KUCHING (Oct 14): The 2022 State Budget announced by the Chief Minister yesterday came with carrots to entice Sarawakians to vote for the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government, said Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan.
He said the huge budget of RM10.646 billion with a total of RM4.803 billion or 64 per cent being allocated for rural-based infrastructure projects and people-centric programmes shows that the GPS is desperate to cling on to power.
“The huge budget for rural areas shows that GPS is relying on votes in rural constituencies to stay in power. But the feedback received by PBK is that people in rural areas this time will not be enticed with the huge allocation to vote for GPS. Their reason is they had suffered for too long and need a new government.
“The allocation will not help the rural folks to improve their lives much because they had been lagging behind too far. There are too many roads, bridges and schools in the rural areas that need to be repaired and built.
“Rural folks also need much help to boost their agriculture and veterinary development and I don’t see the GPS government will be able to do it now. If they could do, they could have done this much earlier,” said Voon in a statement yesterday.
Voon also said that there seems to be no allocation under the 2022 State Budget to uplift poverty of the urban poor and urban homeless people in the state.
“GPS government may not realise that there are many urban homeless people.
“There are many cases of families sharing the same room or house, crowding together in urban areas. This is not healthy,” he said.
Regarding Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s announcement that federal civil servants in Sarawak will get RM500 special assistance under the Budget, he said PBK is not against the giving of ‘bonus’ to the federal civil servants but the fund for this should be from the federal coffer and not from the state.
He said GPS being the kingmaker should be able to get the federal government to come up with the fund for this bonus for the federal civil servants.
“The federal government had taken so much of Sarawak’s wealth away every year for the federal coffer and for Petronas and there is no reason that the federal government should not be asked to come with the fund for the bonus for the federal civil servants.
“It is estimated that each year Sarawak had lost not less than RM200 billion of her wealth from taxes collected by the federal government departments and to Petronas,” he said.
He also cited a recent statement made by Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah during 74th Umno anniversary, that Petronas is making a profit of RM90 billion annually.