Batu Kitang Assemblyman, IR LO Khere Chiang DUN Budget speech

IMG-20191106-WA0022

Thank you Datuk Amar Speaker.

Thank you for the honour and the opportunity to debate Yang Amat Berhormat, the Chief Minister’s address at this Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of the 18th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

I support and congratulate Yang Amat Berhormat, the Chief Minister for his articulate budget speech and his success in getting a Rm9.891 billion positive budget for the second year running in the history of Sarawak whereby 67% of the budget will go into development. This is in contrast to Semenanjung Malaysia’s deficit budget where only 18% goes into development and 80% of their budget goes into operating expenditure.

Datuk Amar Speaker,

Pakatan Harapan (PH) has governed for 18 months but Sarawakians continue to suffer from the empty promises before the 14th General Election.

Many Sarawakians are despairing and losing hope in the Pakatan Harapan government. The country’s GDP has dropped from 4.7 to 4.4 since the election. The worsening economy has forced many people to take on more than one job to survive. To add to woes, our education system is failing our students. Racial harmony is wavering on a thin edge and extremism issues are on the rise.

Pakatan Harapan has been given its chance to deliver but has failed miserably. The country is more divided than ever. On the other hand, GPS has not only maintained a double digit positive budget but more importantly, it has been able to maintain peace and harmony in Sarawak.

However, we must not take things for granted lest Malaya comes over to trample on us and divide us. MPKK is a clear example. MPKK is here to capture Sarawak as mentioned by our federal finance minister

Sabah is another example. Sabah is ruled by the PH government. Why has Sabah not been given 30% of the seats in parliament as well as 30% of the country’s development grants as promised by the minister of Finance before GE14? So do you think Pakatan Harapan is going to take care of Sarawak if Sarawak comes under PH? We just have to look at Sabah now to know the answer.

Was (PH) right in abolishing GST? Is not SST a burden to the rakyat too? Why are our people suffering from the poor economy today? It is time for Pakatan Harapan to take a look at the way the country has been managed in the past 18 months.

First, all members of the board of management of Petronas resigned. A completely new set of board members were appointed by our new prime minister. Next, Petronas forked out RM30 billion of special dividend to the new PH government immediately after the election was won in 2018. Today, Petronas has forked out RM80 billion and how much did we, Sarawak receive out of this amount? Kosong! Instead of reducing the country’s debt as claimed before GE14, the country’s debt has increased from RM 705 billion to RM 800 billion today. We are also looking at losing RM 6.84 billions in revenue annually from oil palm if India prefers to purchase from Indonesia. Our prime minister is supposed to create diplomatic relationships and bring investments into the country. However, investors have moved away from Malaysia because of increasingly unfair and racial policies propagated from Malaya.

Malaysia Agreement 1963

Where are our rights as enshrined in MA63 in such unfair dealings as Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA74) and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA2012) which were slapped on us by Malaya for the sole benefit of Malaya?

In the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the federal constitution, all land and all resources in Sarawak belongs entirely to Sarawak and one-third of the 222 parliamentary seats should be allocated to Sarawak and Sabah.

Now that the next state election is coming up, more rosy promises have been pledged by DAP Sarawak even before the promises of GE14 have been fulfilled. Where does Pakatan Harapan get off on thinking that they will be able to meet these newer and rosier promises for the 2021 state election when they have not yet even delivered on their old GE14 promises made in 2018?

Sarawak is practically a colony of Malaya, a blatant disregard for and against the wishes and intent of the spirit of MA63. How else can we explain the selfish siphoning of Rm15 billion in nett oil earnings and Rm45 billion in gross gas earnings annually from Sarawak, for the continuing expansion of Malaya with only 5% being returned to Sarawak?

After winning GE14, and during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, our Prime Minister reported that Sabah and Sarawak do not want independence, only autonomy. I challenge Tun Dr. Mahathir to give us a referendum to determine whether Sarawakians want independence or not. Let Sarawak decide! We, Sarawakians are fully supportive of our Chief Minister in our determination to regain control over our oil and gas resources and to pursue the return of our rights as enshrined under MA63. Enough is enough. 56 years of exploitation and proliferation by Malaya of our oil and gas resources must stop now! A notice of assessment has been issued to Petronas for the payment of 5% sales tax due to Sarawak. Failing the payment of this sales tax from Petronas to the state government, we shall do the right thing and let the law take its own course. I salute our chief minister for his fighting spirit. I hope the Federal Government will put its money where its mouth is. The PM has harped on about following the Rule of Law often enough, especially when he is on the international podium. If the PM decrees that the rule of law must be adhered to strictly, why is Petronas, a company whose accounts are only privy to the PM’s eyes, the only oil company that is not paying the 5% sales tax to Sarawak?

Datuk Amar Speaker,

The recent budget delivered by the Minister of Finance is a disappointing RM4.4 billion for Sarawak out of Rm56 billion. How can Sarawak ever be on par with Malaya in terms of infrastructural development when Malaya takes billions of our oil and gas and allocates back a mere 7.8% of the country’s development expenditure? When will Pakatan Harapan honour, respect and return all rights to Sarawak as enshrined under MA63? Member for Kota Sentosa, Pending and Palawan: Where are your promises to return 20% of oil royalty to Sarawak and 50% of all taxes collected? How about the return of our autonomy on education and health? Member for Palawan, when are you going to resign from this August House? You said so yourself as reported in See Hua Daily News on the 8th of September, 2019.

