Sarawak needs RM154 billion funding in next 11 years - Abang Johari
Last Update: 09/05/2019
KUCHING, May 9 (Bernama) – Sarawak needs approximately RM154 billion funding within the next 11 years to put in place all the required infrastructure and facilities to realise its vision to become a developed state by 2030, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said since taking over the helm of the state government on Jan 13, 2017, he had implemented several bold steps to increase state revenue and expand its development expenditure to support development initiatives.
“We must be in control of our own destiny…we need to have sufficient funds to finance the development that we have planned for our state and cannot depend entirely on the federal government for development funding in view of the current political scenario,” he said in his winding-up speech for his ministry at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly here today.
He said Sarawak had been dependent on funding from the federal government, which had approved RM79 billion for development in the state since 1963.
However, he said the provision of state funding for development was on the rise with an allocation of RM89 billion approved so far.
Abang Johari said this year alone the state government had approved RM9.1 billion for development, the highest allocation in the state’s development budget history.
“I wish to inform (the House) that the returns from our investments, including from MLNG, are utilised to fund our development programmes and projects,” he said.
As such, he said a five per cent sales tax on petroleum products for export was imposed from this year, as a new alternative source of funding to finance the massive infrastructure development.
The state government had also established its own development bank, the Development Bank of Sarawak or DBoS, to finance strategic infrastructure and utility projects, he said.
In order to accelerate infrastructure and economic development in the state, a new approach in regional planning was being undertaken, he said.
This is done through the establishment of the Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA) under the Samarahan Resident and new agencies under the Regonal Corridor Development Authority (RECODA), namely the Upper Rejang Development Agency (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).