Sarawak first state to finance federal projects to speed up implementation - PM

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Sarawak government will be the first state to provide initial financing for federal projects in the state to speed up their implementation, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced here today.

He said the cooperation, which is of historical significance, would begin with the implementation of the Sarawak Cancer Centre here.

"I agree, we use a new method, where Sarawak can start the construction first, we cover the expenses later through the federal government. We will begin the construction and development of this cancer hospital as soon as possible," he said during his speech at the Sarawak Madani Buka Puasa event at Al-Muttaqin Mosque here today.

The new method, he added, had been agreed upon as the Sarawak government could begin the project faster at a lower cost.

"If we look at the usual method, it takes time, (and there are) high costs. The Sarawakians said, it's okay, we will help, we have several plans on starting the project," he said.

Anwar also shared that the new method for implementing projects was agreed upon at a meeting between him, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and the state government held at the Sarawak Department of Irrigation and Drainage today.

Abang Jo had brought up education and health issues in the state during the meeting and voiced the state government's willingness to pay for the federal projects that needed to be expedited first, he said.

"Sometimes schools and clinics need to be built in the interior. So I said, we (the federal government) agree if the state (Sarawak) could afford to start the project first at a lower cost," he said.

He added that this was the first time in Malaysia's history that the federal government has handed so many federal responsibilities to a state government, and was a sign of how close ties were between the federal government and Sarawak.

The prime minister also presented donations to 150 underprivileged folk from Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions at the event.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Sarawak state secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and several federal and state ministers also attended the event.

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