KUCHING: Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) hopes that the Pan-Borneo Highway will become a reality, particularly when Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof is from Sarawak.
And not only that, MTUC also expects that the highway, once completed, will be toll-free.
“With works minister from Sarawak, perhaps our Pan-Borneo Highway will become a reality and toll-free,” MTUC secretary Andrew Lo said in a statement yesterday.
Fadillah, who is Petra Jaya MP, was named as works minister by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his new cabinet on Wednesday.
On a related matter, Lo pointed out that the new cabinet had too many ministries, which he feared would only hamper efforts to make the civil service more efficient.
“Transformation must mean that we must be lean and mean and be efficient and productive,” Lo stressed.
In view of this, he suggested that the following 10 ministries be merged into five – Ministry of Transport to be merged with Works Ministry, Ministry of Communication and Multimedia with Science, Technology, Innovation and Green Technology, Ministry of Urban Well-Being and Ministry of Housing and Local Government with Federal Territories, Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities with Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, and Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water with Natural Resources and Environment.
“We are concerned that the government’s operating expenses is taking a large chunk of our annual budget,” Lo stressed, and pointed out that to promote efficient governance, Najib should not become the Finance Minister.
Lo also said that MTUC strongly hoped that the big increase in the number of ministers from Sarawak will translate into more development for the state.
On the appointment of Datuk Richard Riot Jaem as Minister of Human Resource, Lo hoped that it was a signal by Najib that human resources practices in the state, especially workers protection and Trade Unions rights, be enhanced to ensure that workers have an equitable share in the economic development of the state.
“We don’t want the plantation and the industries in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) continue to be dominated by foreign workers,” Lo stressed.