where, what number! How can you ask me to sit down!”

“Section 33 (states that) no member shall interrupt a member to speak,” he told off the opposition members while showing the Standing Order book. — DayakDaily