PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak MP has lashed out at Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng over his recent remark that Putrajaya is ready to disburse RM350 million to the state government for school repairs provided it repays loans, of the same amount, to the federal government.
Speaking to FMT, Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri said Lim’s remarks were unbecoming of a federal minister.
“Sarawak’s loans from the federal government are related to water supply, sewage, industrial estates and oil palm, and have nothing to do with schools.
“But more importantly, there is a schedule for repayment and I am made to understand that the repayment is not due yet.”
Sarawak, she said, had no problem in repaying the loans ahead of schedule but it was the federal government which had to revise the payment schedule.
“Is Lim so desperate to shame Sarawak? I hope he does not forget that Sarawak is the third-highest contributor to the national gross domestic product (GDP) after Selangor and the Federal Territories.
“Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said before that the 20% oil royalty payments to Sabah and Sarawak could cripple Petronas and this should serve as a wake up call to Lim to be more humble in dealing with us.”
As a federal minister, she said, Lim should act as a minister for all Malaysians rather than play politics.
“Asking Sarawak to pay RM350 million in advance payment for dilapidated schools, which come under the federal government, is an insult to us and the federal government itself.”
Before the 14th general election, Nancy said Lim would harp on the importance of Sabah and Sarawak to Malaysia and that he had vowed to restore the status of the two Borneo states as per the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Is this how the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government wants to restore Sarawak’s status as in the 1963 agreement? By grabbing whatever they can from us?”
She said Lim should learn how to implement procedures from civil servants rather than embarrass the federal government with such remarks.
“His remarks paint a very greedy picture of the federal government; it makes Putrajaya look like it does not care for all Malaysians and only cares about money.”