Increase efforts to push for devolution of powers – See

See Chee How

KUCHING: Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the state government to step up the efforts in the talk with Putrajaya on the devolution of powers for the 13 key subject matters which had been promised to Sarawakians and said to be ongoing for more than a year without any progress.

“Malaysia Day is just around the corner. It is only fitting for the Sarawak and Sabah state governments to reveal the progress of the meetings and discussions on the devolution of powers and make substantial fiscal allocations to the two East Malaysian states to ensure that they can better strategise, plan and implement projects to suit the needs of the states,” he told a press conference here today.

See, who is state PKR vice chairman, said he felt the need to send this reminder because Putrajaya is only paying lip service when it comes to respecting Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in the federation.

“While promising to uphold the autonomous powers for East Malaysia, it is doing the opposite such as the implementation of the Tourism Tax and continuous disposal of Sarawak and Sabah’s petroleum equity stakes to foreign companies instead of giving due respect and recognition to Sarawak and Sabah.”

He said the hypocrisy of the federal government is again exposed in the visit by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the United States of America.

“The pledge of almost RM100 billion investments from Malaysia to the United States in return for a short five minutes and 58 second long meeting with the President of the US is making a mockery of our country internationally. Even the stay of the PM and his entourage at the Trump International Hotel was also scorned as intending to curry flavor the President but brought embarrassment to the White House.”

See said it must be devastating to all Malaysians to hear the prime minister telling the US President that his RM100 billion pledge is to help the US “in terms of strengthening the US economy” while back home, the prime minister had told Malaysians that the government has no money to pay the civil servants without imposing the goods and services tax (GST), that the country will go bankrupt if it is not imposing GST and that it has no money for housing, hospitals, schools and PTPTN loans.

“Why does Malaysia, which now records the largest debts in our country’s history, pledge RM100 billion to help the world’s largest economy and number one superpower “to strengthen their economy”? In terms of the country’s economy, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the US is 60 times that of Malaysia, standing at US$19.42 trillion. The RM100 billion actually do not count for much to the US but it will mean a lot to Malaysia.”

Therefore, he said Sarawak and Sabah government should ask the prime minister for the allocations to replace and rebuild our dilapidated schools, to commence work on all the hospitals that are promised to Sarawak and Sabah, roads linking all the rural towns to spur economic growth in our rural interior of Sarawak and Sabah, and basic amenities such as treated water supply and electricity to all our rural homes.

“It must be stressed again and again to the prime minister and Putrajaya that Sarawak has 1,454 schools, of which 1,020 are dilapidated and 415 in critical condition. And it was the prime minister who had promised to help but said that the federal government has no money and instead urged the Sarawak government to make use of our own money to rebuild and replace the dilapidated schools.

“We must demand for a federal strategic plan and programme and immediate fiscal allocations to start rebuilding and replacing the dilapidated schools on this Malaysia Day.”

 

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