Tuesday, June 28, 2022

S’wak will stay viable and solvent

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: The government of Sarawak knows how to manage the state’s economy and it has given assurance that it would not go bankrupt in three years despite what the federal Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, said recently.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said there are three important factors to consider when running a country’s economy. They are savings, investments, and consumption, and Sarawak leaders know them very well.

“My Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government takes these factors into consideration all the time. Thank God Sarawak leaders are fully aware of them,” he said during the launch of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia Kuching office at STA Building, Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim, yesterday.

He said the state government knows where its revenues come from and what they are spent on.

“We will protect the state’s reserves. When we spend RM11 billion on expenditure, it is based on a collective revenue of almost RM11 billion, and normally we have a surplus budget. I have to tell people this, ‘takut’ (afraid) they don’t understand,” he said.

Abang Johari signing a plaque to mark the launch of PwC Malaysia Kuching Office, witnessed by (from left) PwC Malaysia managing partner Sridharan (Sri) Nair, PwC Malaysia executive chairman Datuk Mohammad Faiz Azmi, and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing. Photo: Ghazali Bujang.

He then said in politics there is always a limit, and not everything must be politicised.

“You must work based on what you feel should be done for the people and my government in doing that. Not too much politicking as what we want is to improve people’s standard living and at the same time enhance our revenue,” he stressed.

On the manner in which politicians do their work, he hoped that all of them would carry out their responsibilities in a professional way.

“Politics, yes, but it must be based on facts. You don’t go by emotion. Emotion ‘senang’ (easy), but you have to be very careful in whatever you say,” he said.

He then said the state would definitely see additional revenue after implementing its five per cent sales tax on petroleum products.

“Imposing the tax is our right. If somebody does not want to pay, that is a crime because it is according to the law. And five per cent is a small figure,” he said, adding that some players have agreed to pay.

“But one is still negotiating although they have admitted it is our right. They want to review our five per cent. I told them they can review provided they give us the equivalent in terms of revenue,” he said.

Throughout his speech, Abang Johari did not mention Guan Eng by name, but he was obviously referring to the Finance Minister’s claim during a DAP Sarawak fundraising dinner last June 21 that Sarawak would go bankrupt in three years’ time if it continues to ruled by GPS.

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