Chong questions whether new State Cabinet is inefficient or to reward GPS reps

DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Jan 2: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen questioned whether Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s new Cabinet is inefficient as compared to the federal Cabinet or to reward Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives at the expense of public fund.

Chong said Abang Johari’s new Cabinet consisted of 11 ministers and 26 assistant ministers, a massive amount of 37 members out of a total 82 elected representatives in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) and serving a population of approximately 3 million people.

“Even the federal government, which consists of 31 ministers and 38 deputy ministers serving a population of 32 million, pales in comparison with the size of the Sarawak Cabinet.

“The proportion of the number of Sarawak State Cabinet per 1 million population is 12.3 per 1 million population whereas that of the federal Cabinet is 2.1 per 1 million population.

“In terms of population size, the State Cabinet size is almost six times bigger than that of the Federal Cabinet,” he said in a press statement today.

Apart from that, Chong opined that there could be some form of concentration of power in the hands of the chief minister holding various ministerial posts.

He noted Abang Johari also holds the post for Finance and New Economy, Natural Resources, Urban Development, Energy and Environmental Sustainability.

Besides, Chong also opined that Abang Johari has de facto direct control over several portfolios, namely Law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and State-Federal Relations, Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring, Corporate Affairs, Information and Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), Integrity and Ombudsman and Native Law and Customs through Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai.

With that, Chong believed the Chief Minister’s Office controls almost everything under the State government.

Nonetheless, Chong who is Padungan assemblyman said DAP will continue to play its part as an Opposition party to provide the check and balance to the government. — DayakDaily