Sarawakian public don't feel proud and happy of the proposed 99 feet tall flagpole that would be erected near or at the vicinity of Fort Margherita in Kuching although it is said the construction of this RM30 millon flagpole comes from a private sector.
The proposed flagpole which is said to be used as a memory or to commemorate Sarawak 60th anniversary as a party to the formation of Malaysia brings no pride but tears, sadness and sorrows to Sarawakians for having lost besides the precious marine wealth, the loss of oil and gas of Sarawak to PETRONAS to feed the coffers of the federal government. In a year it is speculated Sarawak lost about RM110 billion of its oil resources as pumped by Petronas but what Sarawak got in return as annual development fund is always less than RM5 billion.
The huge flagpole will remind Sarawakians of the mistake of joining the federation of Malaya to form Malaysia because until today Sarawak had been shortchanged by Malaya or by the federal government with no equality and fairness when fundamental terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 had never been fulfilled.
The erecting of such a huge and high structure fails to understand the advice and policy of his honourable prime minister Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim that public and government have to be thrifty and to spend money wisely because of difficult economic times and a debt of more than RM1 trillion to service.
There is no free lunch in anything we want to get and to say the flagpole is as part of a corporate social responsibility of the company for such a huge sum is unbelievable. The public questioned how could such a huge and high flagpole be termed as a corporate responsibility to benefit the public when they said the flagpole cannot generate income for the public?
After the flagpole is erected who will be responsible for the security and maintenance of the flagpole? All these will cost lots of public fund. For such a huge and tall flagpole maintenance would be high.
If there is such a generous company or private sector willing to come with such a huge sum of money why not the GPS government persuade them to help needy people and students who need help?
Recently there were floods that damaged many property and also longhouses by fire and they need help. Such a huge sum of money could help these victims.
VOON LEE SHAN
PRESIDENT PARTI BUMI KENYALANG
29 Jan 2023