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KUCHING, July 2: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang commented that the full cabinet appointments unveiled today was a big disappointment to Sarawakians.
Tiang said Sarawak remained on the losing end ever since Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya.
State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian was sworn in as Minister of Works while state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen was appointed Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
“Although Sarawak is one of the three founding members of the Federation of Malaysia, Sarawak representatives only make up four per cent of the total number of the PH Cabinet. This is the tiniest number of representatives in the cabinet since 1963,” Tiang said in a statement today.
He argued that this constituted the loudest denial of Sarawak’s founding partner status and questioned the change promised by PH in the run-up to the May 9 polls.
Tiang said PH was looking for lame excuses for not delivering on their election promises, particularly the promise of 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent of the tax collected from Sarawak to be returned to the state.
“When the suit was commenced by Petronas against the Sarawak government over the rights to oil and gas in Sarawak, whereby our rights over our own oil and gas were being questioned and challenged, Sarawak PH MPs chose to remain silent throughout the whole episode.
“DAP Sarawak used to accuse the former BN Sarawak political parties for causing Sarawak to be downgraded to become one of the 13 states in Malaysia. Likewise I would like to demand for an answer from DAP Sarawak – isn’t it clear that Sarawak’s position was further eroded by PH in the newly formed Cabinet?” he asked.
While congratulating Baru and Chong on their appointments, Tiang also criticised Chong for wearing a songkok at the swearing-in ceremony today. Chong used to reject wearing the official songkok at Sarawak DUN ceremonial activities.
Tiang said Sarawak DAP and PKR were not local-based political parties but “cawangan” (branches) of parties from the peninsula.
“Be it positions in the party or in the cabinet, both Sarawak DAP and PKR representatives are nothing more than auxiliary members. Therefore, both Sarawak DAP and PKR branch chiefs are only given one full minister and one deputy minister posts.”
Tiang said Warisan Sabah had two full ministers and two deputies even though they had only eight MPs, whereas Sarawak PH had 12. — DayakDaily