Tuaran MP: Upgrade Sarawak, Sabah Affairs Division to full ministry

Madius speaking in Parliament.

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KUCHING, March 14: Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau has urged the government to upgrade the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Division (BHESS) to a full ministry with its own chief secretary.

He said that the division’s role, function, and duties are extensive enough to ensure that the promises made during the formation of Malaysia through Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, and the Federal Constitution can be implemented.

“This also ensures governance that meets the requirements of MA63 and is translated into a government delivery system that meets the aspirations of the leaders and people of the two regions that formed Malaysia at that time.

“By elevating BHESS as a full ministry, Sabah and Sarawak can be brought into the flow of national development until we can point out the gaps in regional development as well as regional security,” he said.

Accordinbg to a statement, he said this during yesterday’s debate session in the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur (March 13).

Madius, from United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko), said that Malaysia’s delivery system is in turmoil today, thus exacerbating regional development imbalance.

“Sabah and Sarawak continue to lag not because we are late in starting the development process but because of the unfair distribution of allocations from federal revenue collection and the failure to fully implement MA63,” he said.

He said that the regional development gap should be the focus of the ministry, and the minister would have to send a proposal to the Cabinet by taking the views of the Sarawak Premier and Sabah Chief Minister.

Madius also added that he would suggest that the minister, together with leaders from Sarawak, Sabah, and Peninsular Malaysia, get a broader perspective on how to build a fair, just, and prosperous Malaysia. — DayakDaily