KUCHING, Jan 5: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s act of replacing Tan Sri Sulong Matjeraie as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) chairman before his term expired is a ‘nasty move’ against Sarawakians, opines former PBB deputy info chief Datuk Peter Minos.
Sulong’s three-year term was set to expire on April 30, 2021 but was cut short on Dec 20 last year after being appointed on May 1, 2018.
The Sarawak state government was not consulted over the appointment of Tan Sri Kamal Mat Salih as Unimas’ fourth chairman.
“It is both nasty and bad of PH to eased out Sulong like this. Not only his term is still ongoing, they put in a West Malaysian and did not have the courtesy to consult the Sarawak government. The Unimas board chairman has always been appointed after consultation with the state,” according to Minos in a statement today.
Kamal, the first non-Sarawakian appointed to the post, is set to serve from Jan 1 this year to Dec 31, 2022.
Minos also opined that it seems Sarawakians working in any federal government agency are no longer safe because PH can just hire and fire at will.
“Sulong was a former Federal Court judge, highly experienced and well respected. Looking at the way he was treated now, it shows how bad PH is. This is very sad and regrettable,” Minos asserted, adding that he felt very sorry.
The Sarawak government is seeking clarification from the federal government on why it was not consulted over Kamal’s appointment.
The Chief Minister’s Office in a statement dated Jan 3 said it was “regrettable” that Kamal’s appointment was not referred to the state government.
Meanwhile, Minos also questioned if Sarawak will ever get its full powers back as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“PH is treating Sarawak shabbily. Petronas is resisting by not paying Sarawak their dues, they are suing us back. Funds approved for roads, bridges and small projects in Sarawak have also been cut off. All the MA63 talk seems endless,” he asserted.
Minos also opined that if the Sarawak government were to use its immigration powers to bar recalcitrant, undesirable bigots or extremists from West Malaysia who have been attacking Sarawak, he believed Sarawakians will be happy.
“We are defending ourselves and we reserve the right to use any legal way to do it.” — DayakDaily