KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government should continue to be supported by the people as it has a proven track record of bringing development to the state, said PAS Sarawak information chief Zharudin Narudin.
Zharudin said various efforts and development initiatives embarked on by the state government had clearly lifted the standards of living of the people and provided basic infrastructure to all parts of Sarawak.
“The relative poverty rate in Sarawak for the year 2019 was 15.2 per cent, lower than the 16.8 per cent reported in 2016. This shows the government’s commitment to eliminate poverty in the state has been effective,” he said in a statement.
He pointed out the percentage of total households with piped water supply had increased by 0.4 per cent to 86.4 per cent in 2019, compared with the year 2016.
“Electricity supply has increased by 0.2 per cent to 99.8 per cent of total households in 2019 compared with the year 2016.”
As for health infrastructure, based on data from 2019, Zharudin said 73.5 per cent of total households were located within five kilometres from a public health centre, compared with 65.1 per cent in 2016.
The percentage of total households located within five kilometres from a government primary and secondary schools is 94.1 per cent and 74.8 per cent respectively in 2019, from 90.2 per cent and 69.6 per cent respectively in 2016, he said.
Nonetheless, Zharudin pointed out that the poverty rate in Sarawak, at 15.2 per cent, was higher than the national average of 8.8 per cent.
“The five locations with the highest hardcore poor rate in the state was Pusa at 38.6 per cent, Tebedu at 28.7 per cent, Matu at 24.1 per cent, Kabong at 23 per cent and Betong at 22.4 per cent,” he said, citing data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
He also said residents in Kampung Beladin in Pusa still experienced low water pressure that had affected their daily live but no proper explanation had been provided by the relevant authorities.
Zharudin said the majority of places with high poverty rate were largely Melayu-Melanau areas in the interior and he urged elected people representatives to resolve issues faced by them.
“Both the state and federal governments have to work hand-in-hand to safeguard the rights of the people in Sarawak, which is one of the largest revenue contributing states to the government’s coffer.”