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KUCHING, Jan 8: Tan Sri Dr Kamal Mat Salih has become the victim to the federal government’s act of hubris, thinking that they can make important decisions for Sarawak without consulting the state government, according to Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) chairman Datuk Dr John Lau Pang Heng.
Lau opined it was honourable for Kamal to relinquish his position as the fourth chairman of Universiti Sarawak Malaysia (Unimas).
“Kamal has done nothing wrong. What went wrong was that the federal government did not consult the Sarawak government over his appointment.
“It was the mistake of the federal government and board of directors’ selection committee. He is a victim of the federal Ministry of Education’s mistakes,” he asserted in a press statement today.
Kamal, who heads the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), announced his resignation on Jan 6, five days after assuming the chairmanship following criticism by the Sarawak government which was not consulted and informed of his appointment.
Lau commended Kamal for his decision to resign as it showed that he listened to the concerned voices of Sarawakians. He also asserted Kamal has set an excellent example for all to follow as well as being a competent, qualified and capable corporate figure and academician.
As such, Lau urged the federal government to always consult the Sarawak government first for any future important appointments in Sarawak.
“It is very amateur to make important appointments without consultation with the Sarawak government.
“We hope the federal government will treat Sarawak as an equal partner as agreed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) when forming Malaysia, and not just as a state. Treat Sarawak fairly and equally,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had on Jan 3 expressed its displeasure after learning of Kamal’s appointment through the media.
In the statement, the Sarawak government stressed that the Unimas Board chairman had always been appointed after consultation with the state government, a process which has been adhered to since the appointment of the university’s first chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Bujang Mohd Nor.
The second chairman was Datu Dr Hatta Solhi, and the third was Tan Sri Sulong Matjeraie, whose term was set to expire on April 30, 2021 but was cut short on Dec 20 last year. — DayakDaily