PKR flays Sarawak CM for state’s growing wealth gap

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, The Malaysian Insider11:38:30

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian attacked Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud today because the state remains among the poorest in the country despite being the richest in resource.

The PKR man was also upset with what he said was the growing disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor.

Bian was commenting today on the Sarawak chief minister’s recent remarks that he never took the state’s development for granted.

In a report in the Borneo Post yesterday, Taib said the public must forsake personal interest for public interest.

“He (Taib) urged the people to be wary of those who tried to brainwash and incite them to hate the government. This, he warned, would cause people to forget about the bread and butter issues like planning further development of the state and country. He said when people forgot about the bread and butter issues they would dwell on personal matters or think about things that were not related to their well-being,” the newspaper reported.

However, Bian questioned why Sarawak has become the fourth poorest state in the country despite it being the richest.

He also asked why a huge disparity still remains between the rich and poor in the state.

“Let us be clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the government of the day (Barisan Nasional — BN) to utilise and manage the coffers of the state for the benefit of the people. Development is not a choice. It is an imperative and a right to be enjoyed by the rakyat. Even the worse totalitarian regimes in the world have to develop their countries, what more to say Malaysia, and in particular Sarawak, which purportedly practises parliamentary democracy.

“However, what is the track record and success rate of the BN government in executing this responsibility of developing the state? It has failed miserably in the last 30 years in discharging this duty,” he said in a statement.

Bian also questioned which bread and butter issues that Taib was referring to as the public has yet to benefit from any development after 47 years of BN rule in Sarawak.

“In light of what the CM has said about bread and butter issues, I agree with him that we should not cloud the matter with rhetoric and instead urge Sarawakians to ask themselves some pertinent questions.