Last year the state government owned Hornbill Skyways were paid RM5mil to fly the Chief Minister, state ministers and assistant ministers and goverment official on so called official duty.

State Second Finance Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh said the charter service was needed due to the state’s geographical location and insufficient air services to the rural areas.

“The charter aircraft will also be used by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister if the need arises,’’ he said when giving details during the tabling of the Supplementary Supply (2008) Bill 2009 yesterday, reports The Star.

RM10 million for lavish celebrations

Wong Ho Leng (DAP – Bukit Assek) asked the minister to provide details on what the additional funds were for, saying that the Government must be accountable and transparent.

The state opposition leader said the Government had to justify why it had asked for another RM10mil to meet payment for the state’s 45th anniversary of independence celebration as the original budget was RM1.59mil.

Soon Koh said the state Cabinet had approved an additional RM8mil for the celebrations last year and RM700,000 for this year. The additional funds would also be used for the Merdeka Day and Sarawak Governor’s birthday celebrations.

Training for SCORE
He said the additional RM70mil sought under the Supplementary Supply (2009) Bill was to provide for the state’s workforce development and capacity-building programme.

’’The sum is to train a targeted number of skilled workers in specific fields required by the Sarawak Corridor for Renewal Energy (SCORE) and industries.’’

Soon Koh said a five-year human resource development action plan would be drawn up.