De­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers hinges on state govt’s agree­ment – Ban­dar Kuch­ing MP

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KUCH­ING: Amidst crit­i­cisms from Sarawakians over the dec­la­ra­tion made by Sarawak Pakatan Hara­pan ( PH) chair­man Chong Chieng Jen on Wed­nes­day that the deal to re­store the rights of Sarawak un­der Malaysia Agree­ment 1963 is now off, PH Sarawak says it re­mains con­sis­tent in its stand and sin­cere in its in­ten­tion to ful­fil its prom­ise of de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers to Sarawak.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Ban­dar Kuch­ing MP Dr Kelvin Yii said that in or­der for PH to de­volve power to the state, the state must agree to ac­cept it.

“We have made the offer not just once, with even the lead­er­ship of PH Sarawak ( Chong Chieng Jen) per­son­ally de­liv­er­ing the agree­ment to the Chief Min­is­ter’s Of­fice which in­cludes all the BN Sarawak com­po­nent party lead­ers, but yet, they have re­jected the agree­ment and also the re­spon­si­bil­ity through the de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers,” he said.

“Thus, the at­ti­tude of the Sarawak govern­ment is mak­ing the de­vo­lu­tion process dif­fi­cult. We can­not give them some­thing they do not want, even though we see no rea­son for them to re­ject the deal if they truly be­lieve in the de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers that was fought for dur­ing the time of the late ( Pe­hin Sri) Ade­nan Satem,” he added.

He shared that the agree­ment touched on, among oth­ers, the restora­tion of ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers in tax­a­tion and pub­lic rev­enues, ed­u­ca­tion, health, so­cial se­cu­rity, civil in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, nat­u­ral re­sources and tourism.

“How­ever, even though the agree­ment was re­jected by the state BN govern­ment, we still have sin­cere in­ten­tions to hon­our our prom­ise in our man­i­festo to the peo­ple of Sarawak es­pe­cially those that up­hold the in­ter­ests of Sarawak in­clud­ing the de­vo­lu­tion of au­ton­o­mous pow­ers,” he said.

“We will make sure the mech­a­nism of such de­vo­lu­tion will be di­rectly ben­e­fit­ting to the peo­ple of Sarawak with­out the risk of BN Sarawak abus­ing those rights at the ex­pense of the peo­ple or for per­sonal gain,” he added.

Since tak­ing over fed­eral power in Pu­tra­jaya, he stressed that PH has been work­ing over­time to ful­fil their prom­ises not just to the peo­ple of Sarawak, but to the whole of Malaysia.

“It has only been three work­ing days, and we have fa­cil­i­tated on the par­don and re­lease of Datuk Seri An­war Ibrahim, in­sti­tu­tional re­forms in­clud­ing the sep­a­ra­tion of the Min­istry of Fi­nance port­fo­lio from the Prime Min­is­ter, the re­moval of and ze­rorated GST ( 0 per cent), re­leas­ing the Au­di­tor- Gen­eral’s re­port on 1MDB to the pub­lic, launched a com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion into 1MDB as well as form­ing a com­pre­hen­sive coun­cil on econ­omy and in­sti­tu­tional re­forms,” he pointed out.

Thus, Dr Yii reem­pha­sised their clear in­ten­tion - that is to ful­fil what they have promised to the peo­ple in­clud­ing what is best for the peo­ple of Sarawak.

“The onus of the said agree­ment lies within the state govern­ment who re­jected the de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers that we are of­fer­ing, thus showing that they may not have the best in­ter­est of Sarawak at heart,” he added.

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