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Sarawak party says one-off financial incentive for federal officers should come from Putrajaya, not state govt

PBK president Voon Lee Shan speaks to reporters in Kuching September 18, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, Oct 13 — Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan today said the state government should not be the one to foot the bill for the RM500 one-off financial incentive for federal officers serving in Sarawak in recognition of their service.

He said his party is not opposed to financial incentives for federal officers, but insisted that the funds should be from federal coffers, not the state’s.

“The federal government and Petronas have taken so much of Sarawak’s wealth away every year and there is no reason that the federal government should not be asked to come up with the funds for the federal civil servants,” Voon said in a statement.

Voon, who is also a practising lawyer, estimated that nothing less than RM200 billion from oil and gas resources and taxes was collected by the federal government departments and Petronas.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announced that federal officers would get RM500 one-off incentive while state civil servants will receive one-and-a-half-month bonus after he presented the state Budget 2022 at a special meeting attended by the State Assemblymen yesterday.

On the state Budget, Voon said it came with carrots to entice Sarawakians to return Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) back to power.

“A huge budget of RM10.136 billion with a total of RM4.803 billion or 64 per cent being allocated for rural-based infrastructures projects and people-centric programmes shows that the GPS is desperate to cling on to power.

“The huge allocation for the rural areas shows that GPS is relying on votes in rural constituencies to win in the 12th state election,” he said.

He said the allocation will not help rural folks improve their lives by much because they lag too far behind, adding such efforts should have been done much earlier.

“It seems that there is no allocation to uplift poverty of the urban poor and homeless people in urban areas.

“The GPS government may not realise that there are many urban homeless people,” he said, adding that there are many cases of families sharing the same room or house, crowding together in urban areas.

“This is not healthy,” he said.

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