KUCHING: The allocation under Budget 2020 is insufficient for Sarawak's development needs, says Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
The Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) president said although there was an increase in financial grants to the state, this was still not enough as Pakatan Harapan had failed to keep its promise of allocating 30% of the development expenditure to Sabah and Sarawak.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced on Friday (Oct 11) that Sabah and Sarawak would receive RM5.2bil and RM4.4bil respectively in development expenditure next year.
This comes to about 17% of the total development expenditure of RM56bil.
In addition, Lim said the special grants under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution, which had not been reviewed since 1969, would be doubled to RM53.4mil for Sabah and RM32mil for Sarawak next year.
The government plans to double the rate again to RM106.8mil for Sabah and RM64mil for Sarawak within five years.
"Again they fail their duty to provide the necessary funds for Sarawak to be as developed as Peninsular Malaysia.
"It is time for them to give back our autonomy, including our money, as in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, without further delay so that Sarawak can get on with the necessary mammoth tasks ourselves," Sim said.
Citing an example, he questioned how many hospitals with specialists there were along the North-South Expressway in the Peninsula, compared with the meagre number of similar facilities along the Pan-Borneo Highway in Sarawak.
"Please show me any schools in Peninsular Malaysia which are as dilapidated as those in Sarawak?
"I am sure they realise this and this is why they made the promise in their manifesto. Now that they are in power, they have forgotten the Sarawakians," Sim added.