Budget 2021: Opposition MPs propose an additional RM3bil for Sabah, Sarawak

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition MPs from Sabah and Sarawak want the RM69bil development expenditure in Budget 2021 to be increased to RM72bil so that additional funds can be allocated to the two states.

Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen said he had proposed for the allocation to be increased by RM3bil in a motion submitted to the Speaker’s office on Monday (Nov 23).

He said he had also proposed for a new item to be created in the “estimated Federal spending” column under the Prime Minister’s Department for Sabah and Sarawak Affairs.

“In Budget 2021, the total development expenditure has been increased substantially to RM69bil compared to RM56mil under Budget 2020.

"However, the development expenditure allocation for Sabah and Sarawak remains at RM9.6bil.

“Percentage-wise, clearly there is a dilution of Sabah and Sarawak's development expenditure allocation in Budget 2021," he said at a press conference at Parliament Tuesday (Nov 24).

Also present were Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Sandakan MP Vivian Wong.

Chong said that the development expenditure for Sabah and Sarawak had dropped from 17.14% in Budget 2020 to 13.91% in Budget 2021.

“To remedy this shortfall, we proposed an additional RM3bil of development expenditure be allocated to Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.

During the tabling of Budget 2021 on Nov 6, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz announced a cumulative sum of RM9.6bil for development with RM5.1bil for Sabah and RM4.5bil for Sarawak.

Tengku Zafrul said the sum was for the construction and upgrading of water and electricity infrastructure, roads, as well as health and educational facilities.

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