Monday, December 9

Eclipsing last year’s record

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CM to table State Budget today, promises to trump last year’s RM11.9 billion

Abang Johari (seated, right) and Dennis strike gongs to launch the dinner, witnessed by Lee (standing at right) and others.

MIRI: Sarawakians can expect a better State Budget when it is tabled in State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has assured.

Speaking at the annual dinner of Sarawak Kayan Association (PKS) here on Saturday, he said the ‘better budget’ would include an allocation for mothers.

“Last budget, I allocated over RM10 billion – the first budget exceeding RM10 billion – because we want to develop our state. The day after tomorrow (Monday), I will table another budget for Sarawak, which will be better,” he said to thunderous applause from the nearly 1,200 guests at the dinner.

Abang Johari said while he had announced the establishment of Endowment Fund Sarawak for Sarawakian newborn babies last year, mothers in the state could look forward to receiving something this year.

“I will help mothers. (As for the) amount, wait on Monday,” he said.

Met after the event, the Chief Minister remained tight-lipped when asked to elaborate on the budget, merely saying that it would be ‘much better’ than what was allocated to Sarawak in the federal Budget 2020 last month.

Last year, Abang Johari announced a budget of RM11.9 billion – the largest in Sarawak’s history.

Earlier in his address at the function, the chief minister called upon Sarawakians to ‘remain loyal to the state, her people, and the country’.

“I am the chief minister of the second generation since the formation of Malaysia. I was born before Malaysia and when Malaysia was formed, I was still a teenager. But, today I have been given the responsibility to lead the people. What I mean is that leaders change. We must have loyalty to the state and our people. One day, I will retire and a new man will helm the state, but the bottom line is we must remain loyal to our country.”

Abang Johari said when he was appointed the Chief Minister, his ambition was to transform Sarawak into becoming the most developed state in Malaysia by 2030.

To achieve this, he said the state would need to upgrade all facilities including in rural areas.

“It takes time to implement. But the money and the policy are there,” he said.

The function also saw Abang Johari announce a grant of RM100,000 to the PKS Education Bureau, and he later presented members’ children who had excelled in public examinations as well as in sports last year, with certificates and incentives.

Among those present were PKS president Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, and state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.