Monday, December 9

Where did RM2 bil for 11MP projects in Sarawak go, state PAC chairman asks

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Affected projects included 13 major ones such as the Batang Igan, Batang Lupar and Batang Rambungan bridges, a Type-5 health clinic and several treatment plants. File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING: More than RM2 billion worth of federal projects approved for Sarawak under the current 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) have been cancelled, postponed and placed under KIV (Keep In View) since Pakatan Harapan (PH) came to power, the State Legislative Assembly was told today.

Sadong Jaya assemblyman Aidel Lariwoo, who is also the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, said there was suspicion that funds from these projects were diverted elsewhere for other projects and purposes.

According to Aidel, affected projects included 13 major ones such as the Batang Igan, Batang Lupar and Batang Rambungan bridges, a Type-5 health clinic and several treatment plants.

“Regardless of which coalition forms the government, the money for these projects is already there. The ceiling allocation for the Malaysia Plan is for a period of five years, and further distributed under the Mid-Term Rolling Plan.

“So this means that basically the allocation (for these projects) is already there, but suddenly the allocation became ‘kosong’ (zero),” he told reporters today after he had delivered his debate speech at the State Legislative Assembly.

When asked if the funds could have been diverted to build the Sarawak–Sabah Link Road (SSLR) launched on Tuesday, Aidel said this should not be the case as Sarawak deserved the funds more as the biggest contributor to the nation’s coffers all this while.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu, who was also at the press conference, interjected and said Works Minister Baru Bian, who launched the project, should serve Sarawak’s interest first.

“In 2017, LNG (liquefied natural gas) extracted from the shores of Bintulu was worth RM41.1 billion. But where’s the money? The money is diverted elsewhere,” he said.

Earlier, Aidel when debating the State Budget 2020 questioned why PH ministers and elected representatives from Sarawak do not dare to question their bosses at Putrajaya regarding the cancelled projects for the state.

He also questioned why PH did not honour their election promise to defer repayment of PTPTN loans for borrowers earning less than RM4,000 a month.

“In this regard, we should thank our Chief Minister who announced RM30 million initial fund to assist Sarawakian graduates to help them to settle their education loan, as well as to assist Sarawakian students who cannot obtain any student loan,” he said.