KUCHING: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has warned Sarawakians the state might end up bankrupt in three years time under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) administration.
Lim said Sarawak’s RM30 billion reserves would run out in three years with its annual budget of RM11 billion.
However, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg had announced last year the state’s revenue for 2019 was expected to reach RM10.51 billion, which included sales tax for petroleum products totalling RM3.84 billion.
He said Sarawak could also increase the sales tax on petroleum products based on its state constitution.
At a Sarawak DAP fundraising dinner here yesterday, Lim said the state could end up like Kelantan, where the government had ruled so badly it could not even afford to pay the salaries of its officers.
“They had to borrow money from the federal government to pay their officers’ salaries and I had approved RM20 million for the purpose,” the DAP secretary-general said.
He said the people should vote for Pakatan Harapan in the next election to restore the status of the state.
Lim said the GPS government together with their “brothers and sisters” from Umno and PAS had “sabotaged” the aspirations of Sarawakians when they decided to abstain from voting on the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in the Dewan Rakyat on April 9, which resulted in the government’s failure to obtain a two-thirds majority.
“As a responsible government, you must inspire the people’s aspirations, especially to re-establish the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federal Constitution.
“Because the Sarawak government has failed to inspire the people’s aspirations, they deserve to expire,” he said.
Later, Lim declined to answer when asked if the federal government was willing to pay the 5% sales tax on petroleum products which the Sarawak government had imposed from January.