KUCHING, Dec 4 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for appointing five federal ministers from Sarawak in the national unity government.
He said one of them, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation Industry and Commodities, in the unity government.
“The appointments show the caring attitude of the federal government where five from Sarawak and two from Sabah have been appointed as federal ministers,” he told reporters after the opening of the Sarawak Badminton Association (SBA) hall here.
He said the appointment of Fadillah as the Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister will surely boost the plantation sector, especially in Sarawak.
He said Sarawak will be the largest palm oil producer in the country in the next two years as the state has large areas under oil palm plantations, surpassing Sabah.
He said the appointment of Kapit Member of Parliament Datuk Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi as Works Minister will ensure that infrastructure projects in the rural areas will continue to be developed.
He said he was in the federal capital yesterday to attend the swearing-in of 28 federal ministers and he took the opportunity to discuss with the prime minister a new approach in administration between the federal and state governments.
“Anwar had agreed in principle that the development projects in Sarawak that are funded by the federal government be re-looked because I have suggested to him the setting up of a trust fund, which means, if Sarawak has RM4 billion allocation from the federal government, it should be deposited in a trust,” he said.
He said the implementation of the projects using money from the trust fund if possible should be decided in Sarawak by the Federal Ministry of Finance (MoF).
“This is a new approach, but its framework will be decided by MoF and be placed under the Prime Minister’s Department,” Abang Johari said.