KUCHING: Democratic Action Party (DAP) state chairman Chong Chieng Jen has filed a motion with the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) secretary to set a clear agenda on autonomy for the state government.
According to him, the 13 points of autonomy that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem successfully obtained from the federal government were merely administrative powers.
“Administration power is only the power to carry out policies set down by the policymakers whereas autonomy is the power to decide the policy,” he told a press conference yesterday.
He said as BN’s landslide win in the 11th state election – 72 out of 82 constituencies – has fulfilled Adenan’s call for a strong mandate, it is imperative for the Chief Minister to honour his electoral pledges. According to Chong, areas on the devolution of power negotiations that should proceed include autonomy of taxation – 20 per cent oil and gas royalties and 50 per cent of all taxes collected in Sarawak – and autonomy of education – having the power to fully determine all matters in relation to education including teaching syllabus and the setting up of English-medium schools.
“The right to allocate more Sarawakian teachers to teach in Sarawak is a mere administrative power in education whereas autonomy in education is the power to decide how many teachers should we have, whether there should be English-medium schools and include the power to write our own syllabus,” he said.
According to him, autonomy of healthcare and the power to determine all matters in relation to hospitals, medical and healthcare services, as well as autonomy of internal affairs would enable the state to run its own police force.