KUCHING: The Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) has slammed Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for continuing to blame Barisan Nasional’s (BN) legacy for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) many unfulfilled promises to Sarawak.
Chairman Francis Paul Siah said Sarawakians had heard such an “excuse all too often so much so that it has become intolerable”.
“One important question which Lim and his PH colleagues must answer is ‘Was the PH manifesto going into GE14 created by the previous BN government?’
“Surely, PH must be aware of the BN’s huge debt, even then. That being so, why make empty promises to the people, including to Sabahans and Sarawakians?” he queried in a statement yesterday.
Siah said Lim had to put on his thinking cap and come up with more solid reasons for not fulfilling PH’s promises.
He pointed out the other major issue over this past year which Sarawakians took exception to was the repair of dilapidated schools.
“Again, the Finance Minister came up with the same excuse, only this time with an added twist that Sarawak has to repay its loan to the federal government first.
“We wonder whether Putrajaya is concerned at all for the thousands of students in rural Sarawak who have to suffer in squalor conditions just to ensure they receive an education,” he lamented.
He said MoCS “is not interested in who is right or wrong in this case; what we want to see is that pressing and urgent matters, especially involving education of our children, are resolved expeditiously”.
According to Siah, Putrajaya’s loan to Sarawak is a separate issue which has zero bearing on providing schools in good condition to children in Sarawak.
He added that Putrajaya must fulfil its responsibility in this respect.
In light of the intense tussle between both sides, he said perhaps the Sarawak government should seriously consider education autonomy, which would also enable Putrajaya to wash its hands of education matters in Sarawak.
“On the oil royalty for Sabah and Sarawak, the Finance Minister’s statement seems to indicate that Malaysia would not be able to survive without oil and gas from the Borneo territories.
“In other words, Lim is telling Sabahans and Sarawakians that Putrajaya needs the revenue from oil and gas from their territories to finance other priorities.
“They promised 20 per cent but only retained 5 per cent. Now Sarawakians are asking why fight for only 20 per cent but 100 per cent belongs to us?” said Siah.
According to him, Sarawakians are longing for the day to dawn when they could have 100 per cent of everything that their homeland is blessed with, without having to share with a peninsula across the South China Sea.
“That is our message to Putrajaya and we wish that ministers like Lim Guan Eng would chew on it,” he added.
On Friday, Lim said legacy issues from the previous government were preventing the implementation of promises under the PH manifesto, especially the oil royalty for Sabah and Sarawak.
- Borneo Post