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Budget 2021: RM100 token allocation for Sabah major road construction is a betrayal of the rakyat

Press Statement by MP for Kota Kinabalu cum DAP Sabah Secretary in Kuala Lumpur on 6 December 2020:

Allocating only RM100 for major road construction in 2021 an ultimate betrayal of the people of Sabah

 

On 12th November, I had participated in the debate of the Budget 2021 bill at the policy stage. Overall, road and bridge development allocation in Sabah had been reduced from RM412 million to RM153 million, which is more than halved. Clearly, there had been a drastic reduction in road development expenditure in Sabah in 2021, which I find unacceptable to the people of Sabah.

During my debate, I had then questioned the Works Ministry why only RM100 had been allocated for construction of major roads in Sabah (under code 05100). This sum of RM100 is so small, a significant drop from RM60 million in 2020 that I could not believe my eyes seeing it in the budget booklet. It was such a ridiculous sum that I have questioned the ministry whether there had been a typo error.

On 24th November, I had received a written answer from the Works Ministry regarding my above question. The ministry has confirmed that for code 05100 and 08270 (construction of major roads and repair of roads respectively) has indeed been allocated a token sum of RM100 respectively. 

 
The Work Ministry’s federal expenditure estimation for Budget 2021.
 

The Ministry had stated that the RM100 was to merely keep the code in existence (bertujuan untuk memastikan butiran kod… akan terus wujud) for existing project such as the Jalan Donggongon to Simpang Papar Spur.

The written answer signifies that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has no serious plan to construct and repair roads in Sabah. Basically, this government is saying that since there is already an allocation of RM412 million back in 2020 for roads such as Jalan Donggongon ke Simpang Papar Spur, Persimpangan Lido, Jalan Lintas, Libaran Bypass and RM 1 billion allocation remained for the Pan Borneo Highway construction, it is alright to neglect the rest of Sabah and allocate nothing whatsoever for any other major roads construction and/or roads repair in Sabah.

Roads construction in Sabah is not just about the Pan Borneo Highway. Many other rural villages are still disconnected to the main roads. This PN government seem to have conveniently forgotten the ‘Ada Aspal, Ada Undi’ slogans by the interior voters in Sabah.

 
Malaysiakini article screenshot on the dire condition of Sabah roads.
 

Near to none allocation for construction of major roads in other parts of Sabah is indeed the ultimate betrayal of the people of Sabah, especially those in Keningau and Pensiangan who gave PN a strong mandate in the Sabah State Election two months ago. 

Roads are crucial to economic development and growth whereby it brings important social benefits. A good road network is central in fighting against poverty by providing access to employment, social, health and education services. It is very sad that PN does not seem to understand so.

 
Chan Foong Hin speaking in Parliament.
 

On the 3rd December, my fellow Member of Parliament for Tuaran (UPKO) Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau filed two motions to amend the budget for the Works Ministry and proposing the deduction of RM1 billion from the allocation for Peninsular Malaysia under “Other Construction” which was allocated RM1.029 billion. 

Madius had proposed that the RM1 billion, which is to be deducted under the motion, be re-allocated within the same ministry but with RM500 million be given to Sabah and another RM500 million be given to Sarawak.

I would like to hereby voice my support for Madius’s two motions and urge the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to accept the same and put it up for bloc voting next Monday during the Works Ministry’s turn for approval of its budget at the committee stage.

Chan Foong Hin
MP for Kota Kinabalu
DAP Sabah Secretary

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