KUCHING: It is "oversimplistic" and misleading for Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to claim that Sarawak will go bankrupt in three years under the leadership of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), says a state business association.
The Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) said this was because Lim only focused on expenditure and not revenue in alleging that the state's reserves of RM31bil would be used up if GPS maintained an annual budget of RM11bil.
"He has ignored Sarawak's expanding revenue base, especially the sales tax from petroleum products, which is expected to rake in billions of ringgit," SBF said in a statement Monday (June 24).
It was responding to Lim's remarks which he made at a Sarawak DAP fundraising dinner last Friday (June 21).
The umbrella body representing key organisations and industries in Sarawak said Lim should realise that as Finance Minister what he says would impact the market outlook.
"While SBF notes that Lim was making a political speech at a political event, we feel very uncomfortable with such a sensational statement.
"His bankruptcy statement directed at Sarawak is irresponsible and much regretted," it said.
SBF added that it believed one reason why Sarawak budgeted RM11bil this year was because of the relatively small amount allocated by the Federal Government to Sarawak.
This was in spite of Sarawak's contributions to the federal coffers from its oil and gas resources, SBF said.
"We take this opportunity to call on the Federal Government, in particular the Finance Minister, to provide Sarawak with adequate funds commensurate with its contributions and rights in order for Sarawak to extricate itself from backwardness and poverty," it added.