KUCHING, Feb 25 — Sarawak should have been given a bigger allocation under the federal Budget 2023 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament yesterday, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan said today.
He said the Sarawak government should not be happy with the allocation of RM5.6 billion for development for 2023 as it is only an increase of RM1 billion more than the previous budget allocations.
“Sarawak had contributed much to the revenues of the federal government not only from oil and gas resources but also from taxes collected by government departments,” he said when reacting to the re-tabling of the federal Budget.
Voon said the Inland Revenue Board, Customs Department, the Malaysian Police, Judicial Department and Land Transport Department collected lots of taxes from Sarawak and what it got over the years could not even boost the economy in Sarawak.
“For this reason, Sarawak is a very backward state in Malaysia,” he said.
Voon said Sarawak needs at least a budget of RM30 billion each year for the next 20 years to catch up with the development in Peninsular Malaysia.
He also questioned why Sabah has always received bigger allocations in the federal Budgets over the years when it is smaller in size compared to Sarawak.
He added the budgets for the more developed states like Selangor, Penang, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Pahang should be reduced and the budget allocated to them should be spread out to help Sabah and Sarawak.
Voon said Anwar, who is also the finance minister, should remove taxes on motorcycle tyres because these are poor man's transport.
He said the prime minister should also reduce taxes for chicken and animal feeds imported into Sarawak.
He said the people in Sarawak are very poor and are not able to buy chicken and animal feeds, adding that expensive chicken and animal feeds have also caused prices of goods and essential services to be increased sharply, especially after Chinese New Year.
He also said special, not general allocation, should be announced to repair all dilapidated schools in Sarawak and also to disburse the Sarawak government for money spent in building, rebuilding and repairing of schools which Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg had announced recently.