Decentralise more powers to Sarawak, Deputy Premier urges Federal Govt

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan at the state assembly on Wednesday (May 24). - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: The Federal Government should decentralise more powers to Sarawak so that the state government can deliver services more efficiently, says Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The Deputy Premier said the recognition of the state Public Works Department and Drainage and Irrigation Department as technical departments was laudable as it gave the state government the authority to implement federal projects worth up to RM50mil in Sarawak.

"This is a clear manifestation that decentralisation is the right move. In fact, it is necessary for the Sarawak government to be given more autonomy so that we can deliver services to the rakyat in an effective manner.

"We will continue to pursue with the Federal Government to have more federal projects approved for Sarawak and the funds to be directly channelled to the state," he said.

Awang Tengah, who is also the state International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister, said this when winding up matters related to the ministry at the state assembly here on Wednesday (May 24).

He also called on the Federal Government to address the issue of empowering Sarawak in education and health.

He said this would enhance and upgrade education and health services in the state for the benefit and well-being of Sarawakians.

In addition, Awang Tengah said all matters related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) must be implemented immediately.

"As we all know, the Malaysia Agreement had been agreed upon in 1963 and not yesterday.

"MA63 is the foundation for the formation of our nation. In fact, there is no Malaysia if there is no Malaysia Agreement 1963.

"That is why it is important for the Federal Government to sincerely honour and fulfil the constitutional rights of Sarawak, which is an equal partner in the formation of the Federation (of Malaysia)," he said.

He added that Sarawak would continue to pursue this agenda as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, MA63, Inter-Governmental Committee Report and state constitution.

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