The “missing” RM11 billion from the state coffers would have ensured better roads, schools, more full scholarships, homes and hospitals for Sarawakians if they had been better utilised.
Todate almost 50 percent of the RM23,281,380,913 state budget for over eight years has disappeared. Last year alone RM1.8 billion was channelled to a secretive trust known only as the “Approved Agencies Torts Fund”.
No one has any clue who these “approved’ agencies are but the opposition has alleged that the companies are linked to Chief Minsiter Taib Mahmud’s families and their business cronies.
According to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chien Jen, some RM1.8 billion of the Sarawak state budget was channelled to this fund last year.
“Sarawakians have lost RM10 billion to this Sarawak state budget ‘black hole’ over the last seven years and another RM1.8 billion this year.
“Had this RM10 billion not gone into this ‘black hole’, the RM10 billion can be used to upgrade Pan Borneo Highway to four-lane highway for the whole of Sarawak.
“The monies could also have been used to provide 10,000 full overseas medical scholarships or to build 100,000 medium-cost houses, easing the financial burden of the people,” said Chong.
He said there would also have been enough money left to build “20 equivalents of Sarawak General Hospital or build 2,000 A-grade schools in the state or to give cash RM3, 700 to every Sarawakian or pay the 20 years of salaries for all Sarawak state civil servants.”
And that, he added, “did not include interest it generated”.
Yesterday Chong, who is Sarawak DAP secretary, said everytime the issue was raised at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, the state government made “sweeping statements” refusing to disclose who these so-called recipient “agencies” were.
“We have become very suspicious of the government’s attitude,” he said when launching its campaign flyer which read “The Budget Black Hole: Where Has Our RM11,000,000,000 Gone?”
Chong said the trilingual leaflets, which will be distributed statewide, aimed to push the authorities to disclose the identities of the agencies which had received the RM11 billion from the trust fund since 2006.