DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen believes the reshuffle was the latest in a series of moves that signal a change in tone in the Federal Government's relationship with Sarawak after the state election.
Freemalaysiatoday July 15,2016
KUCHING: The recent removal of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri as law minister is a setback to the state’s autonomy movement, claims Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen.
Shukri is no longer the minister in charge of law as she will be assuming new responsibilities in overseeing six other agencies following a minor Cabinet reshuffle announced yesterday.
These agencies included Land Public Transport Commission, Sarawak Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, Sabah Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, the Malaysian Innovation Agency, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) and the Malaysian Nuclear Agency.
Nancy’s former law portfolio has been taken over by Azalina Othman Said.
In a press conference today, Chong said the reappointment has impeded Sarawak’s call for more autonomy and Adenan’s assertion that the state is now proceeding with the second phase of his demand for greater autonomy.
State BN leaders have said the state government was in the process of studying possible changes to laws in relation to the relationship between the Federal Government and Sarawak.
“This removal of Nancy Shukri is seen as a setback to our state’s autonomy movement,” Chong told the media here.
“What the state is concentrating on now in this autonomy movement is to study all the laws necessary to be amended or repealed so as to devolve more (federal) power to the state. That was said during the state assembly in June.
“To carry out that agenda, Nancy Shukri, being a Sarawakian sitting as a law minister, would be the most appropriate person to facilitate this,” Chong said.
“But less than a month after the statement was made and the committee set up, Nancy Shukri has been removed as law minister and replaced by Azalina, who is a gung ho, uptight Umno minister who has not shown much concern or respect for Sarawak’s autonomy and its rights.”
Chong said Azalina’s record was one of a parliamentarian who has not “given much attention” when debates on Sarawak’s rights were brought up.
“Therefore, I see the removal of Nancy Shukri and her replacement with Azalina as law minister as a setback that will hamper the state’s call for more autonomy.
“I believe Prime Minister (Najib Razak) is well aware of that. And that is why Nancy Shukri was removed,” Chong said.
Chong said Nancy’s new appointment was the fourth in a series of apparent slights by the Federal Government.
“There has been a change of tone by the Federal Government, especially by Najib about Sarawak’s position after the state election.
“Before the state election, he prided himself as a prime minister who loves Sarawak most. He backed this up by saying he had made 53 visits to Sarawak.
“But after the state election, I can’t remember him coming to Sarawak and we are entering the third month already.”
Chong said the second slight was when Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Douglas Uggah Embas gave up his post in the Federal Cabinet to become deputy chief minister of Sarawak but the position was not taken up by a Sarawak MP, but was instead given to Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong.
Chong added that another slight occurred when Adenan presented the memorandum of understanding regarding Sarawak’s rights to Najib.
“Najib can come to Sarawak 53 times before the election. But when it came to the presentation of the memorandum for more autonomy for Sarawak, Adenan has to fly all the way to Kuala Lumpur. Why is it Najib cannot make the trip to Sarawak?
“Given all these subtle signs of change in attitude, I call upon Adenan Satem to wake up. If he truly wants to fight for autonomy for Sarawak, there is a great urgency to do so now,” Chong said.
“If you wait until the 14th general election, if Umno consolidates its power and strength in West Malaysia, you can forget about it.”
Freemalaysiatoday July 15,2016