DAP shocked Pan Borneo funding is from usual allocation

Chong Chieng Jen says Chief Minister Adenan Satem has confirmed that the cost of the Pan Borneo highway project could eat away at other development projects for state.



KUCHING: Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen has refuted a statement by Public Works Minister Fadillah Yusof that the Opposition party was the only one stating the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway would divert funds from other development projects.
The federal-funded project, which spans Sarawak and Sabah, is estimated to cost RM27 billion, with RM14.2 billion allocated to Sarawak.
It will be implemented under the 11th Malaysian Plan (2016 to 2020).
Yesterday, Fadillah told reporters that his ministry would look into the allegation by Chong that the highway project would use funds that would otherwise be allocated to other development projects in the state.
“We are obtaining data on the matter. As soon as the data is collected, we will present the report to the chief minister for his review,” Fadillah told reporters in Siol Kandis, Kuching, yesterday.
Chong today told reporters that Chief Minister Adenan Satem had already confirmed that the funds allocated for the Pan Borneo Highway would not be beyond the normal allocation for development for Sarawak.
He also refuted allegations that the Opposition made up the accusation.
“Fadillah said yesterday that he is going to verify the facts. And even before he can verify the facts, he’s accusing me, saying the Opposition is making false statements,” Chong told reporters at the state party headquarters in Kuching today.
“In fact the chief minister is the one who confirmed the matter. So, is Fadillah alleging that the chief minister was making a false statement in his winding-up speech?”
Chong referred to the Hansard of the state assembly on June 15, which recorded Adenan as confirming that the cost of the highway project would be subtracted from the normally allocated development funds.
“In fact you were saying (the) Federal Government is giving us with the right hand and taking away with the left hand,” Adenan was quoted as saying in the Hansard, in reply to Chong in his winding-up speech.
“Yes, I agree, but we were under the impression then that it will not be subtracted from the usual development funds. Only now do we know.
“I am pursuing this point. I want it to be over and above what they usually provide for us,” Adenan said.
Chong said despite being a fixed-deposit state for the Barisan government, Sarawak seems to have been taken for a ride over this matter.
From the First Malaysia Plan up to the 11th Malaysia Plan, the state government had allocated RM80.3 billion to implement development programmes and projects in the state while the Federal Government allocated RM70 billion.
In total, RM150.3 billion had been channelled to develop Sarawak.
- Freemalaysiatoday june 29, 2016