Betong PKR chief Vernon takes GPS leaders to task

Vernon Kedit

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KUCHING, Nov 27: Betong Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Vernon Kedit said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Corporate Affairs) Abdullah Saidol should apologise to state PKR chief Baru Bian for saying he was not consulted when the 2019 federal budget was drafted.

Vernon said Baru had clearly stated on the website that he (Baru) was not at liberty to divulge details of the budget.

“Please check your facts before issuing an accusation,” said Vernon in a statement in response to Abdullah’s statement yesterday.

Commenting on Petra Jaya MP Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof’s argument on how Sarawak would be spending billions of ringgit on the state, Vernon accused him of trying to ignore and hide certain facts from the public.

“The PH (Pakatan Harapan) federal government has allocated RM10 million more to Sarawak in Budget 2019 as compared to what Najib’s BN (Barisan Nasional) administration had allocated to Sarawak in Budget 2018. Not less, but more, and Fadillah is fully aware of this,” he said.

Vernon opined that the phrase ‘a leopard cannot change its spots’ was the best way to describe Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as they could not change their innate nature.

“GPS is made up of exactly the same people who were in BN before May 9. After suffering a shocking defeat on May 9, these people were horrified to the core of their hearts. They had to find a way to reinvent themselves and make themselves relevant politically in a new political landscape and reality,” he said.

Vernon added that GPS chose the easiest route and rebranded themselves as pro-Sarawak and use the popular sentiment of ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’. Their catchphrase now is “Sarawak First”.

Reviewing the major policies of GPS, Vernon said that in native customary rights (NCR) land matters, their policies after May 9 remained the same as before May 9.

“Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua are still communal lands i.e. state lands under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code. The policy has not changed one iota despite ‘Sarawak First’.

“In health matters, rural clinics are still understaffed and understocked despite ‘Sarawak First’. No change of policy, just plenty of noise.

“In educational matters, infrastructure seems to be the priority and drive now. Is this enough for ‘Sarawak First’? No change of policy, just plenty of bravado and hot air.

“In infrastructure development like rural roads, grid electricity and clean, treated water, more promises have been made. We welcome these, but is this not a little too late now that rice has turned to porridge? No major changes of policy despite ‘Sarawak First,’ just plenty of talk and promises,” he said.

Vernon believed Sarawakians would not be easily fooled by GPS even though they might have changed their uniforms and logos but are still the “same people with the same BN policies before May 9”.

“Sarawakians are not that easily fooled. We see through cheap rhetoric. The leopard may change its shirt, but it is still a leopard,” said Vernon. — DayakDaily