More federal representatives does not mean better status in Parliament — Chong

Chong Chieng Jen​

KUCHING, May 19: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said what is more important for Sarawak is the policy which the new PH government would be implementing for the benefit of the state, while having Sarawakians to hold ministerial posts in the federal cabinet would be secondary.

Chong, who is also state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, urged Sarawakians not to jump the gun in questioning the decision of new Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had recently announced 13 ministerial appointments but none of the appointees were Sarawakians.

There would be 10 more positions to be filled, Chong added.

“We look at the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) cabinet where we had six ministers from Sarawak. That much representation but they still failed to deliver to the Sarawak people. Just ‘makan gaji buta’ (ineffective) only,” he said, explaining that streamlining the new cabinet members was a way for the new government to effectively reduce expenditure.

The previous BN federal cabinet consisted of 37 ministers while now under the new PH government there would be 25.

Tun Dr Mahathir yesterday announced the PH government’s Cabinet line-up in a statement, comprising 15 ministers including the Prime Minister and his deputy, who will be sworn in at the Istana Negara on May 21.

The list includes Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) – Langkawi), Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) – Pandan), Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Bersatu – Pagoh), Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (Bersatu – Simpang Renggam), Minister of Rural Development Rina Harun (Bersatu – Titiwangsa), Minister of Women and Family Development Wan Azizah (PKR – Pandan), Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR – Gombak), Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR – Ampang), Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng (DAP – Bagan), Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook (DAP – Seremban), Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo (DAP – Puchong), Human Resources Minister Kulasegaran s/o V Murugeson (DAP – Ipoh Barat), Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) – Kota Raja), Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah – Pulai), and Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Amanah – Kuala Selangor).

“The number of ministers doesn’t determine our (Sarawak) status in Parliament. Let the full cabinet be announced.

“Let’s not preempt any decision (by Tun Dr Mahathir). So far Sarawakians have already benefited from the new government — fuel prices not increased despite increase in crude oil prices by 20 per cent, and zero rated Goods and Services Tax (GST),” said Chong. — DayakDaily