KUCHING (Nov 24): Wilfred Yap (GPS-Kota Sentosa) has called upon the Sarawak government to terminate the monopoly on the manufacture and supply of cement and open it to other manufacturers and suppliers.
He said monopoly had caused the price of cement in Sarawak to be high.
Hence, one of the reasons why house prices are expensive in Sarawak is due to the high price of cement.
“Currently, there is only one cement supplier and manufacturer in Sarawak. The time is appropriate to open the sector to other players to participate in the supply and manufacture of cement.
“Opening up Sarawak to other players would ensure a consistent supply of cement and ensure sufficient capacity to meet Sarawak’s increasing demand from the growing construction activities,” he said when debating the 2023 Sarawak Budget yesterday.
Yap said that more players in the supply and manufacture of cement in Sarawak would result in healthy competition and invariably result in competitive prices of cement.
He also said that one of the most basic human needs was housing, and therefore, it was pertinent to ensure that every Sarawakian has adequate access to affordable housing.
“The allocation of RM52 million in Budget 2023 for the implementation of 21 affordable housing projects by Housing Development Corporation is indeed commendable.
“I therefore would like to appeal to the Housing Ministry to consider implementing one low cost, housing scheme and one affordable housing scheme both integrated with recreational facilities in Kota Sentosa due to its location where there are still pockets of state land,” he said.
Yap praised the State Budget 2023, saying it is a far-sighted, pragmatic and proactive budget which seeks to propel Sarawak towards an advanced and fully functioning digital economy with sustainable development very much still in focus.
He said the budget clearly reflected the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government’s commitment of Sarawak First in strengthening Sarawak’s multi-racial and multi-religious demography towards a fairer, more sustainable and more inclusive society.
“This is an excellent budget. Congratulations to our Premier and his ministry for putting together this comprehensive budget that is focused on addressing the needs of every Sarawakian,” he said.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has called the proposed Sarawak Budget 2023 a financially responsible plan and foundation for Sarawak’s future that seeks to make the state safer, more secure, more resilient, and more prosperous.