KUCHING (Jan 14): With Sarawak now being recognised as a region, the federal government must give a larger allocation of funds for its development, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum.
He said the recognition must be reflected through efforts in ensuring the development in Sarawak to be on par with the Peninsular.
He said Sarawak and Sabah still lack basic infrastructure and utilities despite being one of the regions in the country.
“That is why we think that we should have more autonomy with regard to our development because of the vast size of our land as well as the rural nature of the land that takes the development much longer.
“We want our fellow Malaysians, particularly those from Peninsular, to realise that Sabah and Sarawak are still left behind in development and utilities.
“And we urge the fed government to distribute Sarawak with adequate funding,” Salang told reporters during a press conference after chairing PRS Supreme Council Meeting at the party’s headquarters here today.
He was responding to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s recent speech during the Umno General Assembly 2023, saying that Sabah and Sarawak has been accorded the status of region and no longer be regarded as states within Malaysia.
Adding on, Salang pointed out that the acknowledgement during Umno’s assembly would raise awareness on the importance of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said this would also pave the way for more discussions as Malaysians need to understand why Sabah and Sarawak have been making a lot of noise about the implementation of MA63.
“I think this is a good thing because everybody is talking about MA63 and the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) Report.
“And with the president of Umno’ declaration during the recent general assembly, more people (Malaysians) will talk about it to understand how Malaysia was formed.
“Then they will understand why Sarawak has its immigration law, special allocation grant, and be able to demand autonomy,” he said.