State Needs Time To Undo Years Of Neglect

SIBU: Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh yesterday said the erosion of Sarawak’s autonomy is not something that occurred overnight; therefore time and commitment are needed to resolve it.

In expressing the state government’s concern over the issue, he said the matter needed to be resolved amicably as it involved many processes.

“The opposition has repeatedly demanded the state government under Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to resolve the matter immediately brushing aside the painstaking efforts the state government is already working on.”

He said the negotiation on Sarawak’s autonomy involved three phases – first on administrative power which was accomplished through 13 resolutions, the second led by a committee under Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri which is on-going and thirdly discussions on financial matters.

“These are positive steps under the Chief Minister to let the people of Sarawak see their future, and for this, the Barisan Nasional won a landslide victory in the just concluded state election because it had the full support of the people.”

He said as long as the people give their full support to Adenan, the end result of the negotiation for devolution of power from the federal government would be positive.

He said Nancy was now working on the details on the rights of Sarawak in Malaysia Agreement 1963, like on education and representation in the Parliament, among other things.

He assured that Adenan is a leader who walks the talk and there is no other political leader who has taken such a positive stand for the people.

As examples of Adenan’s concern for the people, he said the state government under Adenan recognised the Unified Examinations Certificate (UCE), gave funds to private Chinese schools and declared July 22 as Sarawak Day and a public holiday.

Wong made these comments when he was asked why he was absent from the July 22 Sarawak Day celebration.

He said he had just gone through a knee operation and was resting, and the doctor had given him a three-month medical leave. - BP

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