Unimas chairman post should be maintained for Sarawakians, asserts Star

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Jan 7: State Reform Party (Star) president Lina Soo hailed Tan Sri Kamal Mat Salih’s decision to resign as the chairman of University Sarawak Malaysia (Unimas).

“Sarawakians salute him. We hope Tan Sri Sulong Matjeraie will resume his duties and complete it to full time,” she said in a media statement today.

Congratulating Sarawakians for their unity in this issue, Soo stressed that this demonstrated that unity of the people was integral to protecting and defending Sarawak rights.

“We will triumph!” she exclaimed.

She also reminded that the post of Unimas chairman must be maintained for Sarawakians from this point onward.

“We have many talents and intellectuals from the various communities. What about the next chairman in 2021 being a Dayak academic?” she proposed.

With Kamal’s impressive credentials, Soo pointed out that he would be an asset to other universities in Peninsula Malaysia that would be lucky to have him.

“He is a gentleman and we wish him all the best in his future undertakings,” she added.

Kamal announced his resignation on Jan 6 after his appointment was criticised by the Sarawak government.

The economist announced his resignation as he did not want to be caught in any political conflict.

He noted that the state government wanted a Sarawakian to helm the post as it had voiced its dissatisfaction over not being consulted on his appointment.

Kamal, who heads the Malaysian lnstitute of Economic Research (MIER), was named to replace Sulong, whose term was supposed to expire in April 2021.

He would have been the first non-Sarawakian to be appointed as Unimas chairman. His appointment would have been effective from Jan 1, 2020 until Dec 31, 2022.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had on Jan 3 expressed its displeasure on not being consulted and informed of Kamal’s appointment as the fourth chairman of Unimas.

CMO also clarified that Unimas Board chairman had always been appointed after consultation with the state government. —DayakDaily