Budget 2020: Sabah govt welcomes increase in allocation

Radzi Razak
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaks to reporters in Parliament after the tabling of Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Sabah finally received increments to their budget allocation to RM54 million next year after getting only RM26 million since the 1970s, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said although the allocation is still not enough for the state, he understands that the economic situation is dire.

“We have only received the amount about RM26 million while there were no changes for 40 years. We discuss the matter in a Malaysia Agreement 1963 meeting chaired by Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad).

“But we understand the economic situation and the national debts that needs to be paid, at least that amount could help us to run the state,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby.

Other than the increase in allocation, Shafie said he is also thankful for Sabah receiving about RM9 billion or about 17 per cent of total RM56 billion development allocation in the budget for infrastructure.

“We need a lot of enablers in terms of water, power and roads.

“Even in the present situation the government has given them a lot more than before. It is inclusive in nature for all in Sabah. All get, Islam, Christians, Chinese and others” he said.

Among the allocations for Sabah are RM250 million for broadband and Internet connectivity between rural and urban folk; RM783 million for repairs on dilapidated schools especially in Sabah and Sarawak; RM470 million for water supply connectivity in the two states; RM500 million for the supply of electricity mainly in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as RM326 million for rural road projects in Sabah.

The government is also allocating RM15.6 billion for fast interceptor craft and other defence preparedness initiatives for Sabah’s east coast and other areas nationwide.

A total of RM1.6 billion is being allocated for new hospitals and the upgrading of health facilities including Labuan Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital cardiology centre, as well as other environment and conservation grants.

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