KUCHING: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar minces no words when he said his Puncak Borneo counterpart is “merely playing politics for his bosses in Kuala Lumpur”.

Wan Junaidi said Willie Mongin’s challenge for him to come out with a comprehensive proposal for Sarawak to have full autonomy in healthcare and education is a narrative to sidestep what Sarawak wants.

He said Willie sidestepped the issue because he is not fighting for the benefit of his constituents let alone fighting for the benefit of all Sarawakians.

“If Willie can guarantee that the federal government will agree to the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s proposal in principle, that is to give Sarawak the autonomy on health and education with funding and human resources, then the state government will work out the details,” he said.

The veteran lawyer said he understood Willie’s ignorance of the government procedures for he was never in the government at the policy level to understand how the government worked.

“Don’t jump the gun. It’s how it has always been in any matters, whether big or small matters.

“But again, how much can we rely on the assurance of an ordinary MP like Willie, having seen so many unfulfilled promises in the manifesto by the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government?

“But not to be a total skeptic, I would ask Willie to tell the federal government to give the state government a letter, confirming its willingness to give us the autonomy of education and health with funding and human resources support. Then I will work with the state government on the parameter and scope of the autonomy before we go into the details,” he pointed out.

Junaidi reminded Willie that there are several steps in doing things involving two entities.

“First, the overture, and the state has shown the overture, it is thus the federal government’s turn to respond,” he said.

“The response from the MP or deputy minister is irrelevant, considering the federal government is managed by the Cabinet.

“See the Federal Constitution, and the MP and deputy minister are not members of the Cabinet. They have no authority to speak on policy matters unless duly authorised by the Cabinet or at least the Prime Minister as the principal executive of the federal government.

“Once the federal government has agreed in principle, then negotiations or discussions come at the second stage, that is, to agree on the parameter and scope of the subject matter in question.

“For the third stage, we will talk about the details and finally, the costing,” he stressed.

Junaidi reiterated that Willie get a letter of confirmation signed by a person of sufficient authority in the federal government, saying that it is prepared to give Sarawak the autonomy in health and education with funding and human resources support before a plan could be worked out.