Another victory: Mandatory to consult Sarawak in drafting of federal legislation affecting State

Abang Johari at the Malaysia Day celebration today (Sept 16, 2021).

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Sept 16: The Sarawak government will be consulted by the federal government in the drafting of federal legislation which has bearing or impact on the State.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was among the achievements of the Sarawak government as part of its effort to regain State powers which had been eroded over time. In certain areas, it will involve transfer of power back to Sarawak.

Other notable achievements include ensuring the planning of federal development projects in Sarawak will be given priority such as the Five-Year Sarawak State Development Plan, based on the approved budget.

“Implementation of the projects will be (referred or) negotiated between the ministries (concerned) and the State Government such as determining the location of schools, hospitals and the implementation of other development projects, particularly rural areas,” said Abang Johari during the State-level Malaysia Day Celebration themed “Malaysia Cares” at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly Complex here today.

On the return of prosecution power to Sarawak, Abang Johari said Sarawak now has full control over enforcement of State laws.

Under Criminal Procedure Code, all offences even under State laws can only be prosecuted by federal Attorney General (AG) or Director Public Prosecutor appointed by Federal AG who is also the Public Prosecutor.

Following the devolution of powers in legal aspect, now the federal AG has authorised State Legal Officers may charge those committing offences under State laws and prosecute them.

Abang Johari said greater autonomy has also been given back to Sarawak in immigration matters where the power of the Sarawak Immigration Department especially regarding enforcement will be enhanced with the creation of 100 new posts.

As for education, Abang Johari said Sarawak has been allowed to increase the ratio of Sarawak-born teachers serving in Sarawak to 90 per cent of the total number of teachers needed in Sarawak.

“To ensure that this target is achieved, temporary teachers from the open market are to be considered from time to time,” said Abang Johari.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration was a hybrid event where the guests were limited to 100 people in compliance with standard operating procedures.

It was attended by Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib, Abang Johari and his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang and other cabinet ministers.

Among the programmes held were dances and patriotic song performances, video presentations titled “Malaysia Menang Bersama” and “Our Generations” and a theatre performance called “Air Dicincang Takkan Putus”. — DayakDaily