Address pressing issues Sarawak faces, PM told

KUCHING: It is hoped that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would not waste the opportunity to do something concrete for Sarawakians during his visit to Sibu this weekend for the national-level Chinese New Year celebration.

The premier has been urged to make substantial federal allocations to the state for its flood relief operations and assistance to expedite the implementation and completion of flood mitigation projects and address the issue of overcrowding at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

Batu Lintang assemblyman and state PKR vice-chairman See Chee How made this call during a press conference at PKR Stampin service centre here yesterday.

“As the prime minister and other VVIPs perform the ‘yee sang’ or prosperity toss at the celebration, he should be reminded that most Sarawakians are not sharing his wishful rhetoric on prosperity.

“Sarawakians are made poorer and suffering the strains of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The persistent neglect and delay in federal allocations to Sarawak for provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development in the state will continue to accelerate Sarawakians’ cynicism and revulsion towards the federal government.

“After the hype of the ‘yee sang’ tossing, I hope the prime minister would come back to reality and address the pressing issues faced by Sarawakians. Don’t just come here to eat and go back,” he said.

See pointed out that Najib should be briefed on the two recent ruinous floods affecting the state capital and its surroundings, and be reminded that the federal government had yet to pledge any financial allocation to the state for its flood relief assistance.

“The State Disaster Relief Committee must be commended for their excellent response in carrying out the evacuation of flood victims and its relief works. I am hopeful the prime minister would make substantial allocation for the committee to beef up its facilities across the state.

“He (Najib) should also take note of the damage to access roads and public facilities and amenities. Although it has not been disclosed, I believe it (the damage) is quite substantial. He must make sure that allocations are there for reconstruction and restoration works. He should also make immediate financial allocation for all flood-affected families.

“It is also crucial for him to make a personal commitment to expedite the implementation, construction and completion of flood mitigation projects for all cities, towns and low-lying areas in Sarawak,” he said.

On the overcrowding at SGH, See proposed for Najib to immediately allocate funds to improve the infrastructural facilities in and around the hospital.

“The proposed multi-storey carpark promised by the government has yet to kick off.Petra Jaya Hospital, which is scheduled for completion by now, is still in its early stage of construction. The Sarawak Heart Centre has not (been able to) alleviate the congestion faced by SGH.

“We really hope that the prime minister would come with material support to address all these problems — not just make more empty promises to Sarawakians,” he said.-Borneo Post

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