Speech by Chiew Chin Sing, DAP Sarawak Deputy Chairman and Member of the Sarawak State Legislative Council for N53 Kidurong on the Debate of the Supply (2010) Bill 2009 and the Motion to refer the Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2009, on 11 November 2009 in the Sarawak State Legislative Council, Kuching, Sarawak.
The theme for the Sarawak DAP 2010 Alternative Budget is Democratizing Sarawak Economy. One of the key thrusts is Economic Democratization – Fiscal Decentralization, where we propose that the annual total state revenue, the spending of which, whether in operating or development expenditure, must be spread out to all ministries, so as to enhance economic efficiency and accountability instead of putting a huge chunk of the money in some ministries only.
We propose greater fiscal allocation and responsibilities to be given to the local authorities, and a sum, tripling the 2009 allocations, of RM 300,000,000 is allocated for the year 2010 to the local authorities, so as to provide better services and amenities to the residents.
We also propose local government election and a sum of RM 20,000,000 is allocated for the purpose to bring about a fully democratize governance and citizen participation in the decision-making process.
We further propose to review of and investigate into past financial issues, contracts and projects An allocation of RM 10 million is proposed for the purpose.
Another thrust of the 2010 Sarawak DAP Alternative Budget is Empowerment and Enablement – Capacity Building. In this, we propose an allocation of RM10,000,000 each to the Board of Management Committees of the Chinese Primary and Middle Schools in the state, and an allocation of RM 5,000,000 to the Board of Management Committees of the Mission schools.
We also propose to set aside 5 plots of land of minimum 6 acres each in the city and town areas for building Chinese vernacular schools.
Education transcends politics and racial boundaries. As such, we believe that the teaching of mother tongue language, in particular, the Iban and Chinese languages, must be enhanced in our school curriculums. We also believe that a sound education system shall be beneficial to all Malaysians, especially under the “1Malaysia” concept.
For capacity building in Industrial Development, we shall put our emphasis on Small Medium Industries and we will lower the industrial electricity tariffs for all industrialists across the board. We will make sure that all industrial plots purchased are actually used by the owners and that the Ali Baba plots for re-sale is eliminated.
To assist and promote small medium industrialists, DAP propose to allocate a sum of RM100,000,000 for low-interest loan facilities to help part finance those who genuinely intend to set up a plant in the industrial estates.
Due to time constrain, my colleagues will speak further on the above mentioned two key thrusts a third thrust- People First-Restructuring and Reallocation, while let me end my part of the DAP Sarawak alternative budget on Public Finance and a conclusion.
On Public Finance, in a nut shell, the estimated total state revenue of our alternative budget for the year 2010 is RM 3,912.3 million while the actual supply expenditure is estimated to be RM 1,348.00 million and the Development Fund of RM 2,372.4 million, leaving a budget surplus of RM 191.9 million in 2010.
In another key thrust, of our alternative budget, and that is People First-Restructuring and Reallocation , which YB Pending will speak on, there is a proposed allocation of RM495,830,000 to be paid out as cash hand outs to the poor and the needy in 2010 and even with that huge a cash allocations we can still have a surplus budget. It is truly amazing. No doubt, the hand outs will help the poor and the needy, but even more, the economic multiplier effect of that sum of money will boost our internal demands and revive our state economy tremendously.
The 2010 Sarawak DAP Alternative Budget proposes fundamental policy changes to the current BN’s policy in that 1. we emphasize on decentralization of fiscal allocation and power, 2. we stress on equitable sharing of the state’s wealth with the low-income group, 3.we aim to create a substantial groups of small stakeholders of NCR landowners and small medium entrepreneurs to spear head the future economic development of the state.
The implementation of the policy to create large number of small stakeholders of NCR land will help to lure back substantial number of young natives working in West Malaysia and overseas. Their return will also be a boost to the growth of the state’s economy.
