KUCHING (June 24): The federal government appreciates the contributions from the Sarawak government as well as Sarawakians ‘who truly understand’ the importance of political stability for Malaysia to move further forward, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.
He also said Putrajaya appreciates that the Sarawak government is focusing on policies and development, as well as its contributions towards political stability.
“This is what we want from Sarawak as this will facilitate the economic planning and development for Sarawak. I hope this relationship between the federal and Sarawak governments would be emulated (by other states in Malaysia).
“We do not allow politics to get in the way of us prioritising on the development and welfare of the people because we need these few years to really focus on realising our future growth potentials,” he said at a press conference held after attending a 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) mid-term public engagement session at a hotel here today.
Earlier during the session, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki said the Sarawak government expected the federal government, through Rafizi’s ministry, to further increase the annual budget for Sarawak.
He said this would further enable Sarawak to undergo rapid developments and improve the well-being of the people in the state.
According to Abu Bakar, Sarawak is still lagging far behind other states in terms of road connectivity, as well as water and electricity supply especially in the rural areas.
Given Sarawak’s status as the third largest contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), he said it would be appropriate for the federal government to set aside a larger budget allocation for Sarawak.
He also said the conditions of the schools and clinics in the rural areas were still wanting; hence, the request for a larger allocation meant for the upgrading works.
Moreover, Abu Bakar said the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at the Sarawak-Indonesia border was also in a bad condition.
“Having more federal allocations for Sarawak would help the state achieve its developed status by 2030, in line with its Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030,” said Abu Bakar.