Chong questions budget speech silence on corruption


PETALING JAYA: Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen has questioned why leakages of budget allocations had not been addressed when the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, tabled the 2017 Budget yesterday.

He said there was no point in talking about billions in allocations when as much as 60 per cent might end up in the private pockets of corrupt officers and politicians.

“Yet, Najib completely ignores these problems in his budget speech,” he said today.

Recently anti-corruption officials alleged that as much as RM2 billion could have been siphoned off in leakages from a total of RM3.3 billion in federal allocations for the Sabah Water Department.

Chong said the Sabah Water case had changed the focus from how much money was being allocated to how the allocation was being used.

He also noted that the budget allocation for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had been cut by 14 per cent from RM251.7 million this year to RM216.2 million for next year.

He questioned why Najib had left a “complete silence” about the fight against corruption in his Budget speech. “Is he too ashamed to talk about fighting corruption or is he simply ignoring it?”

Chong also urged Sarawak MPs of the Barisan Nasional to acknowledge that there was a blatant omission of Sarawak, when compared to the budget speeches of the past three years,

It was as if Sarawak no longer mattered now that the Sarawak elections were over. He challenged Sarawak BN chairman Adenan Satem and the coalition’s 25 Sarawak MPs to vote against the 2017 Budget if they were serious about defending Sarawak’s interests.