And I believe, Mr. Speaker, with the implementation of the policies in this alternative budget we will allow all Sarawakians to enjoy the rich natural resources of our state. It will help create a larger number of middle income population which will form the backbone of the Sarawak economic growth. More importantly it will empower the Sarawakians who will have full autonomy and rights over their own lands.
Corruption in our country is become more and more serious, it has gone up one level to where it is no longer a corruption between A & B in every day dealings, in fact it is infecting our public service, political leaders and elected representatives who are suppose to run our country with integrity and all honesty but had ganged up with businessman, through the power of the office to get in roads to make unscrupulously gain.
By right in a democracy where politicians are elected by the people, corrupt politicians would be thrown out by the voters in no time, but not so in Malaysia, look at Bagan Pinang, it is no wonder that our country’s corruption index gets worse and worse, year after year. Therefore we need, and there must be drastic political reform to stop the rot which is getting to the core because of mixing politics with business as a normal and acceptable practice in our democracy. We must draw the lines and limits of the relationship between business and politics so as to rid ourselves of corruption in our government.
What we need is real democracy and democracy is not just about achieving competitive elections, We have to deliver democracy. We got to have democracy in our work place, in our economy where the citizen will be involved, where everyone will have a say in how our country should be run, instead of leaving it to the very few percent or some 1 Malaysia PR brand packaging US company.
Delivery on democracy means that all branches of the government must work together to ensure that citizens are considered, involved, and are recipients of policies and programs dedicated to improve their lives. It does not mean that just one branch can, or is capable of delivering on the promises and expectations that citizen often believe democracy will deliver.
In a democratic system of government, elected and appointed officials must respond to the needs, wants and wishes of the citizens they represent. Effective interaction with the citizens is essentials to an effective, functioning democratic form of government. Democracy is partnership with the people.
The standard any prime minister should hold for his or her office is a high degree of transparency and accountability that can be seen easily by the public. They should seek to ensure that the citizens are involved in the development and implementation of public policy. To accomplish this, they should be dedicated to assuring that information is easily understandable, available and widely shared with the citizenry.
Delivering democracy need appropriate involvement of women who comprise 50% of the population, yet women are dramatically underrepresented in positions of political leaderships and we have so few in here. Many times it takes women in leadership positions to change the discriminating laws and practices that prevent women from advancing in all arenas. I believe that women in politics are more likely to create policies and legislation that respect, promote and protect children, families and the disadvantaged and there are other stronger points about women, like less likely to engage in violent conflict, less corrupt and in countries with greater numbers of women in politics, the human development index is generally higher etc.
According to CNN couple of weeks ago, women’s income is so huge that it is becoming the prime mover in the world economic growth. It is not even India or China. According to world bank, global women income by 2014 is 60 trillion ringgit, 5 times more than the present 17 trillion ringgit, while their spending presently is 67 trillion and that spending is estimated to reach 94 trillion ringgit in 2014.
Our world economy has changed a great deal but as long as we allow personal greed, cronyism , favoritism, corruptions, politicians and businessman ganging up to do business, abuse of power and the exploitation of all the loop holes in our economic and legal system to amass personal wealth, while the country gets poorer and poorer then I say we need a change.
We need a new economic order, and we need a new moral order. A moral order that takes into account not only the natural law, but also religions and the individual or in another words, taking into account concurrently pluralism, secularism and conscience. And I would not get into that further at this point in time.
The renounced commentator Ariana Hufftinton said that Capitalism as envisioned by its leading lights, including Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall, needs a moral foundation, in order for free markets to work. And when a company fails, it fails. It doesn't get bailed out using trillions of dollars of taxpayers money. She said that that is Corporatism. It is welfare for the rich. It's the government picking winners and losers. It's Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It socialized losses and privatized gains.
Micheal Moore in his film Capitalism: A Love Story, describes capitalism as evil and a system that is fundamentally corrupt, unfair, unjust and undemocratic and only those with the money call the shots. The condemnation of the status quo in the film is too grounded in real stories and real suffering, its targets, too evenly spread across the political spectrum.
