Sarawak Govt to give RM4.5bil for three regional development corridors

MIRI: The Sarawak state government will channel RM4.5bil in development funds to the Highland and Baram Regional Development Corridors (both in northern Sarawak) as well as the Rejang Development Corridor in central Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said each development corridor will get RM1.5bil each.

Speaking at the Sarawak-level Orang Ulu symposium in Miri on Sunday (Nov 4), he said the money is from state resources but not from the state reserves.

"We have the RM4.5bil already. It’s from our state resources but not from the state monetary reserves.

“We will not touch money from the state reserves,” he said.

Johari said the RM4.5bil is to enable the provision of roads, electricity, water supplies and other basic needs.

The symposium is organised by the Federation of Orang Ulu Sarawak to chart the way ahead for the minority Orang Ulu ethnic groups of this state.

The issue of prudent utilisation of Sarawak’s reserves of RM31bil erupted in June when Deputy Chief Minister James Masing proposed to “use up” the money before the next state elections so that the incoming government will not have the chance to “look good” in the eyes of Sarawakians when they use the money.

Pakatan Harapan is the opposition at the state level in Sarawak. The state government is formed by former Barisan Nasional parties which have rebranded themselves as GPS or Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said in June said he was shocked to read of Masing’s statement in the news, fearing that it will lead to unnecessary projects, wastage and leakage in implementing projects.

Related story:

Baru Bian: shocking for GPS to use up Sarawak’s RM31bil reserves to prevent state Pakatan from ‘looking good’