Sarawak needs adequate funding for development

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KUCHING: It must be drummed up so that every Malaysian knows the fact and that Sarawak and Sabah still lack basic infrastructure and utilities despite being one of the regions, instead of a state, in the country.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said it was good that the subject was brought up and highlighted even at the 2022 Umno General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

“The basic infrastructure and utilities in Sarawak must be systematically addressed through adequate funding,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.

He was responding to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had said that since 1963, Sabah and Sarawak had contributed a lot to the country’s economic development, and now was the best time to develop both Sabah and Sarawak, in line with the development in the entire Borneo archipelago, including Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Zahid, who is also the BN chairman and Umno president, reiterated that Sabah and Sarawak had been accorded the status of region and no longer regarded as states within Malaysia, while the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) needed to be implemented immediately.

Meanwhile, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang also welcomed the acknowledgement.

SUPP, he said, had long been fighting for Sarawak’s special position as one of three regions in Malaysia to be restored according to MA63 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.

“It is therefore, the national resources allocated to Sarawak must not be based on the basis that Sarawak being one of the 13 states, instead of we are one of the regions in Malaysia.”

Tiang, who is also Sarawak Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, said it was glad that all component parties under the unity federal government had come to this common understanding and goal to give equal consideration and emphasis to the development and growth of both Sabah and Sarawak.

“By doing so, we are honouring the true origin of Malaysia as founded by our forefathers.”