Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has the right to ‘warn’ the federal government on the progress of the negotiation of devolution of power to Sarawak, says Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri.
She reasoned that as the state leader, Adenan had shown his seriousness in returning Sarawak’s rights to Sarawakians.
“It is the responsibility of Sarawak government to regard the matter (devolution of power) as something that needs serious attention; not just ‘empty talks’.
“The chief minister holds this responsibility – Sarawakians put their trust in him to carry out this task and also for the federal government to hear their voice.
“We hope that our counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia understand the sentiment here. We’re not asking too much; just those
things that are rightfully ours,” she told reporters at the closing of ‘Hari Aerobikthon’ hosted by SK Sungai Stutong here yesterday.
Nancy’s remarks referred to recent online news reports, which quoted Adenan as having said that Barisan Nasional (BN) must show ‘results’ in the discussions over the devolution of power by the federal government to Sarawak; otherwise, the coalition could risk losing to the opposition in the next 14th general election.
Nancy believed that the outcome of the negotiation could be revealed by the end of the year.
According to her, the first meeting by the newly-set up State Autonomy and Devolution of Powers Working Committee with the federal government would be called soon.
“We don’t want it (devolution of power) to be all talk – we in Sarawak can hardly wait to enjoy the same level of progress as that in Peninsular Malaysia, although the rate of development (in Sarawak) has been quite encouraging, thanks to the good relationship between the state and federal governments,” she said.
Meanwhile, on the amendment to Section 375 of the Penal Code slated for redefining rape, Nancy said it was on-going.
The current definition of rape is deemed as ‘being too narrow, limited to penile penetration’. Cases of penetration involving fingers and organs other than the penis, and also penetration using other objects, are not regarded as ‘rape’.
According to Nancy, the Attorney-General Chambers is in the process of finalising the amendments.
“In drafting the law, even regarding the smallest matter, we still need to engage a number of individuals. I believe the process is still going on. I insisted that upon handing over my former (law and legalisation) ministerial portfolio to Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, we wanted this matter (amendment to Section 375 of Penal Code) to be expedited,” she said.
The issue came to light following the ‘finger-rape case’ in Sibu. On May 7 last year, the Court of Appeal acquitted and discharged Bunya Jalong, 60, of raping a minor in Sibu in 2011 – on the basis that he did not ‘technically’ commit any rape.
The victim was 14 then.
Bunya told the court that he impregnated the girl through the insertion of a semen-smeared finger. The victim gave birth to a boy in February 2012.
Following a DNA test, it was confirmed that Bunya was the boy’s father.
Sandy Mark Luna, email@example.com