PENAMPANG: The newly minted Federal Government has assured the people of Sabah and Sarawak that the country’s wealth will be shared equally among all the states.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the move was done pursuant to what was promised in the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“I have informed the PKR Sabah leaders about the policy of the Federal Government, under the new leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whereby the wealth distribution of the country must be shared equally. This includes the development for Sabah and Sarawak.
“This decision has been made by the cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister. He has instructed all cabinet ministers to ensure that the development in Sabah and Sarawak will be treated fairly, as what was prescribed in the Malaysian Agreement 1963,” he said.
Azmin, who is also PKR national deputy president, spoke to reporters after chairing a meeting with his fellow party leaders in Sabah yesterday.
“During a briefing on the development of Sabah on Thursday, we were informed about the state’s needs and priorities based on the approved allocation for 2018, which amounted to RM4.1 billion.
“We want to make sure that this allocation, which has been approved, will be fully spent for the development of Sabah.
Azmin said that priority had been given to the education sector; this is so that the state’s dilapidated schools would be refurbished promptly.
“Unfortunately, the process conducted by the previous regime was not transparent. This halted the development works of the dilapidated schools.
“Meanwhile, the projects conducted by the State Public Works Department progressed well as they have completed work for 37 schools. However, the 83 dilapidated school projects given to Umno contractors were disrupted and the progress rate for these projects is only 12 per cent,” Azmin said, stressing that he would make sure that the funds would be channelled directly to Sabah.
Azmin added that the meeting had also touched on the issue of infrastructure in the state.
He was made to understand that more than 50 per cent of the roads in Sabah are yet to be paved. Thus, reasonable allocation must be decided upon so that pavement works could be initiated.