KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18): Sabah and Sarawak received 60% of the allocation for rural development and 85% of the allotted sum for the upgrade of poor schools from Budget 2022, apart from an additional RM500 million for the implementation of small scale projects there.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the allocations proved untrue the allegations that the Federal government had marginalised the two States in the latest national Budget.
Commenting further on the extra allotment of RM500 million for the two States, the Finance Minister said the money will be used for road works, tourism infrastructure, repair of rural social amenities, upgrade of health facilities, and micro credit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) there, among others.
“First of all, Sabah and Sarawak receive more than 20% of the development expenditure for States of RM48.8 billion,” he said in the winding-up debate on the Supply Bill 2022 in Parliament on Thursday.
He pointed that the two States have received the highest amount from the Federal government with a total allocation of RM2.43 billion, or more than 30%, with Sabah getting RM1.16 billion and Sarawak RM1.27 billion.
“Almost RM1.8 billion of a total of RM8.2 billion, or more than 20% of the allocation for Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia are for recipients in Sabah dan Sarawak, and monthly community welfare aid to them also comprised 20% of recipients nationwide,” he added.
According to the Finance Minister, in terms of expenditure for government department operations, Sabah is the second largest State while Sarawak is the fourth largest, and among the development projects there is the RM2 billion Pan Borneo Highway.
Also, RM649 million or 85% of the allocation for the upgrade of poor schools are for Sabah and Sarawak, apart from RM20 million for the native customary rights programme there.
“This is proof that the government has not neglected or marginalised Sabah and Sarawak or any other State in efforts to enhance socio-economic development and achieve the Shared Prosperity Vision in line with the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia,” Tengku Zafrul said. “The claim that Sabah and Sabah dan Sarawak have been allocated only 3% of the total expenditure is confusing and untrue. The allocation of RM9.8 billion refers only to the development expenditure of Sabah and Sarawak which does not include operational expenditure.”