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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Jan 21: Despite claims to the contrary, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian asserted that there was, in fact, a meeting between Sarawak government and the Health Ministry over the state’s health autonomy.
Without mentioning any names, Dr Sim said a local politician had made claims that the Sarawak government had not done anything to reclaim Sarawak’s rights.
“We actually had a meeting based on MA63, on Sept 26, 2019 to discuss all the issues on health and in that, we stated our position clearly, that we want health autonomy given back to us,” said Dr Sim at the Ministry’s Chinese New Year Media Nite on Monday evening (Jan 20, 2020) at a local restaurant here.
Dr Sim explained that he had been called to chair the Special Working Committee Cabinet meeting to discuss the implementation of MA63 (the Malaysia Agreement 1963) on Sept 26, 2019, following the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in May 2019 where it was agreed that the Health Ministry would set up a committee or have a session to tackle the health issues between Sarawak government and federal government.
According to Dr Sim, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, the formal meeting on Sept 26, 2019 was a major one with the attendance of Health Ministry’s top guns such as its director general and secretary. Meanwhile, Sarawak was represented by himself as well as the State Secretary and Sarawak Attorney General.
“All the top guns (from the ministry) were here to discuss about healthcare of Sarawak and we outlined our position clearly that the national norm was not acceptable to Sarawak.
“I gave many examples as well as (stating that) we want our health autonomy, that means we will be in charge of our own spending, manpower, transfer, development and infrastructure and this is our position; nothing new but someone said that ‘it was never spoken’.”
He said the politician who made these erroneous claims had been elected by Sarawakians but did not fight for Sarawak. Dr Sim countered that the mentioned politician did not even know what has been going on as the person was “not in the cabinet”.
“He gets salaries but doesn’t know what is happening. He is a Sarawakian elected by the people of Sarawak but speaks for Malaya and doesn’t know what is going on,” said Dr Sim, who is Batu Kawa assemblyman.
He said he had forwarded the news of the accusation by the politician to the Sarawak Attorney General’s chambers and asked them to respond on the part that Sarawak government had been “accused of doing nothing”.
“When you are not in the meeting, it does not mean that we have never spoken (about health autonomy).
“(He is) supposedly a ‘leader’ of Sarawak but the Malayan people look down on him. He might as well come back and join GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak). At least we don’t look down on you,” Dr Sim said. —DayakDaily