Sabah's creation of its own health and education ministries is unnecessary as the state has no power over such matters, said former chief minister Yong Teck Lee.
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president said at a party congress yesterday that both portfolios remain under the purview of the federal government.
“Both health and education are still listed in the list in the 9th Schedule of the Federal Constitution. This means health and education remain under the purview of the federal government, not Sabah.
“Until such time that the Federal Constitution has been amended to transfer powers and finances to Sabah, it is superfluous to create these two new ministries, that have neither the power nor money to look after health and education,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
After the recent general election, Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah formed three new state ministries, namely the Health and People’s Wellbeing Ministry, Education and Innovation Ministry, and Laws and Native Affairs Ministry.
Yong returned unopposed as SAPP president during the congress.
Working with other coalitions
SAPP is a part of a third bloc in Sabah politics, called United Sabah Alliance (Gabungan Sabah), which also consists of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star), Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Kebangsaan Sabah.
In his speech, Yong also touched on the state opposition pact, saying that he was open to the idea of Gabungan Sabah’s components working with other parties to benefit the state.
“Even though Gabungan Sabah itself is a coalition of political parties, I see no reason why we cannot work with other coalitions which share common objective for Sabah.
“The May 9 election results, which displaced Umno-BN as the dominant political party in Malaysia, had given us some hope that, at last, perhaps, Sabah will be accorded our autonomy and our rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“But after seven months, the picture doesn’t seem rosy after all,” he was quoted as saying.