Honour promise on autonomy over education and health, Sarawak tells PH

Michael Manyin says legacy issues have nothing to do with the granting of autonomy over education and health matters to Sarawak.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s education, science and technological research minister has urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to honour its electoral promise to grant the state autonomy over education and health matters.

“The state government has requested, during ongoing discussions on the implementation of the Malaysian Agreement 1963, that the federal government issues an order to transfer executive authority over education and health to the state government,” Michael Manyin said.

He said the federal government should issue an order under Article 80(4) read with 95B(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

In his winding-up speech at the state assembly today, Manyin said the state government had also requested the federal government to invoke Article 80(6) where the federal government would provide adequate funds to enable the state to discharge executive functions over education and health.

“If no agreement is reached between the state and federal governments, the amount to be provided by the federal government shall be determined by a tribunal appointed by the chief justice of Malaysia,” he said.

Manyin said that when PH came into power on May 9 last year, it had promised a “New Malaysia” with assurances that there would be institutional reforms, lower cost of living, 20% oil royalty, 50% revenues collected from Sarawak, plus greater autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak, particularly in education and public health matters.

“Today, more than 18 months later, nearly all these promises have not been kept, and they blame the previous government for that,” he said, adding that it only showed that PH was unable to govern.

Manyin said the people had expected a capable government which was able to resolve whatever legacy problems it may have inherited and deliver on its promises.

He said the granting of autonomy over education and health matters to the state should not be affected by the legacy issues of the previous government in Putrajaya.