Monday, August 10

Chong: GPS govt rejected federal govt’s offer of full autonomy for education, healthcare

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Chong speaks to reporters at the DUN lobby. — File photo

KUCHING: Chong Chieng Jen (PH-Kota Sentosa) has claimed in the August House today that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government had turned down Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government’s offer of full autonomy for education and healthcare.

The PH Sarawak chairman pointed out that it made no sense for the Sarawak government to say that they wanted the money and not the responsibility of taking over the two relevant ministries – education and health.

According to Chong, the 20 per cent oil and gas royalties and 50 per cent tax revenue collected from Sarawak be returned to Sarawak as promised by PH in its manifesto are meant for the Sarawak government to take full control of the mentioned ministries.

“It’s a package, the 15 per cent extra oil and gas royalties and 50 per cent tax revenue collected from Sarawak to Sarawak is for the Sarawak government to take over education and healthcare in Sarawak.

“You will even have excess of money if you make the two ministries more cost-effective,” he said when debating the motions of thanks on the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s opening remarks.

Chong said the Sarawak government can decide how many doctors and teachers to recruit as well as how many and where to built the hospitals and schools once the decentralisation of the two ministries took place.

He stressed that the package of 20 per cent of oil and gas royalties and 50 per cent of tax revenue collected from Sarawak to Sarawak “is to finance the running of ministries of education and health in Sarawak”.

“But GPS said they want the money and not the responsibility. You cannot do that.”

He, thus, hoped that the Sarawak Consultative Committee on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) could look into the matter and consider the proposal to take over the two ministries.