Budget 2020: Sarawak needs at least 82 digital improvement centres, not merely 14, says PDP

  • Nation
  • Monday, 14 Oct 2019

Ground visit to rural folks by Progressive Democratic Party secretary-general Datuk Nelson Balang Rining (seated centre in orange shirt)

MIRI: Sarawak needs to have at least one “One-Stop IT Digital Improvement Centre” in each of its 82 state constituencies due to the vastness of this state, says the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

PDP secretary-general Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said Budget 2020, tabled last Friday (Oct 11), only provides funds for setting up 14 such centres in each state, which is definitely not enough to meet the needs of Sarawak.

He added that a study of Budget 2020 as announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng last Friday (Oct 11) showed that Sarawak's logistics needs have not been thoroughly considered.

“The part of the Budget on digital transformation is very important to Sarawak.

"The Finance Minister said under Budget 2020, there would be 14 One-Stop IT Digital Improvement Centres to facilitate access to financing and business capacity development.

“This is a good initiative but as far as Sarawak is concerned, 14 is simply not enough.

“Sarawak has 82 state constituencies distributed over an area almost the size of the peninsula.

“Each constituency has its own logistics and geographical challenges, so having just 14 centres in Sarawak is simply not enough for a state of this size.

“Set up at least one in each state constituency, ” he told The Star on Monday (Oct 14).

PDP is part of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) ruling coalition, whose other component parties are Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Sarawak, Sarawak United People’s Party, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak.

Balang said the 19 GPS Members of Parliament who were present during the tabling of Budget 2020 will be closely monitoring the progress of the Budget’s disbursements.

They will do their best to protect the interest of Sarawak, he added.

Balang is also the PDP divisional chief for Lawas and PDP branch chairman for the Bakelalan state constituency, which is in remote northern Sarawak.

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