Reveal all on 'tallest flagpole' project, MP urges Sarawak govt

KUCHING: The Sarawak government must show transparency in its effort to build the country's tallest flagpole here at a reported cost of RM30mil, says Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

It should also be clear about the parties funding the project, he added.

He said here on Sunday (Jan 29) that merely claiming the project was being funded by the private sector as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) contribution raised more questions than answers.

"It is imperative that the government is transparent and accountable on this matter to ensure... no public funds are being used, nor is there conflict of interest in the matter," he said in response to a statement on the project by the Sarawak Premier's Office on Saturday (Jan 28).

The statement had said that the project was a CSR contribution from the private sector in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Sarawak's role in the formation of Malaysia.

Yii had earlier raised questions about the project and its cost.

The Premier's Office said the project site would also become part of Kuching's tourism infrastructure.

Yii, who is also DAP Youth national chief, said the state government should reveal the identity of the private entity making the CSR contribution and any past or imminent dealings with the state government.

He pointed out that the world's tallest flagpole in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, only cost US$4.9mil (RM21mil) despite standing 171m.

The proposed flagpole in Petra Jaya here will reportedly be 99m tall, four metres taller than the country's current tallest flagpole in Kuala Lumpur's Dataran Merdeka.

"There are many other (priority areas in) which RM30mil could go a long way to... directly benefit Sarawakians.

"Knowing the real needs of Sarawakians, the government could have easily advised the generous company to invest such funds in public infrastructure, health or education, or to feed the poor in our community.

"This is why I believe this clearly is a case of misplaced priority and obsession of optics over substance," he said.

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