Semop rep denies UMNO has entered Sarawak

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

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KUCHING, Nov 9: Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol says that there is no UMNO in the state.

The Semop assemblyman was responding to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen who alleged that UMNO’s culture of setting up committees whenever an issue arose had entered the state.

Chong who is state DAP chairman said, such culture of UMNO had permeated the state with the state trying to set up the Sarawak Research and Development Council which Chong said was redundant.

He also said when more committees were set up, the government would have to pay for those sitting on the committee bu at the end of the day, the taxpayers were the ones footing the bill.

In response to the allegation, Saidol said: ‘there is no UMNO in the state and we refuse to have DAP in the state’.

Meanwhile, Education and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapa’ee also stood up to defend
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin who tabled the Sarawak Research and Development Council Bill 2017 in the state assembly today.

Calling Chong ignorant, Rapa’ee said Research Councils UK or RCUK is an umbrella organisation which housed seven other research councils under it.

RCUK coordinates the seven separate research councils and are responsible for funding and coordinating academic research for various areas including arts, humanities, science and engineering.

He further pointed out that if Chong thought that the setting up of Sarawak Research and Development Council was redundant, then Chong was moving backwards.

In response to Chong’s questioning of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s chairmanship in Sarawak Research and Development Council, Rapa’ee retorted by stating that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng holds 19 chairmanships.

Meanwhile, Manyin said it is too premature to jump to conclusions about the size of the salaries of those who will sit on the Sarawak Research and Development Council.

He said this during the second reading of the Sarawak Research and Development Council Bill 2017 which at the time had yet to be passed.

He said presently, all research done in the state was in silos or were isolated efforts where there was no collaboration, co-ordination and monitoring.

With the establishment of the Research and Development Council, there will be a body to coordinate all research efforts.

“It is not to take away their autonomy but to work with them (researchers) and help them to apply for funds. It is to strengthen and not weaken them.”

He said the council will help to commercialise research findings and any profit derived from intellectual property will be shared with the researchers. — DayakDaily