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Fazzrudin to PSB: Stop politicking, focus on fighting Covid-19 and economic recovery

0 month ago, 29-Aug-2021

Fazzruddin Abdul Rahman

KUCHING (Aug 29): A Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmaker is puzzled that Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) still resorts to politicking when everyone focuses on helping the government curb the spread of Covid-19 and in economic recovery.

Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman said even at the national level, Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders had met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to find a common ground to best handle the pandemic crisis, save lives and revive the economy.

He said this too was in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree for all political parties to unite in fighting Covid-19 and not embroil Malaysia in further uncertainty.

“The appointment of the deputy prime minister position and the Cabinet for that matter, is the prerogative of the prime minister and this should be respected by all.

“If the premier felt that the new government should do away with the deputy premier position for it to focus on arresting the nations Covid-19 situation, bringing the country out of the current slump, so be it,” he said in a statement today.

The statement was issued in response to PSB’s allegation that GPS had been unable to defend Sarawak’s rights due to failing to secure a deputy prime minister post as reported by Malaysiakini yesterday.

For the record, Fazzrudin said Sarawak, through its collaboration with the federal government since last year, had made several breakthroughs in the restoration of state rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The most crucial one, he pointed out, was the recognition of the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958, which allowed the state in complete control of its onshore oil and gas resources.

He said this enabled greater participation by the state government through Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) in terms of regulating oil mining in the state to protect the interests and aspirations of Sarawakians.

At the same time, Petronas and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government also recognised the state’s rights to its State Sales Tax (SST), he added.

“Presently, Sarawak too under its own Protection of Public Health Ordinance has been able to fine-tune the federal government Covid-19 policies to suit the state needs. This prevented blanket policies from Putrajaya to be implemented without any second thought.

“The state government too has remained vocal in asserting the state’s rights when negotiating with Putrajaya during PH’s time outlining immigration autonomous powers; rights to enforce state laws according to the Federal Constitution; state border protection and sovereignty over the sea, underground and its resources within the state as non-negotiable,” he said.

He added that the fight to defend the state’s rights continued until now with its demand for the federal government to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the federation, in line with MA63 and one-third representation of Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament.

“All this was done by the GPS state government, which begs the question – What has PSB done in terms of protecting or restoring Sarawak’s rights? As the old proverb goes, empty vessels make the most noise,” stressed Fazzrudin.

He said PSB had gone to some length to dispute and disregard the efforts by the state government to protect and restore Sarawak’s eroded rights.

He thus asked what exactly PSB wanted and what PSB had contributed to the overall state development and nation-building in Sarawak other than playing perceptions and making baseless accusations to score brownie points among their supporters.

“If anything, it is PSB that has to wake up from its slumber and be a good opposition, contributing ideas that can be of help in reforming the governance of the nation.

“Because as of now, the reality is that the party has failed to show anything of substance that would warrant any support from right-thinking individuals and fence-sitters,” he asserted.

Fazzrudin therefore urged Sarawakians to not fall for the ploy that PSB was propagating, which was divisive in nature and did not bode well for the harmony and unity that the state has enjoyed.

“GPS’ commitment to protecting Sarawak’s rights never wavered, be it in or out of the federal government, staying true to its tagline, ‘Sarawak First’ which the state’s rights and interests must be prioritised. The facts, the figures, results and track record speaks for itself,” he added.

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