By : LUKE RINTOD
KOTA KINABALU:Sabah State Reform Party Chief Dr Jeffrey Kitingan sees the appointment of 10 ministers from Sabah as a 'positive move' on the part of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak but was still short of 'being fair' to them.
“It is a positive move and an improvement (from previous cabinets). But it’s far from being fair to Malaysian component partners (Sabah and Sarawak) which should get 25% each (about 15 seats) share of the Federal Cabinet posts.
“Anyway, overall Najib has done what other previous PMs have failed to do in this regard,” said Jeffrey
Both Sabah and Sarawak have collectively an unprecedented 21 ministers and deputy ministers.
In fact for the first time, two ministries – Rural and Regional Developemnt and Women Family and Community Development – are helmed entirely by ministers from Sabah and Sarawak.
Other ministeries with either ministers or deputy ministers from Sabah and Sarawak were Defence, Home Affairs, Education, Works, Foreign Affairs, Human Resources, Urban Wellbeing, Housing & Local Government, Plantation Industries & Commodities, Energy, Green Technology & Water, Tourism & Culture, Science, Technology and Innovation, Natural Resources & Environment
But the much speculated Ministry for Sabah and Sarawak Affairs and a deputy prime minister’s post however did not materialise for Borneo.
Jeffrey said: “I would have liked Najib to appreciate the need to appoint a Minister of Sabah-Sarawak Affairs and resolve the long-standing problems affecting the two nation-states which are rooted in the formation of Malaysia/Malaysia Agreement.
“I wish for Najib to look into this before it is too late. Alternatively Sabah and Sarawak should each have a Deputy Prime Minister.
“However it is good that Anifah Aman and Shafie Apdal were reappointed to their (previous) positions,” he said, adding that it would aid in resolving the perennial issues of poverty and rural development as well as the Sulu claims.
Meawnhile, the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation Chairman, Daniel John Jambun has called on the new government to solve the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.
“It is useless to have many ministers if they fail to fight for Sabah’s right as stated in the Borneo Agenda.
“Solve the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah by issuing new identity cards for genuine Sabahans, create more employment, reduce poverty and build more affordable housing, then it is meaningful…” he said. (FMT)