‘State spends on public healthcare, infrastructure’

Tiang (first row, centre) with participants of the seminar.

OVER RM5bil was spent by Sarawak government on healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarawak Public Health, Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Michael Tiang said the state government had borne the expenses to quarantine Sarawakians returning from abroad, which involved staying at hotels for their quarantine period.

“Sarawak Government has also constructed roads, bridges and huge infrastructure projects.”

He pointed out that the state government had provided the facility and infrastructure even though “Sarawakians do not pay income tax to the state government.”

He said this when asked by the media for a response to the Opposition’s comment that while the state government was rich, the people remained poor.

“When Sarawak is rich, then the government can take care of the people,” he said.

Tiang said that although the state’s 2023 revenue was RM13bil, it still needed development funds from the Federal Government.

“We all pay tax to the Federal Government and so, it has a duty to allocate the required budget for Sarawak’s development to improve our standard of living,” he said at a seminar on service tax.

Tiang hoped that the Federal Government would re-introduce goods and services tax (GST) as it was a broader tax system compared to the sales and services tax (SST).

“SST is able to contribute 11% to the national economy as compared to GST, which will bring more revenue.

“I hope the Federal Government will re-introduce GST starting at the 3% to 4% rate,” he said.

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Michael Tiang , Sarawak , income , development fund


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