S’wak needs RM154 bln funding for infra devt within next 11 years

Posted on : 09 May 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg – File photo

THE approved federal allocation for Sarawak has started to decline from the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) onwards, according to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said to date, the federal government had approved an allocation of only RM79 billion for development in the state, that was from 1963 onwards.

He noted that within the next 11 years, Sarawak needs approximately RM154 billion funding to put in place all the required infrastructure, utilities and facilities, and to realise its vision to become a high income and developed state by 2030.

“Over the years, Sarawak were dependent on funding from the Federal Government for development purposes.

“Now, we must be in control of our own destiny. We need to have sufficient fund to finance the development that we have planned for our State.

“We cannot depend entirely on the federal government for development funding in view of the current political scenario,” he said in his winding up speech today.

Abang Johari said since taking over the helm of the state government on January 13, 2017 and taking cognizance of the current level of development in the State, he had decided to implement several bold steps to increase Sarawak revenue and expand its development expenditure to support its development initiatives.

He said the provision of state funding for development was on the rise and until today the Sarawak government had approved an allocation of RM89 billion.

This year alone, he added, the Sarawak government had approved RM9.1 billion for development, the highest allocation in the State development budget history.

“In development planning, we place the interest of the Rakyat above all. We will continue our efforts to bring more socioeconomic development to the people.

“I wish to inform that the returns from our investments, including from MLNG, is utilised to fund our development programmes and projects,” he said.

The Chief Minister said in order to finance the massive infrastructure development in Sarawak, the State government need to look for alternative sources of funding.

He said this was one of the reasons why he had decided to impose a five percent sales tax on petroleum products for export starting from this year, as a new source of revenue to the State.