State Pakatan Harapan proposes agreement with state BN over return of Sarawak’s rights

State Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen shows newspaper cuttings showing the contradicting statements of the two leaders.

KUCHING, Feb 6: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) would like to enter into an official agreement with the state Barisan Nasional (BN) to return the state’s rights as guaranteed under the opposition alliance’s manifesto should they form the federal government.

“We will forward our manifesto to the state government. If we (Pakatan Harapan) form the federal government, this is what Sarawak will get, and we don’t have to beg from (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) anymore,” said state PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

In the PH manifesto ‘New Deal For Sarawak Part Two’, the Opposition alliance pledged that Sarawak will retain 50 per cent of all tax revenues collected in Sarawak and receive 20 per cent of oil and gas royalties.

“The government of Sarawak shall use these funds to shoulder the fiscal responsibility of the federal government in education and health. This shouldering of fiscal responsibility is to be accompanied and guided by good governance practices: a high quality of service delivery; competency; accountability; and transparency,” states the manifesto.

Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP, added that the state would have full autonomous power in education and healthcare, which would not be controlled by the federal government anymore.

He told reporters that he would forward the manifesto to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and sign the agreement next week.

Showing two newspaper cuttings of statements made by Abang Johari recently and the statement of the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem 18 months ago, Chong said the leaders had given contradicting statements.

In 2016 during the November State Legislative Assembly sitting, Adenan had reportedly said that the state was in the second phase of the negotiations with the federal government on devolution of power.

Recently, Abang Johari was quoted as saying that the state would submit documents to Putrajaya in order to negotiate on the second phase on the devolution of power.

“Obviously, after one-and-a-half years the so-called negotiation on the devolution of power is still stuck at the second phase.

“It shows the lack of sincerity of the BN government, both state and federal, on the devolution of power,” he said, and said hence he would submit PH’s manifesto which promises to give the state the funds to implement its policies. — DayakDaily