Saturday, July 13

Sarawak’s free tertiary education policy won’t lead to tax increase, says state deputy minister

Sarawak’s free tertiary education, which is expected to be implemented by 2026, will not lead to an increase in taxes or cuts in other areas of development, said Sarawak Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development, Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee.

He said a sound financial model that the state government has implemented over the years, which is evident in the consistent growth of revenue over the last few years, can sustain the policy.

“We know that our income (revenues) will increase. The state has recorded a revenue of RM13.1 billion in 2023… our gross domestic product (GDP) is also expected to increase,” he told reporters via a Zoom interview here today.

On November 22, Dr Annuar reportedly said that about 25,000 Sarawakian students in the state will benefit from the free tertiary education policy.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg on October 1 said the state natives would enjoy free education at state-owned universities and higher education in 2026.

He said the annual projection of Sarawak’s income, which had shown an increase since 2020, had given him the confidence to set the expectations by the state government. — Bernama

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