Today we are living in the 21st century and there is really no much point in debating about the 16th and 19th century economic models, about which one is more evil, they are beyond reform or repair already and it would be crazy, trying to fix them.
What is needed is new economic policies that respect the individual, the inventiveness and ingenuity of the individual to make society a better place but also to take care so that nobody fall through the crakes. A new economic order that fits the 21st century, that is run by democratic principles and has an ethical core to it, is what is in order today.
The English philosophers had it that, political institutions are human constructs that should be fashioned consciously to meet the needs of society, and Thomas Jefferson wrote ‘Governments are instituted among men to secure the rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’Jerffry Sachs in his book, The End of Poverty, How We Can Make it Happen in Our lifetime said,
‘After the American and French Revolution, governments, increasingly, would have to meet a performance test: whether or not they could improve the human condition. As Jefferson wrote, “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.’
Forty six years after independence, Sarawak a state that is so rich in natural resources and human capitals, today rank among the bottom rungs of some of the poorest state in Malaysia. Ours society is still entangled in the fabric of racial politics which impede the progress of our state and nation. It is time that we deliver our democracy.
Many of our rural areas, still do not have clean pipe water supply, many of them still depend on rain harvesting for consumption but even that, the one tank which is given by the medical department is not enough to last them, through prolong dried period any more. I urge that the government let each family have at least two 400 gallon tanks for the time being while we work to give them treated pipe water supply as soon as we can.
It is also becoming an acute problem for the rural folks to get decent clean water for their cleaning and washing. With the opening up of more and more palm oil plantations, rivers and streams where rural folks live by are becoming more and more polluted by the huge amount of fertilizer and other pesticides used on the plantations. The yellowish water in the river and streams really is not fit anymore for use. Even fish cannot live in them and are seen dead in the hundreds, floating on the river yearly. I wonder how much can the 2 milion ringgit allocation by the Federal Government under the 9th Malaysia Plan to the Department of Environment can help in up grading our river water and studies to prevent pollution. But the issue is so important and critical because our water source could even be at stake.
There must be hundred of cases of folks in the Suai and Niah area who got sick and had diarrhea and vomiting after using the water of the Suai and Niah and their tributaries. I read in the news that a person had died because of drinking water from a contaminated water source in Ulu Kapit, many were sick but because they have stronger body resistance and as the clinic were far, they just hung it through.
Water situation in Similajau, along the Pan Borneo Highway, Sebatu, Lower Suai, Kpg. Teggagang, Kpg, Iran, Kpg. Bahru, and Niah area, was so bad during the dry spell in July and August this year that the stream water which the nearby longhouses folks depend on for their bathing and washing had all dried up and the ponds where these streams flow into had become dead water, as there was no water flowing in and flowing out of the pond. And that went on for about 2 months in the above mentioned areas.
Sometimes even the pond dried up and I have seen folks going out to look for water for bathing. They went into the bush and dug on the ground and when water filled up the hole, and that is bath water for them for the day. I know many of us grew up like that and know what it is like and that is why we insist our children should live better.
I am sure the story is familiar in many other parts of Sarawak. From what I read, I am glad that folks in my neighboring constituency, are going to get the pipe water supply and that is good. We should make every great effort to supply pipe water to all our rural folks and if we really cannot we should find alternatives and other more permanent ways.
I am sure that there is a way but the question remains whether the government of the day really wants to do it. There are about 600 long houses and kampongs in the Bintulu Division alone and I would say about 500 of them do not have treated pipe water supply. There are about 5-6000 longhouses in the state, more then half of them do not have treated pipe water supply.
No reason that after almost half a century of rule one cannot provide our rural people with pipe water, while palm oil plantation can be opened up no matter how rural and far the area is, yet drinking water cannot be supplied to the rural folks.
