PETALING JAYA: Sarawak will continue pressing for autonomy over health and education as the state now has enough talented people to handle such matters, according to deputy premier Dr Sim Kui Hian.
“We know what to do. It’s not like in the past when we did not have enough doctors and educationists, he said today.
He said the late Adenan Satem as chief minister had stressed the need for 90% of teachers in the state to be Sarawakian, for this very reason, being among (the) steps towards regaining autonomy.
“When we are able to get back our education rights, then we can have our own syllabus. We do not want the federal government to say that we lack manpower, expertise and experience to have our education rights restored,” he said
He said the Sarawak government had difficulty in obtaining needed facilities because health and education matters are under the federal government.
“When our premier wanted to repair dilapidated schools, we still had to give the money to the federal government,” he said at an SUPP event in Sibu. “We cannot go and build our own,” Borneo Post quoted him as saying.
Citing the proposed construction of the Sarawak Cancer Centre, Dr Sim said the state still needed federal approval although the state government had agreed to give a loan for the project.
“We do not want the people in Sarawak to continue to suffer because the federal government said they have no money.”
He said the state government would continue to pursue autonomy over health and education matters as provided under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Even if Sarawak obtains autonomy on health and education, the federal government would still need to give the state approximately RM6 billion a year for both portfolios, he said.Ads by Kiosked
“They still need to give us money because income tax is collected by the federal government and so is 95% of oil royalty,” he said.