PM: S’wak, Sabah to get full autonomy over devt projects under RM50 mln

Anwar (centre) addressing a press conference broadcast live on Bernama TV today (Jan 4, 2023). Also seen are Zahid (left) and Fadillah.

KUCHING, Jan 4: Sarawak and Sabah will now have full control, including decision-making rights, over all public development projects costing below RM50 million.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced this after chairing the unity government’s Cabinet meeting today.

“With that, Sarawak and Sabah will implement the project in compliance with the Finance Ministry’s regulations and laws, but the decision-making can be made at Kuching or Kota Kinabalu without delay due to the old administrative system.

“This decision has been made today immediately (to hand over the project implementation authority to Sarawak and Sabah,” he told a press conference which was broadcast live on Bernama TV and RTM today.

The delegation of power to technical agencies like Public Works Department (JKR) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) in Sarawak and Sabah was one of the demands enshrined under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Anwar said he was well aware that even though there is JKR in Sabah and Sarawak, the decision-making on implementation of public projects was mainly done at Putrajaya, and despite the huge allocations, the projects cannot be fulfilled due to bureaucracy and the need to refer to the central government.

With the delegation of power to implement public projects to Sarawak and Sabah decided today, he said this demonstrated the unity government’s commitment on pending matters under MA63 where Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof has been tasked to chair and expedite its implementation.

“This is to honour the spirit of MA63 as the issue has been disputed for a long time.

“There must be a political and leadership will to safeguard and uphold the Malaysian spirit under the Federation (of Malaysia). Moreover, the unity government respects the wisdom of former leaders, be it from Peninsula or Sarawak and Sabah, especially their efforts to resolve and implement the (MA63) matters,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Fadillah were also present. — DayakDaily