This is the typical case of where the BN government puts there hearts at, it is obvious that they have little heart for the people. They are happy when the company had developed the palm oil land, but never mind the hardships that the rural folks face as a result of the development, never mind they do not have clean water anymore to drink or use, completely forgetting their needs and rights to clean water as acclaimed by the International Human Rights people, that right to water is a basic human rights and one of the most basic thing that a government can do for its people.
During the water shortage dry season, in July-August even the water delivery program as staged by the government is not moving fast enough. Weeks have passed but the water was not forthcoming. The head man have to request water to the Sub District office which then goes to the Resident office, and then to the Crisis management committee, to the welfare office and over to JKR office in Miri and only then back to the JKR water treatment plant in Niah for dispatching of the water through its water truck.
How many water trucks are there anyway, say in the Niah, Suai area, one, may be, and the priority is the school, clinic and others. By the time a truck is rented, valuable time would have been lost . The crisis management committee must be quick to act and with a great sense of urgency.
I hope the government will respond quickly and decisively when the people do not have water to drink, water should be sent and reach them in 24 hours.
While at the Sebatu area it is urged that the dirt road in that area and also the Kampong Iran road be tar sealed. It has been so long already and the activities there, with the building of the coastal highway had picked up so much.
The people are grateful that the off road to Kampong Teggagen clinic and into the Kampong and primary school across the Suai river had been up graded and tar sealed.
While I am glad also that improvement had been done to the road linking Ulu Nyalau junction to Nyalau Tengah but the road is breaking up already partly due to the flood, urgent up grading and repair is needed. And may I also ask as to what standard was the road built and whether complied to, even part of the culvert had cracked on its side.
The section of the road from Nyalau Tengah to entrance of Kampong Kuala Nyalau, has yet to be tar sealed and I am bringing to the attention of the ministry concerned again that the road should be up graded, tar sealed as soon as possible, while grass on both sides must be cut regularly. From the entrance to the end of Kampong Kuala Nyalau, many parts the concrete surfaced road had broken up and even the BRC is showing. This road must be repaired, upgraded quickly before it gets worse, even the planks on the belian bridge is slipping away and need repair urgently.
Many longhouses at Similajau, along the Pan Borneo Highway up to Rumah Juna are without grid electricity supply, I mean they live right along side the highway, and been there for nearly 30 years already, I really do not understand why that electricity could not be supplied to them. After all, they have to pay for it too and it is added business for Sesco also. Empathise with them, they are the less fortunate of our brothers and sisters and need our help, it could just be you and me to be in situations like that , just that we are a little bit more lucky than they are that is all.
Tuai Rumah Nyawing and Tuai Rumah Nyalong at the Similajau area need repair on the access road to their long houses, as for the former the road is too steep, while the later, a portion of which is damaged by the hill slope sliding onto the road. Tuai Rumah Chaong Anak Enggan of Batu 28, Bintulu/Miri road had asked for claim on their Temuda land which was affected by the construction of the Kelalong Dam. Claims by other longhouses there had all been settled and I cannot understand why the five of them from Rh Chaong had been left out. Tuai Rumah Chaong had written so many letters to JKR, District office, Land and Survey but the matter up to this day had not been resolved.
Some of the Tuai Rumah at Similajau are still waiting to be conferred at Tuai Rumah. Of all those whose stay around the Similajau area many are conferred already, while some are still not. I do not see why they cannot, if others can be conferred. I mean if you work like Tuai Rumah and the people of the longhouse had all elected you as Tuai Rumah, then you must be the Tuai Rumah.
But by not conferring them as Tuai Rumah, it is not just the title or the allowances, it is like being a Malaysian without an I/C and we can imagine how troublesome that is, and so if, he is a Malaysian, then give him the I/C and if he is the head of the community conferred him the Tuai Rumah.
Mr. Sulan from Mile 17 Longhouse Bintulu/Miri Road must be the saddest man this year when both his son and daughter who applied for Pump Attendant and Technician respectively, could not get the job.
