By John Isaac
SARAWAK and Sabah will be elated should one of their MPs be appointed to the position of deputy prime minister.
Political observer Datuk Peter Minos said however, whoever is appointed must be accorded specific powers and the appointment should not be for show only.
“The DPM must be given some specific powers to help Sarawak and Sabah – this is particularly on the full restoration and return of the rights of the two states according to Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“That is the one thing that truly matters and is of great concern to the people in this region,” he said yesterday.
Minos said the DPM from either Sarawak or Sabah must be empowered to negotiate with national oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and ask for funds.
“After all, over 70 percent of Petronas’ revenues and profits are from oil and gas extracted and found in Sarawak and Sabah.
“If the new DPM can effectively help on the above key matters, Sarawakians and Sabahans will be happy.
“This is because at long last, fairness and justice are being addressed and done. It simply won’t do if the DPM is made similar to a status of ordinary minister with ordinary power.”
Recently, many voices from Sarawak had called for a DPM position be given to a Gabungan Parti Sarawak MP should Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob be appointed as prime minister.
Speculations are rife that should GPS be given the DPM post, one of the names being suggested is its secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Nanta was Ismail Sabri’s deputy during the latter’s tenure as federal Rural and Regional Development Minister from 2015 to 2018. – New Sarawak Tribune