KUCHING: Sarawakians must work together to accelerate the reformation process and hasten the pace of devolution of powers from the federal government to the state.
See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) said despite the two political regimes or governments, Sarawak have one common hope, the Harapan Sarawak, that is the restoration of Sarawak’s rights in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.
“Despite the two political regimes or governments, we are all Sarawakians. Let us set aside our differences in party politics and work together towards the common Harapan Sarawak.
“All of us have to work doubly hard and our state institutions are not only efficient, but are credible, accountable and transparent to uphold the values and ideals of integrity that we have pledged.
“We must show that we are ready and able to exercise the legislative, fiscal and executive powers that will be devolved to us, for the benefits of Sarawak and all Sarawakians,” he said when debating the motion of thanks for the opening address of the Head of State yesterday.
See said the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud had among other things in his speech on Monday, congratulated Pakatan Harapan (PH) for winning the 14th general election and forming the new federal government.
He added that Taib had expressed his wish that with the mandate given by the people to the PH-led federal government, the country and its citizens would continue to receive benefits in terms of development and prosperity.
“With regards to Sarawak, Taib expressed optimism that under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the federal government would continue to implement programmes and projects in Sarawak for the well-being of all Sarawakians.
“More importantly, he expressed his confidence that the PH federal government will cooperate and work together with the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) State Government to restore Sarawak’s rights in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.”
See also said for the first time in 55 years, from the birth of the Federation of Malaysia, Sarawakians are now served by two governments, the PH federal government and the GPS state government.
There are excitements of hope but not without anxieties and disorientation, he added.
“I would like to believe that the change would work for the benefits of all Sarawakians, as the two political regimes, PH and GPS, gear themselves towards the next Sarawak state election.
“This is federalism, a hierarchical system of government under which two levels of government exercise a range of control over the same geographic area. In our case, the Malaysian Constitution establishes federalism as the sharing of powers between the federal government and the individual state governments,” he reiterated.
As such, he said the different political regimes should be left to work their best to win the Sarawakians’ hearts.
He believed the system of constitutional federalism of shared powers would in the process and in the end benefit the State and all Sarawakians.
He also said a few words to commend the management and staffs of Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak led by director Datu Zuraimi Sabki.
Following a recent meeting with JKR Sarawak, he said Zuraimi and his group are certainly exemplary in the service.
“Through the benefits of examining their projects, the meeting with them, and reading the fact sheets and data concerning their works, I am impressed that they are all hardworking and efficient in delivering the works that are undertaken by them, with quality.
“And there was not an iota of hesitation from them, just instantaneous affirmation when they are requested to undertake more works and projects.
“I am hopeful that this is a reflection of our workforce in our State administrative service, in the various departments and agencies and that everyone is ready and willing to work even harder,” he said.
He also hoped Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin will enlighten the august House in his winding up speech, with regards the total contract sums for the supply of diesel and maintenance of generators for the 369 rural schools using the diesel-powered generators for electricity supply, over the last four years.
“I would also like to know what the present situation is and what are the plans to power up these schools through our state power grid and cheaper and more reliable power sources.
“The minister and his able assistant Dr Annuar Rapaee are both strong advocates to nurture our future generations with quality education, to give them the knowledge and tools to enrich our Sarawakian civilisation. I am sure that all our honourable colleagues share their concern, that we must give the best education for our children and the future generations,” he said.