Lack of federal funding may stiffle SME industrial parks

Dr Gregory Hii Sui Cheng

SIBU: Infrastructure development for Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Industrial Parks may be held back due to lack of federal funding, Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) president Dr Gregory Hii Sui Cheng notes with regret.

He hoped the matter would be resolved soonest.

He said this is because Sibu needs more industrial lands to meet the growing need of entrepreneurs to further develop Sarawak’s central region.

“The funding is essential to get the land ready for use by parties which need them,” he said in a statement received here yesterday.

The national and state budgets were tabled recently in Parliament and State Legislative Assembly (DUN) respectively

Hii said the biggest difference in the two was their size, with Sarawak budget at about RM12 billion, and the national budget at RM314.6 billion.

Another significant difference is in their development and operating expenditures, expressed in percentage.

“The Sarawak budget allocates about 75 per cent for development expenditure and about 24 per cent for operating expenditure.

“At the national level, more than 80 per cent of the budget is allocated for operating expenditure, and only about 20 per cent for development.

“It is in this area that I think the federal government should work hard to address so that the imbalance can be progressively reduced through more efficient public service and effective cost control.”

In as far as tackling corruption is concerned, he said the federal government had already achieved some successes, although eliminating it altogether, remains a pipe dream.

“Congratulations to the Sarawak government for its development-biased budget. What is saved in operating expenditures means more money is available for development.

“It should definitely benefit more people and thus contribute towards our effort of achieving a ‘developed status’for Sarawak,” added Hii.

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