Salleh: End federal grip on Sabah, Sarawak


Former chief minister says tight central control over projects and funding fuels unhappiness

(Free Malaysia Today) – The federal government has been urged to release its grip on funding and control over projects in Sabah and Sarawak, which has fuelled resentment and calls for independence.

Former chief minister Salleh Said Kerouak said Sabahans and Sarawakians must be made to feel they are partners in Malaysia and not servants of West Malaysian colonialists, and the matter should be dealt with quickly before state elections are held in the next few years.

He said the present system of the federal government practically running the two states did not go down well, as the states were supposed to enjoy a certain level of autonomy.

He said Sabah and Sarawak did not really want independence, as proposed by some. “What is of concern to Sabah and Sarawak is the federalisation of the state government and the loss of its autonomy in deciding some matters,” he said.

He said the federal government not only decides on development expenditure but also controls how, what and when development is implemented. “This causes delays, wastage and overlapping of functions between the state and federal agencies. Many times the state is left out entirely in the decision-making process,” he said in an article on his blog.