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KUCHING, Jan 17, 2016:

The Sarawak government plans to reduce the assessment rates on properties in the state, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today.

However, he said its implementation would depend on the federal allocation to local authorities in the state.

“But, with the drop in oil price, it is affecting the country and state’s revenue, so I’m not going to pressure the federal government for a higher allocation.

“I’ll request for an additional allocation for the purpose when the oil price has returned to normal,” he said when opening the North Kuching City Hall (DBKU) Agenda here today.

Furthermore, he said, the federal government should increase development allocation for Sarawak.

“In terms of development, the federal government should understand our needs as Sarawak is still far behind compared with states in the peninsula.”

Adenan said he would bring up the matter, as well as the return of the state’s autonomy, at a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak this Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Adenan said the federal government had agreed that 90% of the teaching workforce in schools in Sarawak would comprise those from Sarawak.

The federal government has also agreed to not issue licences for deep sea fishing in Sarawak waters without the state government’s consent, he added.

Adenan also announced a long-term plan for the development of a bird park in Bukit Siol and also welcomed the proposal by DBKU to develop the Sarawak Museum Park and a Cultural Park as a Unity Park.

This, he said, was in line with the declaration of Kuching City as a Unity City last year, he added.

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