Sunday, October 2

Lo hopes for bigger allocation for rural infrastructure

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KUCHING: Batu Kawah assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang hopes that Sarawak will get a bigger allocation to improve insfrastructure development like village roads, street lightings and drainage in rural areas.

He said the state was lagging behind in infrastructure development, particularly in rural areas, compared to other states in Peninsular Malaysia.

“The 2017 Budget is very people-oriented judging by the increase in allocation to village roads, street lightings, flood eradication programmes, hospitals and schools…the only reservation I may have is that there is no mention of how much the state will get..it’s a sensitive issue for Datuk Seri Najib, but I hope Sarawak will be given a bigger portion of the allocation,” he wrote in his WhatsApp to comment on the Budget 2017 tabled by the Prime Minister on Friday.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister when tabling the Budget 2017, among other things, said 616 kilometres of village roads and bridges would be built and upgraded with RM1.2 billion to enhance connectivity of villages, towns and cities.

Lo, who is Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman asserted that the state and Sabah be given bigger allocation for street lightings, water projects, village roads and drainage.

He noted a slight increase from the previous budget indicating a growtth in the country’s economy amidst a drop in global oil prices affecting the country.

He lauded the introduction of better salary grades for medical and dental specialists which showed the government was improving healthcare for the people.

On the increased allocation for Tamil and Chinese schools, Lo said it was liberal of Najib’s administration to acknowledge the high quality of education and the social and economic contributions provided by such schools in the country.