Adopt Sarawak’s decentralisation approach to empower local authorities, Abg Jo to Putrajaya

Adopt Sarawak’s decentralisation approach to empower local authorities, Abg Jo to Putrajaya

Abang Johari (second right) gestures, accompanied by Awang Tengah (right), during a symbolic moment during the closing ceremony. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (July 6): Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday suggested the federal government adopt Sarawak’s decentralisation approach to empower local authorities.

He said the targets for the different regions in a state cannot be achieved be achieved due to over-centralisation.

“We have nine (development) agencies throughout the state and this is our decentralisation approach — otherwise, everything will go to Petra Jaya. If we over-centralise, then sometimes the target cannot be achieved.

“So, we empower these agencies and the projects in their respective regions are based on grassroots’ needs. We give RM1.5 billion each to be used within three years. After that, we add again — this means the decision-making is done by the local leaders (in the respective agencies),” he said at the closing ceremony of the Land and Survey Sarawak Innovation and Integrity Day at a hotel here.

As such, the premier called on Putrajaya to emulate this approach to empower the local authorities in Peninsula, namely the respective state governments, so various projects such as the repairing and upgrading of dilapidated schools and clinics can be implemented.

“We (Sarawak) have the capabilities so long as you (Putrajaya) gives us the money as stipulated under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“If you cannot do this (adopt the decentralisation approach), then empower us in Sarawak (to do it). No problem,” he said.

Also present was Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.








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