Is the Sarawak State Government’s Minor Rural Project (MRP) Fund turning into another of the 1MDB scandal?

7.8.2015
Is the Sarawak State Government’s Minor Rural Project (MRP) Fund turning into another of the 1MDB scandal? This is the question that DAP was asking in the DUN Sarawak. DAP has never objected to more allocation to develop the rural area, but we object to the non-transparent nature of the allocation which open up opportunity for corruption.
Adenan’s allegation of DAP rejecting the RM500 million for rural development is just an attempt to cover-up the State Government’s non-transparency in the use of rural development fund, especially the so-called “Minor Rural Project Fund”.
In November, 2014, the Sarawak DUN approved a sum of RM655.9 million of allocation for MRP fund for the year 2015.
It was only the 4th month of 2015, 2015, the State Government tabled for another additional RM500 million allocation for MRP Fund without giving any justification and detail on how the previous RM655.9 million was spent.
It is a norm that for any budgetary allocation, there must be specific mention of the projects concerned for which the fund was allocated. For example, for other items of allocation under the 2015 State Budget, details of the projects were all provided in the Budget:
the allocation of research fund for “Production Development from Sago Starch”, a sum of RM130,000;
“Membina dan Menyiapkan Market/Pusat Penjaja Dua Tingkat di Daerah Julau”, a sum of RM650,000;
Grant for “Perhentian Bas dan Terminal Bas” for Majlis Daerah Luar Bandar Sibu, a sum of RM150,000;
Menaiktaraf Perparitan di Kampung Rampangi, a sum of RM1,000,000.
If the Government can provide the details for projects as small a sum as RM150,000 in the Budget, why is the Government hiding and concealing the detail for the sum of RM500 million?
Together with the RM655.9 million previously approved for MRP, the additional RM500 million will make the total allocation for MRP for the year 2015 a sum of RM1,155.9 million, devoid of all details of the MRPs to be implemented.
I have raised the query that the Government is giving every one of the rural BN DUN area a MRP allocation of RM4 million each. To my query in DUN, there was no denial or answer by Adenan or his ministers.
There are about 60 DUN constituencies that can be considered “RURAL”. Even if each were to be given the allocation of RM4 million, it only adds up to RM240 million. Where is the balance of RM915.9 million?
Adenan’s statement is similar to Najib’s statement saying that the RM2.6 billion in his personal account is NOT FOR HIS PERSONAL USE. But the people want transparency and answer.
If Adenan or his administration has nothing to hide, all the BN ADUNs and the Government must list out all the projects implemented with this RM1,155.9 million allocation.
Every year, hundreds of millions Ringgit have been allocated for rural development projects. In total, billions have been allocated for rural projects. Yet, there are still so many kampongs and longhouses without water and electricity, many also not accessible by cars.
If there were no corruption or leakages in the use of the rural development fund, no kampong in Sarawak would be without water or electricity by now.
Therefore, the problem does not lie with having insufficient fund allocation for MRPs but kickbacks on award of MRPs and the leakages. As a result, the rural people continued to suffer despite billions have been allocated.
The State Government must come clean on the use of MRP funds and provide the people answers to the following questions:
1. All details of the projects done with the RM4-million MRP Fund allocated to each of the BN ADUNs;
2. Full details of the projects for the balance RM915.9 million, into whose accounts were these money paid.
It is only through stringent public scrutiny and transparency that we can ensure that every Ringgit allocated is well spent and that the rural people will benefit fully from the allocation.