KUALA LUMPUR: A Sarawak MP has urged Putrajaya not to discriminate against the state, saying the state government has to take over previously approved infrastructure projects for the benefit the people.
Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri expressed disappointment that the Pakatan Harapan administration had cancelled these projects which, she said, were the responsibility of the federal government.
Now, Nancy added, the Sarawak government had to take over these projects though it cost them a lot to do so.
“Through these projects, like the construction of bridges, we can stimulate economic growth.
“Whatever we ask for is critical for the state. We’re still talking about roads and electricity,” she told FMT after taking part in a forum titled “The Next Four Years: What Now for Malaysia?” here today.
Nancy said although the state government had funds, it was not fair for Sarawak to bear the costs which should have come from the federal government.
“We also share our revenue with the federal government. We contribute 9.7% of the national gross domestic product (GDP),” she said, adding that only Selangor and Kuala Lumpur paid more.
Nancy said the previous administration which she was a part of and former prime minister Najib Razak did not do badly for Sarawak.
“I’m not trying to promote him but he knew what Sarawak needed. He went to the state more than 60 times to all the rural places,” she said.
She said she did not want to criticise the ministers as most of them were new, but felt the need to speak up for Sarawak, more so since the state is under-represented in the Cabinet with only one full minister and one deputy minister.
“In Sarawak, we are concerned about putting food on the table and fairness in economic policies and decisions,” she said.
Previously, Nancy and fellow Sarawak MP Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had hit out at Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen for asking Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) not to be a “crybaby” over the cancellation of development projects in the state.
Chong, who is a federal deputy minister, had said it was necessary because the government wanted to save the country from bankruptcy, but the GPS leaders said these projects were related to basic needs like water supply and flood mitigation.
Nancy also disputed claims that Sarawak ministers who were part of the previous administration were only being vocal now that they were in the opposition.
“Many didn’t understand what we were doing in BN. We used to fight for the state, if we didn’t, how did we get what we want? You can see the development when you go to Sarawak.
“The only thing we didn’t do is fight in public or shout outside like they do now. They say its democracy but its bad for the economy,” she said.