KUCHING, Jan 21, 2016:

Both the Sarawak Public and Education Service Commission are now empowered to employ qualified Sarawakians to serve the state.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the federal government had agreed for the delegation of powers to state officers in the appointment to the Federal Civil Service, including the teaching and medical services.

“This is just the first of the three phase negotiations between the state and federal government with relation to devolution of powers,” said Adenan at a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

On Wednesday, Adenan led a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Putrajaya to discuss matters on devolution.

Present at the meeting were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and state Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Razak Mohamad Tready.

The first phase of the negotiations covered mostly administrative matters, where most of the decision-making processes overlapped between state and federal agencies.

At the negotiation, the federal government also agreed that the state legal officers were to be authorised by the Public Prosecutor, under the Criminal Procedure Code, to prosecute offences under the state ordinance, from the stage a person is charged in the lower court until the appeal stage.

It is also agreed that both federal and the state Welfare Departments be amalgamated as one body.

“The officers with the federal departments will be given a choice to serve the state,” said Adenan.

Though this move may seem sudden, Adenan said most of the officers with the federal department were also Sarawakians, which made the transfers easier.

The second phase of the negotiations will touch on the encroachment of powers by the federal government, which included tourism, resources and environment while the third would touch on financial issues such as oil and gas royalties.

“The devolution of powers will take some time to be implemented. Some can be implemented immediately,” Adenan added.

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