Bandar Kuching MP: Wouldn’t RM30m for ‘tallest flagpole’ project in Petra Jaya be better spent on public needs?
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has called for the Sarawak government to ensure transparency in relation to the parties who are involved with erecting the “country’s highest flagpole” in Petra Jaya.
He said since there is a claim that it is a project funded by the private sector as a CSR (corporate social responsibility) contribution, it opens more questions than answers.
“They cannot just push the matter to CSR and wash their hands of the matter.
“It is thus imperative that the government is transparent and continues to be held accountable on this matter to ensure it is not merely an after-thought due to the backlash, and more importantly to ensure that there are no public funds used for this project nor are there conflict of interest in the matter,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.
He added that this should involve not just revealing the identity of the private entity, but also its past, present and even possible future dealings with the Sarawak government to ensure there is no conflict of interest or that such an endeavour is not used as a form of inducement for further or future dealings.
“It also opens up the question on who initiated the idea of such a project?
“If really it was initiated by the private entity, then why did the Sarawak government approve such a project when there are many other more important priorities which RM30 million could go a long way to address and directly benefit general Sarawakians?
“Knowing the real needs of Sarawakians, the government could have easily advised the ‘generous’ company to better use such funds to invest in public infrastructure, or even in our health or education, or to feed our poor in the community,” he said.
In his statement, the DAP Youth chief reiterated that it is clearly a case of misplaced priority and a misplaced “obsession of optics over substance”.
It was previously reported that the flagpole is a project held in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Sarawak as a party to the formation of Malaysia.
The Sarawak government has also since clarified that this project has no relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and will become one of Kuching’s tourist attractions.