04/12/2022 06:46 PM

KUCHING, Dec 4 (Bernama) -- Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has proposed that a state trust fund be established under the Ministry of Finance to regulate federal government funds and projects approved for Sarawak.

He said this new approach was discussed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is also Finance Minister in a meeting held yesterday.

"I proposed that a new approach be adopted in the central and state administrative system and he has agreed in principle to review the federal-funded development projects in Sarawak" he told a press conference after opening the Sarawak Badminton Association Hall and officiating at the Abang Jo Cup 2022 today.

Citing an example, he said the RM4.6 billion development fund allocation for the state in Budget 2022 could be put under the trust fund.

Abang Johari said the framework for the establishment of the fund will be determined by a committee under the Ministry of Finance supervised by the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, said the appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof as Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister was most appropriate considering that Sarawak is expected to become the country's largest producer of palm oil in the next two years.

"In addition, carbon and hydrogen will be Sarawak’s new commodities, so the federal government will be able to help us in carbon trading at the international level," he said.

He said Kapit MP Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, who has taken over Fadillah's Ministry of Works portfolio would be able to ensure that rural infrastructure programmes in Sarawak would continue to be improved.

Apart from  Fadillah and Nanta, three other GPS representatives who have been included in the Unity Government Cabinet are Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing as Minister of Tourism, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry) and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (National Unity Ministry).

On the sports sector in the state, Abang Johari said that besides focusing on improving badminton players, he also wanted issues related to football and sepak takraw in the state to be looked into.

"We have several stadiums in Sarawak and more mini stadiums will be built throughout the state to propel Malaysian sports to greater heights," he said.