Billions for Sandakan but none for Sarawak, MP slams govt

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri.

KUCHING: A Sarawak lawmaker has accused Putrajaya of neglecting development in the state following the announcement that 49 projects in Sandakan, Sabah, worth RM2.28 billion have been given the green light.

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri said Sabahans have every right to money from the federal government, adding however that Sarawak, as the largest oil producing state, is also entitled to its portion.

“Lately, Sarawakians have felt that they have been neglected in terms of infrastructure development,” she told FMT.

“When Pakatan Harapan (PH) won GE14, it promised to treat all states fairly. It knows full well that Sarawak has contributed so much towards the nation’s income, yet we still have to beg for our own money.”

Last year, Putrajaya deferred the construction of the Igan, Rambungan and Batang Lupar bridges in Sarawak, citing financial constraints. The Batang Lupar bridge will reportedly be taken over by the state government.

Other smaller projects in Sarawak, worth RM20,000 to RM30,000 were also said to be cancelled.

Nancy said PH had promised in its manifesto to spend 50% of development funds on poor states, “namely Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis and Kedah, which was recently included in the list”.

“I am keeping watch to see how and when the federal government implements this,” she added.

She also said there had been an increase in development in Sarawak from 2008 to 2013, prior to GE14.

“That was why during the GE14 campaign, it was easy going for us, except for some who were facing internal political challenges.

“Projects were ongoing and it was easy to convince the people of the sincerity of the federal government during that time,” she said.