Friday, August 26, 2016

Baru hopes Masing’s statement on roads not mere rhetoric

KUCHING: State PKR welcomes Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing’s statement that the State is targeting to link all places by road by 2030 as it is better late than never.

However, its chairman Baru Bian hoped that it was not mere rhetoric and that the present government would be more serious than the last one in delivering its promises.

“We also note the deputy chief minister’s comment that we need the federal government to give the necessary funding of RM24 billion to enable these roads to be built.

“In Tuesday’s papers, Deputy Finance Minister II Datuk Lee Chee Leong declared that the federal government would give priority to Sarawak’s development and would continue to take proactive measures to develop rural areas.

“Sadly, we have heard this tune being sung by the federal government since the very beginning in 1963 when Sarawak agreed to join the formation of Malaysia. It has been a string of empty promises since then, and we have no reason to believe that anything has changed.

“Even Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem is facing problems claiming the rights promised to us,which has been eroded since then,” Baru said in a press statement.

Masing on Wednesday was reported to have said that at least RM24 billion was needed in the next 15 years for all areas in the State to be connected by road. He said this would be a big challenge to the State and urged the federal government to give the necessary funding.

Baru said the sad and inescapable fact was that the State was still dependent on allocations from the federal government for its much needed development.

 “This is the truth of the matter and people are beginning to see the reality of this federal-state balance of power situation. Where the opposition had been blamed for the lack of projects before, people now see that it is due to lack of funds from the federal government.”

He said one way of expediting the projects without relying on the federal government was to continue to fight for an increase in our oil and gas royalty to 20 per cent.

“I urge the chief minister and his ministers not to let up in their demands for what is owed to Sarawak and Sarawakians. As Aug 31 approaches and we are asked to celebrate the Malayan Independence Day, we should reflect on the price we have had to pay for the progress they have enjoyed since 1963.

“How much longer are we willing to put up with this inequality? I believe not much longer.”

~ Borneo Post

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