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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Aug 29: Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman has urged Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to stop harping on the deputy prime minister (DPM)’s position and start helping the newly formed government to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“The appointment of DPM position and the Cabinet for that matter, is the prerogative of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and this should be respected by all.
“If the premier felt that the new government should do away with the DPM position for it to focus on arresting the nation’s Covid-19 situation, bringing the country out of the current slump, so be it,” he said in a statement today.
He was referring to a statement made by PSB which alleged that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has been unable to defend the State’s rights due to failure to secure a DPM post as reported in Malaysiakini yesterday (Aug 28).
Fazzrudin, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy youth chief, further said it was puzzling as to why the party is still keen to play to the gallery, resorting to politicking during this time, when everyone else has moved on to more pertinent and important things such as helping the government curb the spread of Covid-19 and recover the economy.
“This sentiment has been echoed at national level, with Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders themselves meeting the prime minister to find common ground to best handle Covid-19 crisis, save lives and revive the economy.
“This too was in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree for all political parties to unite in fighting Covid-19 and not embroil Malaysia in further uncertainty,” he added.
Fazzrudin also mentioned that Sarawak through its collaboration with the federal government since last year has made several breakthroughs in the restoration of State’s rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Among them were recognition of State’s Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 which allowed the State in complete control of its onshore oil and gas resources and recognition of the State’s rights to its State Sales Tax (SST).
“Presently, Sarawak too under its own Protection of Public Health Ordinance has been able to fine tune the federal government Covid-19 policies to suit the State’s needs. This prevented blanket policies from Putrajaya to be implemented without any second thought.
“The State government too has remained vocal in asserting the State’s rights when negotiating with Putrajaya during PH time outlining immigration autonomous powers; rights to enforce State laws according to the Federal Constitution; State border protection and sovereignty over the sea, underground and its resources within the State as non-negotiable.
“The fight to defend State’s rights continued until now with its demand for the federal government to amend Article 160 (2) of Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the federation, in line with MA63 and one-third representation of Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament,” he elaborated.
Following this, Fazzrudin questioned what had PSB, on the other hand, done in terms of protecting or restoring Sarawak’s rights?
“What did PSB contribute to the overall State development and nation building in Sarawak other than playing perceptions and making baseless accusations to score brownie points among their supporters?
“If anything, it is PSB that has to wake up from its slumber and be a good opposition, contributing ideas that can be of help in reforming the governance of the nation.
“Because as of now, the reality is that the party has failed to show anything of substance that would warrant any support from right thinking individuals and fence-sitters,” he emphasised. – DayakDaily