Zahid and Fadillah have role in bridging economic gap

PUTRAJAYA: The two Deputy Prime Ministers have been handed their responsibilities with Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being entrusted with overseeing disaster management in the country, while Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof is to focus on Sabah and Sarawak affairs, especially on matters related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said both would also play an equal role in ensuring that the economic gap between the people in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak will be reduced through the implementation of various measures.

“All powers have been delegated to our fellow elected representatives; we have to be prepared to face possible flood disasters as the weather forecast says it will be gloomy and burdensome weather ahead.

“So we have asked Ahmad Zahid to chair the disaster management committee and come out with immediate measures to monitor the situation and make preparations (for floods).

“Fadillah, on the other hand, has been tasked to ensure that all issues relating to MA63 are resolved as soon as possible,” he told a press conference after chairing a special Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Meanwhile, fostering closer relations between Sarawak, Sabah and the peninsula is also among the main focuses of Fadillah.

The Deputy Prime Minister is also concerned with bridging the facilities and development gap in the two Borneo states.

Fadillah said this was one of the directives issued to him by Anwar during the special meeting yesterday.

“I think we should focus on the gap in terms of relationship between the three regions (Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), so that they can be brought closer together.

“There is also a need to create a true Malaysian spirit that is not region-based, as well as to assimilate the norms and cultures,” he told Bernama.

“Expectations from the Borneo states are quite high.

“I need the cooperation of all MPs, not just Borneo MPs, to see how we can bridge the gap between the three regions,” he added.

Fadillah said that at the special meeting, the Prime Minister had made clear the direction and work that needed to be done, especially in dealing with challenges brought by the rising cost of living and ensuring good governance.

The meeting was the first for the federal ministers after they took their oath of office on Dec 3.

The actual Cabinet meeting would be held tomorrow to clarify the functions of each ministry, Fadillah revealed.

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