Just quit already, Sarawak DCM tells state minister

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing. . — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing. . — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, July 14 — Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing today urged International Trade and e-Commerce Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh to just resign from his ministerial post, instead of seeking advice from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg before stepping down.

He said Wong is big enough to decide for himself whether to stay in the state Cabinet or go out.

“To me that (seeking advice) is ridiculous for him to do,” he told reporters at the closing of Gawai Dayak celebration organised by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) at the Dayak Bidayuh National Association building here.

Masing, who is also PRS president, was responding to a statement by Wong, who is also Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president of his intention to quit his ministerial post after seeking advice from the chief minister.

At PSB annual delegates conference in Sibu yesterday, the delegates passed a resolution in support of Wong's desire to quit his ministerial post.

Wong, in his address to the delegates, had claimed that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) had treated PSB as an Opposition party, citing the exclusion of the party from the appointments to the local councils and the freezing of minor rural minor project (MRP) fund and Rural Transformation Project (RTP) fund as examples.

Masing said Wong was keeping quiet when the list of appointments of councillors was discussed at the Cabinet meeting.

“What do you expect when you start harassing the component parties of the GPS? He expects us to keep quiet like a little child?” Masing asked.

He said he is disappointed with Wong, whom he knew as a former teacher and a role model.

Asked if the freezing of MRP fund and RTP fund allocated to lawmakers from PSB could be one of the reasons for Datuk Dr Jerip Susil to resign as PSB deputy president and its membership, Masing said the media should not read too much into Dr Jerip's mind.

“You might be wrong. You see, from what I understand, he made full use of his freedom of movement within the democracy.

“But I wish him all the best to wherever he is heading to. He knows what he is doing,” Masing said.

Asked when was the MRP fund and RTP fund for PSB state lawmakers frozen, Masing said was done by the chief minister early this year.

Dr Jerip, who is also the assistant minister of transportation, resigned three days ago, without giving any reasons.

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