The R3 job had 8 vacancies, only one Iban got it, while the J 17 job, 15 vacancies only one Kayan girl got it. Like I said, both Mr. Sulan son and daughter applied but did not get the jobs. Mr. Sulan has another girl who is applying for clerical job N17, but that is not out for interview yet.
Mr. Sulan hopes that the jobs vacancies in government department can be distributed more evenly among all races, as it is one Malaysia already, he said.
Many residential estates along the Tg. Batu road gets flooded easily these days even after a few hours of heavy rain. This is not even the end of the year yet when sea tides would be high.
I therefore urge that the Ministry concerned to go all out and take all measures including up grading the dyke or improvement works to be done to the seashore there, to make sure that the houses would not be flooded again.
It is such a painful experience for the home owners who have to face the calamity couple of times a year. These are housing estates properly planned and developed by the developer with the approval of BDA and should not be flooded just like that.
In Taman Seaview the drain seems to have sunk and it is always half filled with water year round and as the neighbouring lands are still not developed, what seems needed is a clear big outlets for these drains to be link to the monsoon drain and then to the sea. I asked the folks there where is the outlet to the sea no one seems to know.
And then at Taman Lucky Tower, Taman Emas, Taman Sunga, Taman Jabai and the several houses near Everly Hotel, the drains are also always half filled with water, it is vital that they must be checked and cleared of any blockage all the way out to the monsoon drain and out to the sea at all time
And while the outlet to the sea is still just of the sand beach itself, they get clogged easily as waves bring up the sand, logs, timber and what not at the outlet mouth. BDA used to stage couple of crawlers at the out let to keep the outlet constantly deep and clear and we appreciate that. Whichever it is, it is the fervent hope of the people along the Tg. Batu road that their houses will not be flooded again in the next few month up the after the Chinese New Year or anytime when it rain heavily for a long time.
Every so often some kids died swimming at the Tg. Batu Beach. Ever since the beach protection works was done at the beach many years ago, there is a spot near the stone pile break water which is deadly. The Bintulu Development Authority had put a sign up there warning of the danger. But still deaths occur. Being a responsible government it is our job to provide facilities which are friendly and safe for the people to enjoy, sometimes a notice plate might not enough.
The Bintulu Tg. Batu Beach is a well known beech. People coming to Bintulu and locals like to go there, as it is the only close by beach around. Can’t really blame any body for taking a dip in the water, it is just too tempting.
People in Bintulu believe that if the beach could be redesigned with other safety features and guarded by guard house it could then be safer to swim there. I believe that this can be done and I hope that BDA will look into this, as the beach is visited by some many people every year and it will continue to be one of the main attractions of Bintulu because it is a good place to go to.
I wish to urge the government that land under Land Code Sect 47 and not used within two years should be released immediately and given back to the land owners.
There are over nine thousand hectres of land in Bintulu and they have been under Land code section 47 for 36 years. There are also other similar land elsewhere in the State. These land should be released immediately. To say that development planning is still on going, and thus section 47 cannot be lifted is not right. What kind of planning takes 36 years and not done ? And as many of these lands will be due for lease renewal these lands should be released to the land owners so that it can be renewed. Government cannot simply keep them until land lease expire and then take over the ownership, that is not right and the people are concerned and are very unhappy about it.
I mean, if you buy a piece of land and though the land is under your name but you are not free to use it, because it is under section 47, how do you feel, or anything you own, for that matter, but cannot use, until one day the expiry date comes and you cannot apply for renewal and you may even loose it. Does not his tantamount to denying ones right to ownership and an infringement of human rights.
I read in the news paper where the Minister of Resource Planning and Management II, had said that the land which the government acquired will be used for public purposes and they will be compensated market price.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we know that that is not all true, I know of prime lands in Bintulu acquired under section 47 ended up with private companies for development. It is these that they people are concerned about. Another piece of land near the Chinese cemetery was acquired to build federal quarters which could be easily be built elsewhere on state land. The land ought to be returned to the land owner. Why do we have to take away the land from the land owner and give it to some one else, and if you are the land owner, how would you feel.
