Sarawak will not stop pressing Putrajaya for its rights under the Malaysia Agreement, state Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg said today.
Abang Johari pledged to continue his predecessor Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s autonomy initiatives and said the state Cabinet members will work as a team.
“There will be no let up in our negotiations to reclaim our rights from the federal government,” he told reporters after the swearing in of state ministers and assistant ministers by the Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at the State Legislative Assembly building here.
“We will pursue with the federal government, especially with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the devolution of power to the state,” he added.
Abang Johari also said the state will continue negotiations to increase the oil and gas royalty from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.
“When we will get that increase, I don’t know, but we will pursue for the increase in the royalty because oil and gas is found in our territory, therefore, [it] belong to us,” he said.
He said he is fortunate because he is a member of the main negotiating team when Adenan was the chief minister.
Abang Johari also kept the state Cabinet he inherited from Adenan, with one exception.
“Except for the Ministry of Finance which has an additional portfolio of economic planning, the others are still maintained,” he said.
Apart from being the chief minister, Abang Johari is also the state finance and economic planning minister and took on three other portfolios: resource planning and environment; tourism; culture and arts and housing and urbanisation.
Abang Johari also said he will decide later on whether or not to fill the vacant third deputy chief minister post.
“But for now, I will concentrate on what the late chief minister has been pursuing. I will retain the existing line-up,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing was the only minister who did not take his oath of office as he is still overseas.
The 18 assistant ministers were also sworn in before the governor.
Abang Johari, 66, was sworn in as Sarawak chief minister on January 13, two days after Adenan, 72, died of heart complication on January 11.
Source : @ The Malay Mail Online