Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Azmin promises locals top Sarawak posts on polls win

By Boo Su-Lyn

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — PKR’s Azmin Ali has promised Sarawakians senior state civil service positions — many of which are currently held by those from peninsular Malaysia — should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) win the state and Putrajaya in the next general election.

The newly-minted PKR deputy president pledged to Sarawakians at Bintulu yesterday that the pact would grant them “full autonomy” in the event of a victory in snap polls that are widely speculated to be held within the first quarter of next year.

“If you look at the major appointments of important institutions and organisations in Sabah and Sarawak, appointments were mainly made by the federal government by sending senior civil servants from Semenanjung (Peninsula Malaysia),” Azmin told The Malaysian Insider today.

“My point is, why Semenanjung? Don’t we have Sarawakians that can hold these important posts?” added Azmin.

The Gombak MP listed several top state posts that were filled by Malaysians from the peninsula, such as the state police chief, the state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director, the state customs director, and the state immigrations director.

“These are important appointments made by Barisan Nasional (BN), but the practice in the past is that they send people from Semenanjung. They should recognise Sabah and Sarawak,” said Azmin.

Azmin also vowed to increase the state’s petroleum royalties should the pact come to run the federal government.

“Under the leadership of Pakatan Rakyat, we promise them that we will increase the royalty for petroleum from five to 20 per cent,” said Azmin.

“This is what the federal government has ignored for the past 46 years. So, Pakatan Rakyat pledges to deliver back to Sabah and Sarawak in order to recognise the agreement.”

Azmin, also Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, said the pledge was made during Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Sabah four or five months ago, when the opposition coalition promised to grant autonomy to the East Malaysian states should Sarawak and Sabah give PR a mandate in the 13th general election.

“We said we will recognise the agreement signed 46 years ago, during the formation of Malaysia,” said Azmin, referring to the 18-point agreement that was made between Sarawak and then federal government prior to the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963, as well as a similar 20-point agreement between Sabah and the federal government.

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