Since 1976 oil and gas had contributed trillions of ringgits to the federal government with Petronas earning about RM660 billion until now from our our Sarawak’s oil resources.
It was disclosed by Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali as at 2017 Petronas still owed Sarawak a sum of RM630 billion that rightly belongs to Sarawak from these oil revenues – see The Sun Daily 2 Feb 2020.
The contribution of Sarawak to the national coffer is not a small amount but the federal government did not treasure the contribution made by Sarawak to the financial health of Malaysia.
In the fight against diseases including Covid-19 Sarawak lacked the necessary equipment, medicines and medical staff as the federal government had paid deaf ears for medical assistance by the Sarawak state government. This situation had remained the same or little change since Malaysia was formed in 1963. The Sarawak government was under the BN government for more than 50 years. Although BN in Sarawak is now rebranded as GPS, things remained more or less the same.
The public had been fighting for car parks for the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) in Kuching for not less than 20 years. The BN government had promised a multi-storey carpark but these car parks are yet been seen.
The federal government is reminded that contrary to the policy of the federal government to provide an almost free medical care, health care in Sarawak, especially in rural areas, is not free. Medical care cost is a heavy burden for Sarawakians. Many patients came as far as Limbang and Lawas Divisions to seek treatment in SGH and travelling from rural areas to town and to cities had always put patients and their families lots of financial pressures. This is because SGH is the only government hospital that has better medical care facilities in the State. After a few visits, many did not come back because they could not afford the cost of having to travel anymore. Sri Aman’s proposed new hospital is still not seen although it was said earth breaking ceremony had been performed many years ago. There are many districts and towns throughout Sarawak that need better medical facilities and hospitals but nothing had been coming until now.
PBK begs to differ from the opinion of the Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian (see Borneo Post Online dated October 6, 2019) who suggested that Kuching does not need another general hospital, but, specialist health care only. This was not a wise suggestion because Dr. Sim can see now that we are short of hospital beds and medical facilities now in combating Covid-19. Now, with 56 health care personnel (as on April 30, 2020) down with Covid-19, SGH is now very much in short of medical staff to fight this deadly virus.
At the moment it a known fact that Sarawak is not only short of medical staff but is also short of Covid-19 test kits. It seems that the Federal Ministry of Health had neglected Sarawak’s needs in the fight against Covid-19 and left Sarawak to tackle this problem by herself. I urge the Sarawak government to pursue this issue with the federal government aggressively. Sarawak government is urged to ask for financial assistance from the federal government to fight against Covid-19 and also financial assistance to the lower incomes group and also for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs in the State.
Even if Sarawak is asking from RM100 billion, this is not too much a demand too if one takes into consideration of the amount of revenues Sarawak had contributed to the national treasury in past decades. What Sarawak got in past years was always a few billion of ringgit only for her annual development fund.
If Sarawak still could not get any help to save the lives of Sarawakians, it is time now for GPS government to lead Sarawak out of Malaysia as Sarawak no more should be allowed to help Malaya to survive while Sarawak itself is in need and could not survive anymore.
VOON LEE SHAN
Parti Bumi Kenyalang