KUCHING, Oct 13: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders should give credit where it’s due on the Budget 2020 of the Pakatan Harapan federal government.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-chairperson Voon Shiak Ni said Budget 2020 tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Friday gave special attention to Sarawak, but has been receiving flak from numerous GPS leaders.
She said this was expected of their political agenda, which was uncalled for. It also reflected their insincerity on working closely with the federal government for the benefit and interest of Sarawak.
“The Pakatan government 2020 Budget has increased and double up the special grant to Sabah and Sarawak as provided under Section 112D of the Federal Constitution.
“Guan Eng said the grant has not been reviewed since 1969 even though the provision of the Federal Constitution stated that a review ought to be done every five years,” she said in a statement.
Voon reminded that the special grant was doubled up to RM32 million for Sarawak and the federal government will continue to double up the rate within the next five years.
“GPS may say there is nothing to shout about but it cannot be denied that this is something indeed, a grant supposedly to be reviewed every five years but was neglected 50 years by the former government,” she continued.
She was reacting to a report from an online news portal, where several GPS leaders criticised the 2020 Budget as “nothing to shout about”.
Voon said on top of the special grant for Sarawak, Lim said the federal government had managed to save RM1.2 billion to date from the ongoing cost rationalisation of the Pan Borneo Highway project and the money would be used to construct more roads for Sarawak.
She cited Trans-Borneo Highway connecting Sabah and Sarawak to Eastern Kalimantan region as an example. This would be the location of the proposed new Indonesian capital and would definitely support the economic growth for Sarawak.
“Budget 2020 is something for Sarawak and rest assured that Sarawak is presently on a much better platform than under the former Barisan Nasional government,” said Voon. — DayakDaily