Masing to PSB: I’m not ‘Minister of Everything Sarawak’

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Feb 23: Opposition Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) has been told to get their facts right when questioning the government’s motive to absorb retrenched employees of Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU).

Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said his ministry is drafting a Cabinet paper to absorb some of the LBU workers, following the termination of their project delivery partner (PDP) contract, because these individuals are involved in construction and infrastructure development industry.

Therefore, they possessed the required skills and knowledge needed by the ministry, he pointed out.

The deputy chief minister reminded that PSB should not confuse the unemployment of the retrenched (LBU) workers to the issue of unemployment of workers in the timber sector, as it is under the purview of the Human Resources Ministry.

“As the minister-in-charge, my job is to reduce the impact caused by the termination made by the Works Ministry, one of which is the retrenched Sarawakian workforce previously under LBU that is confined under the construction and infrastructure sector.

“The spokesperson from PSB needs to understand that a minister is a politician who heads a ministry and thus, is in charge of making and implementing decisions on policies confined to his or her ministry.

“That is why the government has different ministries headed by different ministers. I have been appointed as Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development and not ‘Minister of Everything Sarawak’,” Masing said in a statement.

He was responding to a statement by PSB, which questioned why his ministry is drafting the Cabinet paper for the retrenched LBU workers.

“While PSB’s enthusiasm is appreciated, their passion should be directed to the correct ministries,” he stressed.

Masing explained that Sarawakian workers retrenched under LBU is the direct effect of the federal government’s decision to terminate the contract with LBU.

As a result of the termination, the federal government under the Works Ministry has appointed his ministry to take over the monitoring job. — DayakDaily