Abg Johari suggests settlement formula for federal projects completed by Sarawak
Posted on : 19 Jul 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg attends the Sarawak Fatwa Seminar in Kuching, July 19, 2022. — Bernama photo

KUCHING (July 19): There should be a settlement formula for federal projects to be completed by Sarawak by using its own state funds, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“There should be a formula. Nothing is free. The federal government can later settle what had been paid forward by way of rental, lease or instalments among others,” he said when reacting to the federal government’s move for austerity on on-going projects.

He was met after opening the state-level Fatwa Seminar in conjunction with Mufti Department’s silver jubilee celebration at a hotel here yesterday.

Abang Johari then cited the construction of the state cancer centre as an example of projects that need to go on for the sake of people’s wellbeing.

“As per what Dato Sri Dr Sim had mentioned on the cancer centre project – we pay first, the federal government will reimburse. We had said we can assist in setting up the cancer centre, we fund it first and the federal government can pay back later via rental. All these are for the sake of the people’s wellbeing as cancer treatment would be expensive for patients if they have to travel to KL, for instance,” he pointed out, referring to Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

The state will continue with its rural transformation programme (RTP) projects that include roads and bridges not only because funding has been allocated for them but also people would be losing jobs and economic downturn would ensue if these projects are prematurely discontinued, he added.

Last Sunday in Kota Bahru, Kelantan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the federal government is taking measures to save public expenditure by postponing or not continuing any project that has yet to commence, to enable money to be channelled for the welfare of the people, apart from efforts toward the country’s economic recovery.

The move was in response to a directive issued via the Malaysia Treasury Circular — Guidelines on Public Expenditure Savings, he pointed out.

After holding meetings with the Public Works Department and the Implementation Coordination Unit on financial position to see projects that haves yet to commence, the minister said if a project is just about to start there is no need for it to continue, if it has already started, the government will then discuss if such development is needed, to be deferred or cancelled.