Sabah, Sarawak to reap benefits from Budget 2022

Sabah’s and Sarawak’s DE allocations are RM5.2b and RM4.7b respectively

by AMIR AZLAN / pic by BERNAMA

THE government is committed in ensuring the development of Sabah and Sarawak through Budget 2022 by increasing its Development Expenditure (DE), as it represents over 20% of the total DE allocation for all states.

The Finance Ministry (MoF) said Sabah’s DE allocation is RM5.16 billion, an increase of RM104 million from the previous budget, and RM4.67 billion for Sarawak in comparison with the previous RM158 million allocation.

“This DE expenditure includes an allocation of RM2 billion for the continuation of the Pan Borneo Highway Project from Sindumin to Rampayan Laut, Sabah and from Semantan to Jalan Pujut Link, Sarawak,” MoF said in a statement yesterday.

Apart from the DE increment, Sabah and Sarawak will also enjoy other benefits from the yearly financial announcement, including an allocation of RM746 million to upgrade dilapidated schools of which 112 are in Sabah and 165 in Sarawak.

Additionally, the Social Security Organisation’s coverage will be expanded to nine new categories, namely artists, hawkers, fisheries, agriculture, tourism, the less-abled, Orang Asli and community rehabilitation supervisors and staff.

Sabah and Sarawak will also see the establishment of the Breast Milk Bank for premature infants in the Neonatal Care Units at their hospitals. This programme has also been set up in Penang, Johor and Terengganu.

“The announcement also entails the Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera Programme, an educational initiative for children on culture and heritage with an allocation of RM10 million.

“Sarawak also would see an addition of eight new General Operations Force control posts, including in Pagalungan, Sabah and Temong Mura, Sarawak involving an allocation of RM2.2 million and four new immigration gates, among them in Telok Melano and Baleh, Sarawak,” the statement read.

Budget 2022 will also finance the transportation and distribution of basic goods to the rural areas involving liquefied petroleum gas and petrol with an allocation of RM200 million and to subsidise the Rural Air Service with an allocation of RM200 million.

For rural infrastructure development, a sum of RM1.5 billion out of a total of RM2.5 billion is allocated for Sabah and Sarawak.

“An additional 20 mobile banking services are expected to start operations covering 250 rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak,” MoF said.

It added that the provision in terms of grants or payments of the federal government to Sabah and Sarawak for 2021 amounts to RM1.13 billion and RM1.24 billion respectively, and is projected to be increased in 2022.

Sabah and Sarawak remained the two states with the largest recipient of federal government grants or payments, with the total being over 30% of the total grant to all states.

For this year, cash assistance worth RM1.31 billion has benefited 864,000 Sabahans while RM1.49 billion have benefited 987,000 Sarawakians. Cash assistance to both states exceeded 20% of the total grants cash assistance.

MoF noted that the Budget 2022 emphasised on the development and wellbeing of all citizens, regardless of state or race, based on the needs of each segment so that Malaysians can grow and prosper amid the nation’s economic recovery.