Putrajaya working on reimbursing federal projects in the state, says Abang Johari

KUCHING: A mechanism is being worked out for the Federal Government to reimburse Sarawak for developing federal projects in the state, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier said this would speed up the implementation of urgently-needed work, particularly those involving dilapidated clinics and schools.

"Through close cooperation between the federal and state governments, we will do the projects first using state funds.

"Because education and health are under federal jurisdiction, we need a mechanism for the Finance Ministry to reimburse the state," he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Thursday (April 11).

Abang Johari said this had been agreed at an administrative level between himself and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said a committee chaired by the Sarawak state secretary and the secretaries-general of the Education and Health Ministries were looking into the mechanism.

"We need to expedite the reimbursement because sometimes the funds may not be sufficient," he said.

Abang Johari also said this was the first time a state government would finance federal projects first and be reimbursed later by the Federal Government.

"I would like to thank the Prime Minister for this. It is not to say that we have a lot of money.

"But if we have the funds to help the Federal Government, we will use them.

"What is important is that the people will have comfortable schools and clinics and be served well," he said.

Last month, Anwar had announced that Sarawak would be the first state to provide initial financing for federal projects to speed up their implementation, while the Federal Government would cover the expenses later.

He said the cooperation would begin with the Sarawak Cancer Centre in Kota Samarahan.

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