YB David Wong’s Speech on Supply (2020) Bill, 2019:
Thank you Tuan Speaker for giving me the opportunity to participate on the debate on the Sarawak Budget 2020.
Tuan Speaker, Is this a state budget session? This doesn’t look or seem like a state Budget session at all.
This is the session where GPS desperation can be seen from the way the CM tables the Budget and the concerted responses from the GPS members of the house.
Tuan Speaker, this is a Sarawak 2020 budget session where the members of this house should scrutinize the Sarawak budget tabled by the Sarawak Finance Minister to make the Budget more transparent and pointed out mismanagements such as abuses of cronyism to hold the executive branch of the government accountable and answerable.
As member of this House, we are tasked by the people to make sure that the Budget is for the people as well as there is no leakages and abuses by the government that will have a detrimental effect on the Sarawak state coffer and the economy of the state. The health of the state’s financial position such as the state reserve, the Operating Expenditure of the budget, the competency, accountability and transparency of the budget should be discussed.
However, Tuan Speaker, all we heard from the GPS and GPS-friendly party like the Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) are as follow:
1) to congratulate the CM for the budget, and
2) to hantam the PH government.
People are asking what is the roles of elected member in the house if all they do is to apple-polish the CM and the bashing of the federal government when they should talk about Sarawak budget instead.
The issue that most of them talked about is the MPKKP and of course taking a swing at the PH government as if their performance is based on these two issues.
Tuan speaker, let’s talk about the setting up of MPKKP in Sarawak. Why are the GPS so worried about the MPKKP as if it’s a devil while never spoken out against 1MDB, SRC International which was the financial scandal of the century?
They see “hantu” when they see MPKKP, why? Chinese have a saying “不做亏心事，不拍鬼叫门” which means you have nothing to be afraid of if you are righteous.
The GPS on one hand want to tell the people they care about the rural developments and the welfare of the rural folks but when the pH federal government want to set up the MPKKP in Sarawak, they go all out to sabotage the MPKKP. The facts are as follow:
1) GPS have failed Sarawakians for the past 50 years and thus we still have long houses without the basic such as piped water, electricity.
2) they sabotage the PH federal government’s policies even if there are good for the people of Sarawak, the proof is the previous Sarawak State Secretary issued directive to the resident offices to disallowed the village headmen, community leaders to attend the events and programs of PH government.
3) PH have to find a way to help the rural folks by setting up the MPKKP to dissimilate those policies that are beneficial to the folks such as i-Suri, BekaB40, BSH, and so forth so that they are not left out.
4) GPS lied, they create fake news and they threatened the people saying that the MPKKP is Haram and it is against the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance 2004. GPS should know that the MPKKP is the federal’s Village Community Management Council not to elect the Community Chief or Headman but a council to dissimilate the information of the federal government’s policies and programs so that the folks know them for their benefits.
5) The Sarawak budget 2020 saw the allocation of RM100 million to JKKK, this is the first time we have seen the state government giving so much weigh to JKKK and we all know very well that the reason behind was because of the competition from MPKKP. This is proof that MPKKP is good for the people of Sarawak because even the JKKK is the beneficiary of the MPKKP.
6) It is estimated that the federal government will spend more than RM140 million as per Member for Meradong. Assuming that that’s correct, is there anything wrong with additional funding for Sarawak and additional projects for the people? What’s wrong with those who oppose the setting up of the MPKKP?
7) I want to remind the GPS one thing, for the past 5 decades, you guys have been using JKKK to consolidate your political position and threaten the rural folks not to vote for opposition or else there is no gravel, no water, no electricity, no zinc sheets and no development.
The PH parties were at the receiving ends for decades, but did we cry like babies like you all do? Grow up and face the reality and challenge. Whether you like it or not, MPKKP will be set up in Sarawak.
All is not well for Sarawak
Member for Kota Sentosa described the Supply bill tabled by our CM as HOTAIR and according to his analysis of the Sarawak 2020 budget our CM has a lot to answer. Such as how a Development Expenditure of RM6.596 billion can give the state government RM17 billion in development projects and how can the government promised 3 times the actual allocation of the budget?
Tuan Speaker, the state government has been boosting that Sarawak is wealthy with reserve of RM30 billion. Our CM even went to the extent of telling the whole world that Sarawak can do it alone to bring developments to Sarawak without the help of the federal government.
Tuan Speaker, for the past 5 decades we have been relying on one stream of revenue; our natural resources, especially the Oil and Gas. Indeed, every year Oil and Gas royalties contributed around RM2 billion revenue to the state coffer, without which Sarawak’s revenue would plunge to below RM3 billion.
