Nanta: Timely to have DPM that focuses on Sarawak, Sabah affairs

GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (left) being interviewed by The Borneo Post chief reporter Churchill Edward at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak office in Kuching. — Borneo Post Online pic
GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (left) being interviewed by The Borneo Post chief reporter Churchill Edward at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak office in Kuching. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KUCHING, Oct 23 — Malaysia should appoint a deputy prime minister (DPM) to focus on the affairs of Sarawak and Sabah, said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

This is because of the ongoing negotiation on issues surrounding the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the growing clamour for Sabah and Sarawak to be given more attention explained Nanta who is also Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Kapit MP.

“But what is more important is empowerment. Call it by any name, but it would pointless if it’s just for glamour. The DPM must be given budget, back up, real empowerment and is allowed to make decisions.

“I would rather have a Second Minister of Rural Development meant for Sabah and Sarawak focusing on implementation and delivery of projects,” he said when met here yesterday.

The DPM post must not be created just for the fulfillment of any person’s political ambition otherwise people will feel cheated by his appointment, he said when asked about his name being bandied about to be a deputy prime minister following the appointment of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the new Prime Minister.

The suggestion for him or someone from Sarawak to be appointed DPM was not official said Nanta.

“However I do appreciate some friends especially those from PRS Youth for coming up with the initial statement. Nice to be named but I believe there is nothing official about it at that time.

“Objectively it would be nice to have somebody from Sarawak to be DPM. But then again there are already 32 ministers (and deputy ministers) including the PM in the Malaysian cabinet despite the fact that Malaysia is small in population compared to China for instance. China has billions in population but its cabinet is only about half of ours.”

“It’s the portfolio, empowerment and authority given that is important. That would be more meaningful. If they empower me so that I can deliver then that is more important.”

Nanta said he will not be participating as candidate in the next state election.

“I think not this time. We have enough good people already there (state government). The way I see it, the top level (of GPS) still want me to play a role at federal level. I am a disciplined party man but it’s up to the party president to decide on where I should play my part. It doesn’t matter,” he said. — Borneo Post Online

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