PSB pushes for answers on Sarawak stimulus funds

KUCHING: Parti Sarawak Bersatu president Wong Soon Koh has continued to question how the Sarawak state government would finance its stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

Wong said there was no contingency fund approved in the 2020 Budget that could be used for the three stimulus packages, which calls for expenditure of about RM2.55 billion.

He said the 2019 Budget contained a contingency fund of RM250 million but that was not for the year 2020 and was far short of the RM2.55 billion needed.

Deputy chief minister Douglas Uggah Embas had said earlier today that Wong had “misled” the public about the lack of a contingency reserve. Uggah said the money would come from the contingency fund, the 2020 development budget (micro credit schemes), savings from unimplemented projects and from the development fund account.

A total of RM1 billion was used from Bank Negara’s special relief fund, he added.

In reply, Wong said Uggah’s remarks showed that Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg had not spoken the truth in April when he said there was a contingency fund in the 2020 budget.

The state government should not mislead the people by claiming that everything was fine, he said. “The government is spending well beyond our means and the government must be transparent with the rakyat.”

It is only proper to table a supplementary bill for approval, he said.

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