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Sabah deserves more than RM4.66 billion - DAP Sabah

17 Sept 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Luyang State Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe said that RM4.66 billion for Sabah mentioned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri via the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) is insufficient.

In a statement today, he said Sabah is lagging far behind the rest in terms of infrastructure and structural issues and the recent flood has exposed its drainage system's shortcomings.

It is clear that the allocation proposed by Prime Minister is definitely insufficient to resolve the long term issues in Sabah, he added.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sabah Youth Chief also mentioned that the allocation is much less in comparison to Pakatan Harapan's budget.

"In 2019 and 2020, Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that Sabah would receive more than RM5 billion allocations in respective federal budgets.

"In 2020, it was also a historic record for Sabah as the Federal Government allocated RM 5.2 billion for Sabah. It is disappointing to see that the Prime Minister is reducing the budget for Sabah," he said in a statement today.

Phoong opined that the government should revise the annual budget for Sabah and it should increase to RM10 billion annually the latest by 2030.

"If PH can double the allocations from RM2 billion to RM5.2 billion, why did the previous Perikatan Nasional (PN) and the current PN 2.0 government cannot achieve so? Why is Sabah's allocations being reduced?"

In 2013, the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government allocated RM2.3 billion development allocations for Sabah and RM2 billion in 2014, it was on average RM 3 to 4 billion until 2018.

After the PH government took over Putrajaya, Guan Eng increased Sabah's development allocations to RM5 billion.

Phoong further stressed that the recent flash flood in the west coast of Sabah especially Kota Kinabalu must be addressed.

"Kota Kinabalu's flood mitigation plan that has been mentioned for years is still waiting for allocations from the federal government.

"The RM76 million worth Lido flood mitigation plan has always been one of my priorities as the state assemblyman for Luyang. I continue to urge the government to implement it as soon as possible," said Phoong.

He stated that the delay was due to the Sheraton Move triggered by MPs who defected from Pakatan PH.

"The flood mitigation plan is delayed again and again due to the change of government. Now the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) said the tender will be rescheduled to December 2021.

"The federal government must consider and revise the current system, if the federal agencies are unable to execute related plannings, it is necessary to decentralise to the Sabah State Government," he explained.

According to Phong, the federal government would only need to approve the related development allocations.

He also reiterated his stance regarding the 12MP that would be proposed in the Parliament soon.

"The 12MP must address the lagging infrastructure issues in Sabah including drainage system, basic roads, utilities supply. To expedite the upgrade on these related items, a big amount of allocations is required.

"If the Prime Minister is sincere about 'Keluarga Malaysia', he should allocate at least equivalent amount that was allocated by Guan Eng - RM5 billion annually.

"Listen to the needs of fellow Sabahans and treat us equally especially regarding allocations, this is the only way to prosper Sabah," said Phoong.

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