Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Better for Sarawak to get development funds than DPM post, says analyst

Better to get development funds than DPM post, says analyst

Fadillah Yusof and Alexander Nanta Linggi are among those being touted as potential candidates to be deputy prime minister II.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawakians would prefer a bigger allocation for development of state infrastructure rather than having a Sarawakian as a deputy prime minister (DPM), says a political analyst.

Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said Sarawakians would rather have their rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) upheld and greater priority given to the state when it comes to improving infrastructure.

“What’s the use of a Sarawakian holding the number two post when it benefits only the individual? It would be better to push for greater development funds which will benefit everyone,” he told FMT.

Having a Sarawakian as a DPM would not necessarily result in better allocations for the state or being prioritised for development, he said.

“However, if Sarawak gets both (the DPM post and benefits) it would be even better.”

The Sarawak United People’s Party had recently called for a DPM II post to be created and filled by an MP from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

SUPP secretary-general Sebastian Ting also proposed that either PBB senior vice-president Fadillah Yusof or GPS secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi be appointed.

PBB and SUPP are both members of the GPS coalition.

Fadillah was a senior minister and works minister in the previous administration, while Alexander was the domestic trade and consumer affairs minister.

Another political analyst said the ruling coalition in Sarawak would be “quite happy” with a DPM II post.

James Chin, a professor of Asian studies at the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute, said the creation of such a post would not be controversial as long as the DPM I position is held by a senior minister from the peninsula.

Chin, who recently said GPS were the biggest winners in the recent political crisis, said the coalition would, at the minimum, get the same number of ministerial posts it had in the previous administration.

GPS had four ministers and deputy ministers each in the previous Perikatan Nasional administration.

Chin added that while Sarawakians would also prefer greater autonomy and full compliance with MA63 among others, a DPM II post “would be a bonus”.

Asked if appointing a Sarawakian to the DPM II post would help shore up support for Ismail Sabri Yaakob in the polls, Chin said it was “unlikely”.

The move would only help GPS who would be able to now claim they got a better deal with Umno.

GPS had come under fire recently for not supporting Shafie Apdal, president of Sabah-based Warisan, as the opposition candidate for the prime ministership after Muhyddin Yassin resigned.

1 comment:

  1. Except for a short 21 months under PH, Sarawak has been part of the Ruling Coalition at Federal and State Level for nearly 57 years.

    It is ridiculous and shameful that large parts of Sarawak are still lacking in most basic necessities.

    What is the plan if the Ruling GPS coalition for another XX years ?
    More of the same ?