KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting said that it was important for Sarawak to continue having a strong presence of Sarawakian MPs in the Federal Cabinet.
In referring to the new Federal Cabinet line-up announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Aug 27), he said this would ensure that Sarawak’s interests were well articulated, presented and thus protected in the new Federal government.
“We are confident that the new federal government will continue to work closely with the Sarawak government and that it will honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and all the Sarawak’s rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution (FC) and State Constitution (FC) and Sarawak’s Ordinances,” he said yesterday (Aug 27).
Ting added SUPP and the Sarawak government would continue pursuing the return of the education and health ministries to Sarawak control as they were two important factors in ensuring and enhancing productivity and good health of our people.
“More autonomy on these two ministries must be chartered out with the eventual return of such two ministries to Sarawak.
“We believe the new government will continue to be sincere, transparent and genuine when discussions on the return of more autonomy to Sarawak are held in the future.
“This is very important to Sarawak and its people expect the return of those rights which were eroded since the formation of Malaysia in 1963,” he said.
On the non-appointment of a deputy prime minister, Ting said it was the prime minister’s prerogative to form his own Cabinet as he saw fit as they were the ones who would assist him in managing the country.
“There’s nothing in law that says he must have a deputy prime minister,” he said.
Ting added this was the second time that a deputy prime minister had not been appointed by a new prime minister when he formed his new Cabinet Ministers.
“Like most people, SUPP believes that the choice of a deputy prime minister is a challenging one and certainly not an easy decision, with so many factors to be considered. Our prime minister has his own reasons. It has not been easy for him,” he said.
Ting also congratulated the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs who had been reappointed in the new federal Cabinet.
“Though SUPP is disappointed that our deputy president 1 Datuk Seri Richard Riot has not been appointed now, we firmly believe that our new prime minister will consider a suitable appointment for Riot when the occasion arises,” he said.
Nevertheless, Ting hoped that under the new federal government, the nation would heal from political turmoil and that there would be no more unnecessary politicking in future.
“This is so that the new government can fully concentrate and focus on combating the Covid-19, improving people’s welfare and reviving the country’s economy to prepare for post Covid-19,” he said.