Explain Sarawak’s below-par GDP performance, DAP tells GPS

Chong – Picture from The Star

By John Isaac

THE latest economic figures on the GDP Growth rates of the States in Malaysia by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has proven that the GPS Government has once again failed the people of Sarawak.

For the year 2020, while the national GDP growth was -5.6% (contraction of 5.6%), Sarawak’s GDP contraction was far greater than the national average, registering a GDP contraction of 7.1%.

This 7.1% contraction in the Sarawak’s GPD, said state DAP chairman, Chong Chieng Jen is an equivalent of a reduction of a massive RM9.6 billion domestic production in Sarawak.

The following is the table of the GDP Growth of the States in Malaysia:

“Given the statistics, Sarawak is the state with the third worst GDP contraction in the country. This is despite the billions worth of BKSS 1.0 to BKSS 4.0 as claimed by the Chief Minister in 2020 and the multi-billion coastal roads and second trunk road projects announced by the GPS government during this period,” he said.

Among the worst performing economic sectors for Sarawak, said Chong, are the agriculture and the manufacturing sectors.

In 2020, the national GDP contraction for the agricultural sector was 2.2% but Sarawak recorded a 10% contraction. As for the manufacturing sector, the national contraction was 2.6% but Sarawak’s contraction was 8.6%.

“This is notwithstanding the huge land mass for agriculture in Sarawak and GPS’s flight chartering programme to promote Sarawak’s agricultural products in Singapore and the numerous announcements of FDI into Sarawak in the past few years.

“While we accept the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic will bring about contractions in our country’s economy, it is unacceptable that notwithstanding the billions of reserve fund as claimed by the GPS government, we are below par as compared to the other states in Malaysia,” he said.

Therefore, Chong said GPS must give an account to all Sarawakians on the reasons for such below-par performances by the State Government and why despite the huge injection of fund under the BKSS programmes, the GDP contraction in Sarawak ranks third worst in Malaysia.

He said GPS leaders, especially the SUPP President Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian has been very quick in blaming the Federal Government for all Sarawak’s problems.

“But it seems that when it comes to this poor economic management of the State, he keeps mum on the issue.

“As Sarawakians, we are entitled to know the reasons for such poor and below-par performance of the State,” said Chong.

He said the statistics verified the fact that notwithstanding how much Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari and the GPS were boasting and singing praises of their own policies, people on the ground were suffering because of Covid-19.