The government might argue that the land were compensated market price. But that is so little as compared to the real market value. Ask around, those whose land had been acquired and compensated, had any thought that the compensation was fair. Take for example, the proposed Construction of the New Mukah airport, the compensation was 20 over thousand an acre, while land there now could easily fetch over one hundred thousand. This is because the government keeps paying the land on market price at the time of acquisition. While the government may argue that it is the development of the government which brought up the price of the land, but actually many would rather keep the land for their own development later, than to be compensated so lowly by the added on development. They did not really have a choice.
I therefore urge that the government listen to the people and it is their wish that land under sect 47, not used within two years be released and compensation be paid out according to the current market price and that land in Bintulu which had been under Sect 47 for 36 years and Bako for 35 years be released immediately.
沿泛婆大道，在士米拉爪、Sebatu、Lower Suai、Kpg. Tegagang、Iran、Kpg. Bahru和尼亚地区的水质情况很糟。在今年7、8月间旱季，长屋居民以之洗澡和洗涤物件的溪水干涸，溪水流入的池塘成了一滩死水，溪水不能流入或流出。这种情况发生在上述地区也持续了两个月。
我肯定一定有方法的。但问题是当权的政府是否有诚意去执行。在民都鲁省一地就有600多间长屋和甘榜。大约500多间是没有自来水供的。州内有5 至6 千多间长屋，一半以上是没有自来水供的。
对于连接Ulu Nyalau路口到 Nyalau Tengah的路已改善，我也很高兴，但部分原因是因水淹的缘故该路已破裂，应该尽速修补好提升之。我也想询问，是以何种标准筑路及是否有按其规格，因为暗沟一边也已裂了。
从Nyalau Tengah 到Kampong Kuala Nyalau入口的道路还未铺上柏油。 我再次要求有关的部门注意，这条路必须尽快提升，铺上柏油。而道路两旁的草必须定期修剪。从入口直到Kampong Kuala Nyalau的路已破裂，连铺底的钢网也暴露。这条路在未更坏以前，必须尽快修补和提升，甚至连桥的木板滑脱，必须紧急给予修理。
在士米拉爪的许多长屋，沿着泛婆大道至Rumah Juna都没有电流线路供应， 我是说他们就住在大道旁近三十年，我真的不明白为何不能给他们电供。再说，他们也须为之缴付，更给电力局带来生意。应该给予他们同情心，他们是较不幸的兄弟姐妹，他们需我们的帮助，你我也可能陷入他们的境地，只不过我们比较他们幸运而已。
在士米拉爪地区的Rumah Nyawing屋长和 Rumah Nyalong屋长要求修补进入他们长屋的道路，前者的路太过陡直，而后者的路一部份因山坡土崩而损坏。民美公路28里处的Rumah Chaong Anak Enggan屋长要求赔偿，因为他们的习俗地因建造Kelalong 水坝受影响。该地区其他长屋的赔偿已经解决，我不明白为什么五位从Rumah Chaong 居民的赔偿被遗忘了。Rumah Chaong屋长已经写了许多封信给工务局、县公署和土地局，但是到今天这件事情还是悬而未决。
在Taman Lucky Tower, Taman Emas, Taman Sunga, Taman Jabai及许多靠近Everly Hotel的屋子，它们的沟渠时常是积水一半。应该时常全盘检查和清理其阻塞，从大水沟通往海去为止。
不时都会有一些小孩子Tg. Batu 海滩一带海域游泳。自从数年前防护海滩的工程竣工後，有一处靠近石柱防浪堤最危险。民都鲁发展局已在此立下危险的告示，但死亡事件仍然发生。做为一个负责任的政府，提供友善和安全的娱乐是我们的责任，仅仅一个告示牌是不足的。
民都鲁的Tg. Batu 是著名的海滩。到民都鲁的外来人和本地人都喜欢到那去。因为它是唯一靠近的沙滩。也难怪人人都想在水里泡一泡，因为太诱人了。