Political leaders long considered Sarawak and Sabah as regions, says PRS president

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Jan 14 — Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum today said political leaders from Sarawak and Sabah have always considered the two as regions since the formation of Malaysia rather than states.

He said Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had even affirmed that Sarawak and Sabah as regions.

“The more people think about Sarawak and Sabah as regions, the more people will understand how Malaysia was formed, and why Sarawak and Sabah have their own immigration laws.

“And why we ask for special allocations and why we should be given more autonomy with regards developing the state because of its size,” Salang told reporters after chairing the party supreme council meeting this evening.

He was asked to respond to Ahmad Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister, who at the Umno general assembly yesterday declared that both Sarawak and Sabah are regions, not states.

On a separate issue, Salang urged the state government to appoint more PRS supporters to hold positions in the government-linked companies and as political secretaries, councilors and community leaders.

He said the party feels that it is good if it can show to its supporters that it is not just thinking about the state assembly and parliamentary seats, but also to tell the grassroot supporters that they are not left out.

“This is why we want our supporters to be appointed as community leaders such as temenggong, pemanca, and penghulu and councilors in the tate and parliamentary constituencies that are held by other parties of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GRS),” he said.

“We, therefore, want the state government to be inclusive in the appointments, especially with regards to the representations from the grassroots,” he said.

Salang said the appointments should reflect the actual situation on the ground.

He also urged the state government to appoint a party member as an Iban temenggong for Sri Aman Division to replace the person who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 80 years.