Most alarming of all, Sarawak government start spending the money it has not earned for the year 2019 and 2020. It counted on the Sales Tax on petroleum products would be RM3.89 billion and RM2.88 billion for 2019 and 2020 respectively. Tuan Speaker, that is most unwise and irresponsible when it comes to the management of our state finance. The old saying is don’t count your chickens before they hatch, but the GPS is not only counting but already selling the chicks!
Tuan Speaker, our state reserves stood at RM30billion in 2017but fell to RM27 billion in 2018. And, if we are unable to collect the sales tax on petroleum products for 2019 and 2020 for whatever reasons then our reserve would drop to RM20.3 billion by 2020 because we would have spent the money as per the budget 2019 and 2020.
Tuan Speaker, to put it in percentile term, our reserve is reduced by almost 30 % in a short spam of 3 years, i.e from RM30 billion in 2017 to RM20.3 billion in 2020.
At that rate of depleting, if we continue to manage our finance like our CM is doing, that is counting on unearned revenues and running our annual budget of around RM9 billion or more without the Petroleum Sales Tax, our reserve will run dry in the next 6years. No wonder our federal finance minister says Sarawak could be bankrupt if we don’t manage our finance prudently.
Tuan Speaker, our state Operating expenditure is another matter which warrant our immediate attention and must be addressed without further delay. The Operating Expenditure of Sarawak has been increased from RM1.86 billion in 2015 to RM3.294 billion in 2020, that is an increase of 77% within 5 years. Tuan Speaker, we all know the Operating Expenditure is a beast that must be kept at bay or else we will have less money for development. Tuan Speaker, the staff of our CMO has been increase by 33% is one of the example why our operation expenditure went up so drastically.
Tuan Speaker, the above has not factored in the pet project of our CM, the LRT or ART will further reduce our reserve of RM5-10 billion and the Operating expenses of running them.
To sum up, our CM is spending like there is no tomorrow, I know he and his colleagues worried about losing power in the next state election but he must stop doing what he is doing in term of spending and management of our Finance.
Spending like no tomorrow
Does that Phase sound familiar to all the honorable members in this House?
Since our CM took over in 2017, within a short spam of 4 years, our reserve has reduced from RM30 million(2017) to RM 20.3 billion(2020) according to my above analysis.
Our Operating expenses increased by 77% which if go uncheck will see that less money will go to development.
For clarity, if we use our2020 Operating Expenditure in the budget of 2017 of RM5.7 billion, that would put our Operating Expenditure at 55.96% of our 2017 budget.
Was that the reason why our DCM has been reported saying we should spend all our reserve or else the PH new state government will benefit from it?
Tuan Speaker, the off balance sheet accounting practices that the previous BN federal government in 1MDB, SRC is making Malaysian paying a huge price but our GPS state government is using that as well.
The budget speech by our CM and FM mentioned about “Alternative Financing Model” in page 28 of his speech on the 4th November 2019.
In his speech, he says that “we cannot rely on the usual method of funding the development through the annual allocation.” He continued his speech saying that “this calls upon the state to leverage on alternative financing model of tapping into funding provided by Development Bank of Sarawak(DBoS).
Tuan speaker, that is what our ex-PM Najib did to 1MDB and SRC International and the federal government has had to pay RM13.9 billion to settle the debt obligations since 2017.
Tuan Speaker, since it is off the budget accounting there is no guarantee that we are not creating another 1MDB saga in Sarawak.
GPS playing the game of blame
All the GPS leaders and YBs are playing the game of blame and wish to wash their hands in the sad state of affair of Sarawak.
I want to remind the GPS YBs in this House who talked so much about schools, roads and bridges, the lack of federal funding, the 20% oil royalties and other basic amenities of the following:
1)All of you support the BN federal government and were part of the big BN family until the BN lost power in 2018,
2)The dilapidated schools, the sorry state of conditions of the clinics and hospitals and the poor infrastructures are the “legacy” you left behind,
3)The selling off of Sarawak’s rights and resources are all possible because of your willing participation such as the tabling of the PDA bill in Parliament by our present TYT in 1974, the amendment of Article 1(2) of the federal constitution that made Sarawak and Sabah one of the 13 states in Malaysia instead of one of the 3 territories, the full support of the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and the National Security Act 2016,
4)The BN has never revise the special grants under Article 112 D of the federal constitution since 1969 and yet the PH government through budget 2020 has increase the grant from RM16 million to RM32 million and further increase it to RM64 million from 2024. But all of you, especially the SUPP, go all out to have a field day to say the PH government is not been fair to Sarawak, what hypocrite!
Tuan Speaker, the GPS can’t wash their hands clean even though they have left the BN because they were part of the BN regime that governed Malaysia since the formation of BN in the 70s.
