Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Sharing my views on possibility for Sarawak’s State Election to be held after August

Today I have told our media friends that I’m all for the possibility of Sarawak’s State Election to be held after August because as an elected state assemblyman, I refuse to stay in power without the people’s mandate.

Frankly, I don’t think I want to stay on as a “wakil rakyat” without the mandate from the people because they have the right to determine who should be the government. It’s a fact that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition was given five years to rule as government, and that period has expired on June 6 which is over a month ago.

But we must understand with the declaration of a state of Emergency in Malaysia that took precedence over all written laws, the term of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) was extended until the last day of the emergency on Aug 1.

Now that the federal government has revealed its Cabinet’s consensus not to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for an extension of the Emergency Order, the State Election should not be deferred further as well.

This is my personal opinion, but it’s anybody’s guess. I read in the news that quite a number of politicians, whether from the government or opposition, have requested for the elections to be postponed further. But, we must understand the rights of citizens. This is a parliamentary right. For us in the GPS-led government, we do not want to hold onto power on the pretence of the emergency due to a pandemic.

In my response to those who are opposed for an election being held during the pandemic, I have questioned whether Sarawak was in a condition where it is menaced by a serious health threat depicted as one of the criteria for an emergency declaration, when the public is allowed to drive on the streets, shop for groceries and dine in restaurants.

I have also mentioned to our media friends for Covid-19 to continue become a part of everyone’s lives in the years to come, thus it is only right to hold elections with strict standard operating procedure (SOP) and proper restrictions.

There’s nothing to fear. I believe Malaysians, as well as Sarawakians have already adapted to the Covid-19 situation. If Covid-19 is going on for another five years, are we going to postpone it (State Elections) that long?. On the popular predictions on the date for the state elections to begin, it could be in late September, the earliest perhaps, as many preparation works need to be done by the Election Commission (EC) which cannot be completed within a month’s time.

Looking forward to the forthcoming “Southeast Asia Youth Mental Health Conference 2021” on July 31

Our Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYSS) together with the Social Community Programmes Urban Society (SCORPUS) Malaysia will be organising the “Southeast Asia Youth Mental Health Conference 2021” on July 31 via online webinars.

The conference’s theme is “Breaking the Mental Health Issues Stigma in ASEAN Amid Pandemic” and it is on from 8am to 4pm, with a half-hour break from 1pm to 1.30pm.

It is heartening to see that there are over 300 participants from Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Indonesia are expected to tune in to the webinar, where nine invited guests will present their research and opinions on mental health, psychology, youth counselling and Covid-19.

The local panel members include Dr Nurashikin Ibrahim who is Head of Mental Health and Public Physician in Ministry of Health (MOH), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) psychiatrist, Dr Bernard Ting Chuong Hock, Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) psychiatrist, Dr Ng Boon Seng and International Islamic University Malaysia psychiatrist, Dr Mohd Faiz Md Tahir.

We have also invited speakers from Indonesia who include Dr Eqachseryanti Zain, a psychiatrist at Hospital Samarinda, counselling psychologist Charlene Lucas from the Philippines, UKCP Accredited Therapist psychotherapist, Rachel An Vu (Vietnam), professional counsellor Dr Rusli Bujang from Brunei, and Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health associate consultant, Dr Oon Li Keat.
Of course we are also inviting all local youths including those from Sarawak to join this conference which is still open for registration until Friday (July 30) and participation is still open to the public. Those interested by contacting the ministry’s conference secretariat at 082-495555 on first come first serve basis.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Calling on our Federal Government to relook into the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974


Recently I have spoken my views on issues pertaining to our country’s oil and gas, especially the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and for the Federal government to relook into this matter.

I thank our media friends who had seek my views on this matter and that what has been agreed when we formed Malaysia or when the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 was passed cannot be static.

If we look at the royalty percentage that Sarawak is getting now, which is a meagre 5%, is just pittance compared to what the federal government and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) are taking.

The development gap between Malaya and the Borneon states of Sarawak and Sabah which had helped formed Malaysia, this has made many citizens in the two states question why they are still so far behind in terms of infrastructure development, schools, hospitals, roads, ports, etcetera.

Therefore, I had voiced out my full agreement that we need a relook into these matters. 

I also fully agreed to the views made by constitutional law expert, Professor Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi’s pertaining to the oil and gas issues which the Federal government must resolve issues of petroleum, oil and gas rights as well as rights over resources in the Continental Shelf of Sabah and Sarawak.

Prof Shad had mentioned this issue during the live webinar held by The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) on July 24 and that the Federal government must resolve the oil and gas disputes with Sabah and Sarawak to prevent a larger and more complicated crisis.

According to him, even though this issue is a bone of contention, he expressed the view that in a federal system of government, the Federal government should be open to discussion and to (constitutional) amendment.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Getting excited with Sarawak Day celebrations on July 22

Our local folks are getting excited with the forthcoming Sarawak Day celebration which is on July 22 and a small do is being organised at our State Assembly Building (DUN) where it will televised via Facebook and YouTube channels by Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak or UKAS.

According to the organizing committee, this year's celebration is done on modest scale in view of the present Covid19 situation and it is also subjected to the strict standard operating procedures (SOP) which stipulates that only 100 guests were invited to attend.

All of us had been cordially invited to follow this live broadcast to support the celebration of this historic event because July 22 is regarded as important because in 2016, our former Chief Minister of Sarawak, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem, had declared it a public holiday to commemorate the history of Sarawak which was free from colonial rule.

It is also to commemorate the date when the last British Governor, Sir Alexander Waddell had symbolically handed over the administration of the state to the local people in 1963. Together we are celebrating Sarawak Day because it is a historic event for Sarawakians where all of us are taking time to reflect the sacrifices of all the past leaders and freedom fighters of our beloved state.

Unity among multi-racial and multi-religious communities in Sarawak is important in creating a peaceful, stable state and nation. Efforts to unite the people through the strengthening of racial integration in our state and country must also be maintained to safeguard the well-being of future generations.

In the context of Sarawak, the commitment to pursue this unity agenda is very important to ensure development and progress because we had always given the priority to sustain the well-being and sustainable development of society. Together we continue to stand firm, united and to move forward. #kitangitu #sarawak #kitajagakita

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Thumbs up to MSN Sarawak for organising online webinar on "Inner Potential For Motivation" for our athletes and coaches

Kudos to the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSN Sarawak) and Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) for organizing a webinar entitled "Inner Potential For Motivation" for 90 athletes, 10 coaches and 6 sports officials.

The webinar is being held online via zoom and conducted by Puan Nurulisa Poli, a Biscounselor at the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN), Miri. The event is on 17 - 18 July from 8.30 am - 4.30 pm and the participants involved are from Petanque, Lane Bowling, Golf, Archery, Basketball and Cricket.

We hope for this event will provide participants with better understanding on the attributes of potentials and internal motivation, as well as to identify the factors that influence mental and athletic performance. It can also help the participants better understand their personal goals in sports and education to maintain a level of motivation as well as to identify their inner potentials through their character and personality.

Consistent engagements with our local athletes and their coaches are important to boost their morale as well as to uplift their spirits while preparing for the forthcoming 2022 Malaysia Games (Sukma) which will be held in Johor.