KUCHING, July 15 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said today the removal of Nancy Shukri as law minister in a recent Federal Cabinet reshuffle is a setback for Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s negotiations for Sarawak’s autonomy.
“Surely, her removal will dampen Adenan’s efforts because as the law minister, Nancy would be in a better position to know what are the legal issues involved and the laws that need to be repelled in order to devolve such power to the state,” he said.
Chong said Sarawakian Nancy is the “most appropriate person” to be appointed law minister, and not her successor Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, because it would enable the former to help her home state attain greater autonomy, especially in the second round of negotiations.
Chong claimed that the latter had shown “not much” commitment and respect for Sarawak’s call for autonomy and rights in Parliament.
“She was one of these Umno ministers who did not show much attention when issues on Sarawak’s autonomy were raised in Parliament,” the Bandar Kuching federal lawmaker said.
Chong also questioned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s rationale for replacing Nancy with Azalina at a time when negotiations for Sarawak’s demand for autonomy are ongoing.
“He (Najib) prides himself as loving Sarawak by saying that he visited the state 53 times before the May 7 state elections, but what he did on some occasions did not show that,” he said, citing as example the prime minister’s failure to replace Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas with another Sarawakian lawmaker in Cabinet.
Uggah resigned as federal minister of plantation industries and commodities after being appointed Sarawak deputy chief minister after the state elections.
Chong urged Adenan to make sure that negotiations to regain Sarawak’s rights from Putrajaya were completed before the next general election scheduled for 2018.
“If we wait until after the elections, and if the Barisan Nasional wins big in Peninsular Malaysia, then they will ignore us,” he said.
In the Federal Cabinet reshuffle announced by the prime minister last month, Nancy now oversees the Malaysian Innovation Agency, Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation and Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology.
She is also responsible for the Public Land Transport Commission and Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Sarawak and CVLB Sabah. – Malay Mail Online