KUCHING: The state government did not sign the ‘New Deal Agreement’ offered by Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak because it did not recognise PH Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen and two signatories of the said deal as legal representatives of the federal government then.
In explaining this, Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol said such offers from PH Sarawak were not valid and had no force of law.
He then said the offers were, in the first place, not consistent and violated the motion that was supported and approved by all Sarawak assemblymen in the previous State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.
“PH leaders in Sarawak should be reminded that two motions on matters relating to oil royalty were devolution of powers tabled in the last DUN sitting and unanimously supported by all ADUNs (assemblypersons) including all those from the then-opposition.
“Those demands or negotiation must be appropriately addressed and for the attention of the federal government,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Moreover, Abdullah said with the PH having formed the federal government, Chong and his PH Sarawak colleagues must support the state government’s efforts in securing all that it had been demanding – if they are truly Sarawakians and genuinely want to see Sarawak being developed and becoming prosperous.
“Chong and his colleagues in PH Sarawak should now concentrate on fulfilling their election manifesto as soon as possible, and prove that they are serious and not bluffing on these matters,” said Abdullah.
Chong, at a press conference here on Wednesday, said the offer on oil and gas was off because the state government refused to sign the ‘new deal’, which was proposed before the 14th general election (GE14) on May 9 this year.
The deal stated greater autonomy for Sarawak in the event that PH became the new federal government.
The deal, according to Chong, included 20 per cent oil and gas royalty, as well as autonomy over education and health matters.