KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah and Sarawak state leaders are pleased with the various allocations proposed in the Budget 2020, specifically for the two states.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pix) said the state government was satisfied with the increase to RM53.4 million in Special Provision to the state, regarding the provision as reasonable given the country’s high debt and economic challenges.
“The economy is not healthy, we have a lot of debts. The increase from RM26 million to over RM53 million can at least help us although it is not big enough to meet our needs at the state level,” he said, adding that given the current scenario, Sabah accepted the allocation.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tabled the Budget 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday which, among others, proposes to double the Special Provision up to RM106.8 million for Sabah and RM64 million for Sarawak in five years.
Since 1969, the Special Provision rates for Sabah and Sarawak have never been revised. For the first time, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government proposes to increase the amount to RM53.4 million for Sabah and RM32 million for Sarawak.
Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman, Baru Bian said Sarawak people’s ‘voice’ had been heard by the government, especially in the aspect of development which the ‘Land of the Hornbills’ lagged behind.
He said the allocation of RM4.4 billion in Development Expenditure for Sarawak was proof of the PH government’s concern to develop the state.
“The important thing is that the projects (as stated in the Budget) need to be implemented well, because it doesn’t make sense having a large budget but the projects are not implemented properly.
“We (Sarawak) are left behind in terms of development. PH is aware of this and trying to compensate this, but they can’t do it immediately. Still, this budget is proof that PH is also focusing on us,“ said the Works Minister. — Bernama