Minister: Sarawak needs more allocation for water and electricity supply projects

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Feb 25 — Utility and Telecommunications Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said Sarawak should have been allocated with bigger allocations for water and electricity supply projects under the federal Budget 2023 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament yesterday.

He said the RM2.5 billion allocation announced in the federal Budget is to be shared by both Sarawak and Sabah for water and electricity supplies as well as for road projects and street lights.

“Sarawak still needs a large amount of allocation for development utility infrastructure in rural areas, especially water supply,” he said in a statement.

He said the water supply coverage rate in rural Sarawak is so far only 67.2 per cent, pointing out that since the area of Sarawak has challenging terrain, the amount of allocation required to achieve full water supply coverage is as much as RM19 billion.

“Therefore, the amount of allocation announced for utility infrastructure is insufficient to fulfill the Sarawak government’s desire to achieve full water supply coverage by 2030,” he said, hoping that a larger allocation can be channeled to the state.

Julaihi, however, said his ministry welcomed the allocations announced by the prime minister through the federal Budget 2023 where Sarawak was allocated RM5.6 billion for development.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, also announced that the federal government was committed to continuing and expediting the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway and Sarawak-Sabah Link Road which is estimated to involve a total cost of RM20 billion with a length of more than 1,000 kilometres.