It’s over, says Chong of devolution of power

Chong (centre) with Dr Yii on the left and Wong, holding the May 17 and 18 public holiday declaration which was received by the Education Department at 4.20pm on May 15.

KUCHING: The deal to restore the rights of Sarawak under Malaysia Agreement 1963 which was offered by Pakatan Harapan (PH) to the state is now off because the state government refused to sign a deal proposed by PH before GE14.

This was disclosed by State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen yesterday who said the ‘New Deal’ offered to the state government which included 20 per cent oil royalty, autonomy over education and health to the state if PH were to form the next federal government was handed over to the state government just before the GE14.

“To hand over the devolution of power, the recipient (the state government) needs to sign, and because they did not sign, so the deal is off,” Chong told a press conference at the DAP headquarters here.

Other offers in the ‘New Deal’ are 50 per cent of all tax collected in Sarawak be given to state government as revenue to undertake education and health, restoration of Sarawak to one of the three territories instead of one of the 13 territories and devolution of power in commence and trade.

Earlier Chong expressed disappointment over the state Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s decision to disallow schools to conduct classes on May 17 and 18.

He opined that the decision was ridiculous and a vengeful act after losing the just-concluded 14th general election (GE14).

Chong said he met representatives of state Education Department on May 15, and was given an understanding that individual schools could apply to have classes conducted on May 17 and 18, which had been declared public holiday by the state government.

“But a few hours later (about 4.20pm), the officers received directive from the state government insisting and advising that schools should not write in to conduct classes, but to close down…this is ridiculous, and it only shows immaturity and small heartedness of the state government.

“This is typical politicising an education matter and along the way people suffer (students suffer and teachers suffer) because of the way the state BN government handles this matter, insisting that schools must be closed on May 17 and 18.”

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman and state DAP chairman, pointed out that kindergartens were also affected by the directive.


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