24/02/2023 11:44 PM

KUCHING, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- The increase in allocation for Sabah and Sarawak in the Budget 2023 that was tabled in Dewan Rakyat today by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (also the Finance Minister) compared with the Budget announced last year shows the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of the people in both states.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the budget-themed Development of Malaysia MADANI clearly proves the continued commitment and leniency of the Federal Government in strengthening development and infrastructure in both states.

“This was evident by the allocation of RM20 billion to Sabah and Sarawak to continue and expedite the implementation process of the Pan Borneo Sabah Highway and Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway as well as the Sabah-Sarawak Link Road covering a distance of 1,000 kilometres,” he said in a statement tonight.

Sabah received an allocation of RM6.5 billion in Budget 2023 compared with RM5.16 billion in Budget 2022, while Sarawak was allocated RM5.6 billion in 2023 compared to RM4.67 billion in 2022.

There was also a focus on the main Sabah-Sarawak road project along the border and the upgrading of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) along the Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan border following the announcement by the Indonesian president that Nusantara will become a new township in Kalimantan and later the capital on Indonesia.

Fadillah said efforts to enhance the bilateral relationship open various opportunities between Malaysia and Kalimantan.

“The people-to-people, business to business and government-to-government (G2G) relationship can be strengthened if the logistics are upgraded,” he said.

He said the Federal Government was also committed to continuing discussions on the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Special grant for Sarawak under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution which was raised to RM300 million

Since 1973, the Special grant for Sabah and Sarawak was RM26.7 million and RM16 million respectively. 

The Federal Government is also committed to expediting discussions on a new formula to determine the amount.

The Federal Government has also granted authority to the Technical Department in Sabah and Sarawak to approve Federal projects up to a tune of RM50 million.

“This will certainly offer a positive impact to speed up development in both states,” he said adding that the Federal Government had also allocated RM1.2 billion to maintain 400 depleted clinics and 380 depleted schools in both states.