Baru Bian: Federal Govt not neglecting S'wak, willing to work with state to implement projects

KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government should not be hasty or presumptuous in accusing the Federal Government of neglecting Sarawak, says Baru Bian (pic).

The Ba'Kelalan assemblyman, who is also Works Minister, gave the assurance that the Federal Government was ready to work together with the state government to implement projects that were beneficial for Sarawakians.

"Don’t be too fast in making conclusions or presumptuous in alleging that my colleagues and I in the new Federal Government have not acted in the best interest of Sarawak when it comes to matters affecting the state. 

"Time will prove whether we fare better than our predecessors," he said when debating the state budget in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Wednesday (Nov 7).

Baru noted that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in his budget speech on Monday (Nov 5), and other GPS leaders had lamented that Sarawak was not given sufficient allocations in the Federal budget.

"These commentators do not want to concede that the new government is only six months old and has to grapple with crippling debts incurred by the man hailed by the same GPS leaders only a year ago as the 'best ever' prime minister for Sarawak. 

"Any complaints that GPS now has about the sorry state of Sarawak and the perceived lack of allocation are in fact reflections of their own complicity in this country’s past and history," he said.

Baru added that the Federal Government's allocation of RM4.346bil to Sarawak in the budget was an increase of RM10mil from last year's allocation.

He said it was misleading to say this was the only amount Sarawak would get, as the spending by various ministries from their allocations would cover the state as well.

"Any discussion of budgetary issues should be done in the context of federalism.

"The bottom line is the Federal Government will always be responsible where the Federal Constitution requires.

"One instance is the mandatory allocation of funds for the maintenance of state roads in Sarawak under Part II of the 10th Schedule of the Federal Constitution," he said.

Baru Bian , Budget 2019 , Sarawak