SIBU: The Budget 2023 unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lacks a “wow” factor, especially for the tourism sector in Sarawak, says the state’s chapter of Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH).
Its chairman John Teo said the RM250mil allocated for the country's tourism industry will not be sufficient in further assisting tourism industry players, who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.
Teo said of the total RM388.1bil allocated for Budget 2023, Sarawak was given only RM5.6bil.
"It will depend very much on how the Sarawak government, especially the MPs fight for further funds for so many ‘sick projects’ that are still awaiting Federal Government funding.
“As announced by Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on Jan 30, there are 340 sick projects in Sarawak.
“We do hope that all these sick projects will be completed. Without additional funds allocated, these sick projects will not be able to be completed," he said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 25).
He added that Sarawak also needs funds for the Pan Borneo Highway to be completed by this year.
"We need Miri Airport to be upgraded and extended further from the present capacity of handling two million passengers to three million. The present passenger volume has already surpassed the 2.439 million passengers recorded in 2019 before the Covid 19 pandemic struck," he added.