KUCHING: If there is any issue that received positive response from both political divides, it is the proposal made by United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko) for the creation of a second deputy prime minister’s post to look after the affairs of Sarawak and Sabah.
It drew the agreement of both Tan Sri Dr James Masing (Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president) and Baru Bian (PKR state chief) who said the proposal was timely to improve and hasten the pace of development in both states.
“The second prime minister’s post should be given to a non-Umno party which has the most number of parliamentary seats.
“It should be rotated between Sarawak and Sabah through consultation among the MPs and supreme council of the two states for a period of five years or one term,” Masing told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
He added that the second DPM should be stationed in Putrajaya where the seat of power is based.
Masing also said the matter should be considered seriously by the BN top leadership.
In a rare sign of support to the BN proposal, Baru said the suggestion in fact originated from PKR.
“This proposal was from us. My party had brought up the issue in parliament before but it did not get positive response. So if BN brings up the issue again, we will definitely support it,” he said.
According to Baru, after Malaysia was formed in 1963, the federal government had appointed the late Tun Jugah Barieng as the minister of special affairs to look after Sarawak and Sabah.
“Because if not, due to the slow rate of development taking place in Sarawak and Sabah, the two states will always lag behind compared to Semenanjung Malaysia.
“Thus, there is a need to create a deputy prime minister’s post to enhance and improve the pace of development in both states,” he said.
The main contention for Upko to propose the second prime minister’s post to look after the affairs of the two states was to expedite development in both states.
During Upko’s Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) in Kota Kinabalu recently, its president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had called for the post of a second deputy chairman of BN, who would then be appointed as the second DPM to represent East Malaysia.