How can they put the blame on the PH federal government who has only come to power in May 2018? The schools physical condition didn’t deteriorate overnight to become what it is today, the road conditions didn’t just happen to become what it is today since PH comes to power, the clinics and the hospitals have been in that conditions for decades, the longhouse folks didn’t have water and electricity supply because BN didn’t do anything about it and the GPS was part of the BN since the 70s until 2018.
It is a shame that so many honorable members of this House put the blame on the PH government although deep down they knew they were part of the BN corrupt regime that robbed Sarawak of our rights and wealth.
Give Sibu RM 500 million Now
Tuan Speaker, Sibu deserve better and we want our fair share of development expenditure in the Sarawak Budget 2020. RM500 million is only 7.58 percent of the Development Expenditure of Budget Sarawak 2020.
Don’t treat us like outcasts as we are tax payers who are entitled to receive fair and equitable treatments from the government.
We like to talk about the lack of development of Sarawak and how the federal government has sidelined Sarawak without giving us sufficient development fund for the past 5 decades. Tuan Speaker, the same goes to Sibu and the ill- treatment it got from the Sarawak state government.
We need the RM500 million to improve our infrastructure especially the construction of new roads and upgrading of existing single lane road into dual carriage ways and to upgrade our drainage system and improve the services provided by the local councils.
Construction of new roads and upgrading of existing roads in Sibu
1)The widening of Jalan Ulu Sg. Merah, and JalanOya from the traffic junction of JalanOya-JalanPhalawan to JalanDeshon-Jalan Airport road can’t be put off until 2021 under RMK-12.
a)The Land and Survey has completed its land acquisition studies for the proposed JalanOya’s widening and upgrading program and has submitted its proposal to the state government.
b)As for Jalan Ulu Sg. Merah, it was reported that a consultant firm has been engaged to come out with blueprint before the Land and Survey department can proceed further, I urge the state government to treat this with urgency and direct all the relevant departments and ministry concerned to treat this as a High impact project.
2)Tuan Speaker, allow me to revisit the Sibu Outer Link Proposal which I have submitted to the late Tok Nan in October 2015. The said proposal has been acknowledged by our Minister for Infrastructure Developments and member for Baleh as well in the previous DUN siting.
The said proposal was to build 3 more roads and upgrade an existing road in Sibu.
My proposal was RM70 million but our minister has come up with an alternative proposal with even wider coverage that would cost RM300 million and I have visited JKR to have a look at the minister’s proposal and found it to be acceptable.
I urge the Minister for InfrastructureDevelopment to give Sibu people a break and confirm the state government commitment to undertake the said RM300 million projects soon as he has on the 9th May 2019 mentioned about the RM 300 million Sibu outer ring road which I have raised repeatedly since 2015.
Sibu has 5 state constituencies that consists of Bukit Assek, Bawang Assan, Nanga, Dudong and Pelawan. The RM500 million will benefit all the voters in all the 5 constituencies (1 belongs to PPB, two belong to the GPS-friendly party) and not only for Pelawan. I thus urge immediate action by the state government if they are really a caring government.
The balance of the RM500 million should be given to the SMC and SRDC for them to improve the drainage system and their delivery system in their respective jurisdiction.
In respond to some of the issues raised by the member of the government backbenchers
Tuan Speaker, I think they are really a confused lot. To seek referendum on Sarawak Independence, it should be our Sarawak own initiative and not the federal government’s initiative. Why ask the PM if our own CM is not agreeable? I suggest member for BatuKitang to request his own party’s president to table a ministerial Motion in this House seeking approval to conduct a referendum on Sarawak independence.
In reply to member for Meradong, BatuKitang raised the issue of 20% oil and gas royalties and 50% tax collected in Sarawak and when member of Sentosa wanted to reply to their questions in this Dewan yesterday his speech was terminated. So I think I will enlighten the people of Sarawak that it was the GPS refusal to accept the agreement which the PH offered to them that killed it. The offer was for the PH to give that to Sarawak in return for the Sarawak to be responsible for our own education and healthcare services which are what Sarawakians in general wanted.
Tuan Speaker, I have nothing against helping to gap the divide between the urban and the rural but I am most disappointing that the GPS has forgotten the Urban Poor in the budget.
While helping the rural community they should not have forgotten the urbanization of Sarawak in the past decades.
In Sarawak, only 16% total population live in the urban centers in the 1970 and this jumped to 22% in the 1990 and then to 48% in 2000, by now it is estimated to be more than 60%.
But why is the state government ignoring the fact that many of these urban folks need the assistance as well and come out with a budget to help them. The urban poor not included in the International school program is an example that the government is out of touch with the reality.
So much has been poured into the rural biased budgets of the past few years and we can’t really see the impact as many rural people are still coming to the major township searching for jobs and better amenities and It is a crucial that the government don’t ignore the fact that NOT ALL LIVING IN URBAN CENTERS ARE RICH.S
With that I conclude, thank you.