With the dismal economic performance of this day, the multitude of broken promises of the new Pakatan Harapan government, the ever increasing racial and religious episodes in Malaya’s political landscape and the continued plunder of Sarawak’s oil and gas resources and the abuse of MA63, it is no wonder why many Sarawakians do not see any logic or reason as to why our Fairland should want to remain in Malaysia.

Education

Before GE14, the Minister of Finance promised to support TAR university. After GE14, he has not only gone back on his words of supporting TAR University; he has even resorted to reducing subsidies for TAR University from Rm30million to a ridiculous figure of Rm1million. Contrast this with our CM Abg Jo, who has pledged Rm8 million to assist Chinese independent schools in Sarawak in 2019.

Sarawak has suffered the same fate as well under the Minister of Finance. Initially, Sarawak offered to lend RM1 billion to the MOF for the repair of more than than 1000 dilapidated schools but the offer was rejected. Then the MOF asked Sarawak to return RM350 million owed to the Federal first which our Chief Minister did without delay. However to this day, there is still no sign of the RM1 billion to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak. The 2020 federal budget states that Rm783 million is allocated for dilapidated schools for the entire country. To date, only RM100million is actually going to dilapidated schools in Sarawak or have we been duped into returning Rm350million only to get Rm100million or less back for our dilapidated schools?

In contrast, the Sarawak government under our honourable chief minister is spending RM30 million to train nearly 3,000 teachers and textbook printing to prepare for the re-introduction of Maths and science in English next year. I congratulate our Chief Minister for building and setting up five International schools, two in Kuching, one each in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu. The schools will cater for Form 1 students to prepare them for both the international General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). The best students will be selected to enter these schools where English will be the language of instruction. We applaud our honorable chief minister for his farsightedness in pursuing the best in educating our youths in Sarawak. Where is the promise by DAP and the Pakatan Harapan government to return our autonomy on Education and Health to Sarawak?

Datuk Amar Speaker

We cannot depend on the ridiculous policies of the present minister of education who prioritizes black shoes, swimming lessons, breakfast for all children in all schools for the whole nation and the art of Khat instead of pursuing positive actions like information communication technology (ICT) as stated by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Racial disharmony

Datuk Amar Speaker

It is with great disappointment that the Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir has reiterated once again in the press (The Star July 20th, 2019) his call to his party members to fight for only one race and one religion. Since becoming the Prime Minister he has told PAS and UMNO to stop playing racial and religious issues but he is doing so himself.

The Prime Minister should realize that not only one race voted for him during GE14. Now that the battle has been won, it appears that the people of the minority races have been conveniently chucked aside.

The last thing the Prime Minister should do is to encourage or even perceived to be encouraging discrimination in any shape or form. Pitting one race against another in a multi-racial country can only serve to drive a wedge even further between the people in multi cultural Malaysia.

How can we build up this country in such a divisive and non-inclusive environment?

The prime minister himself has said in his New York speech at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly that “Malaysians want a new Malaysia that upholds the principles of fairness, good governance, integrity and the rule of law. They want a Malaysia that is a friend to all and enemy of none. A Malaysia that remains neutral and non-aligned. A Malaysia that detests and abhors wars and violence. They also want a Malaysia that will speak its mind on what is right and wrong, without fear or favour. A new Malaysia that believes in co-operation based on mutual respect, for mutual gain. The new Malaysia that offers a partnership based on our philosophy of ‘prosper-thy-neighbour’.”

Where is that New Malaysia now? Remember, Charity starts at home. The PM would do well to heed his own high sounding advice right at home by being a friend to all people and enemy of none regardless of race and religion in his own country.

Datuk Amar Speaker,

In Sarawak under the GPS government, we have the good fortune to be able to live in peace and harmony among the different races.

Our CM, Abang Jo is continuing with the legacy of our beloved Tok Nan in helping all races in Sarawak. He shows by example the importance of tolerance and acceptance among all races and he is working very hard in very challenging circumstances to get back what belongs to us under MA63. Let us be reminded that CM Abang Jo has allocated Rm30million to UNIFOR this year for the construction of places of worship for other  religions. We should not let race and religion divide us. We should find peace, harmony and strength in our shared diversity.

Tourism

Datuk Amar Speaker

Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) has signed friendship cities with Yantai, Huangshi, Linyi of China as well as Guemsungun of Korea and recently Sarawak has signed friendship cities with Shandong province led by our minister for local government. I wish to appeal to our Sarawak government to consider giving special tourism passes for those coming to stay in Sarawak for 6 months or more, to evade the cold during the winter months in their own country. This is what I have gathered from my visits to these cities.

Datuk Amar Speaker

I congratulate the appointment of our two new mayors in Kuching recently and I hope to see DBKU, MBKS, MPP and MPKS having closer cooperation in the future, serving greater Kuching people in the likes of greater London and greater Tokyo.

GPS! Sarawak First!

Thank you, Datuk Amar speaker

IMG-20191106-WA0022