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CM: Don't worry, Sarawak financially strong.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today assured Sarawakians that the state is financially strong and that it will not go bankrupt.

'Don't worry,' he said when answering a question from a woman at a town hall session here who asked the chief minister if it was true that the state would become bankrupt within three years as claimed by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, due to its big budget.

Lim had allegedly made the statement at a DAP fundraising dinner here earlier this year.

Abang Johari explained that the 2019 Budget of RM11.9 billion, the biggest in the state's history, would not bankrupt the state.

He said Sarawak would only go bankrupt if it does not have any sources of revenue.

'For this year, we are expecting total revenue of RM11 billion, including the RM3.8 billion that will be generated from the 5 per cent sales tax on oil and gas,' he said.

Abang Johari said Lim's mathematical calculation was based on the assumption that the big budget would use up the state's reserves with zero revenue coming in.

Abang Johari, who is also the state Finance and Economic Planning minister, said due to the state's prudent financial management, it was able to accumulate reserves of about RM30 billion since the days of Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud as chief minister.

He stressed that the reserves would not be utilised in the preparation of the Budget allocation.

The chief minister said he will announce a new source of revenue for Sarawak at the coming Sarawak State Assembly session.

He said the details of the new source of revenue will be known when he tables the 2020 Budget in the state assembly.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Aug 30, 2019
Words:344
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