Campaign in Sarawak during GE15 marred by dirty tactics, minister claims

Dr Sim Kui Hian. File Photo

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 30: The long campaign from Nov 5 to 18 for the 15th General Election (GE15) was not only emotionally charged, but peppered with the usual “ugly and toxic” politics of fake news, personal attacks, gutter politics and so forth, says Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

According to Dr Sim, such tactics were brought over to Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia.

He held that while Sarawakians can forgive, they must not forget “all those local culprits who practiced the toxic West Malaysian political culture in Sarawak”, which he believed will surface again in the next election.

“The recently concluded GE15, very sadly showed that Malaysia is more polarised and divided than ever in the 59 years of Malaysia,” said Dr Sim while delivering his ministerial winding up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

To Dr Sim who is also Deputy Premier of Sarawak, the time for politicking is over.  

“It is time to govern, to get the job done and to prepare for the worst of 2023 with global geopolitical hostility, regional instability, economic recession and hardship that will inevitably come to Malaysia and Sarawak,” Dr Sim who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman (GPS-SUPP) warned.

Meanwhile, he also called on all Sarawakian MPs not to forget that they are first and foremost Sarawakians, elected by the people of Sarawak and “must be for Sarawak First when you are in Kuala Lumpur”.  

“The voters in Sarawak would like to see you as loud in Parliament as when you are during your campaign.  

“Fulfil your election promises to the Rakyat of Sarawak. Not just voters from Sarawak but all Sarawakians (who) are expecting the unity government and Parliament of Malaysia to be sincere and meaningful in the implementation of religious autonomy, health autonomy, education autonomy, one-third Member of Parliament from Sabah and Sarawak, greater share of financial taxation from Sarawak under 112 (D) and all those outstanding issues listed under MA63 (the Malaysia Agreement 1963) and IGC (Inter-Governmental Committee) Report which finally after 59 years is now officially part of the Malaysia Constitution.

“Jangan tengok saja (don’t be a bystander),” said Dr Sim.  

He believed that now is the once in a lifetime opportunity and responsibility for the Sarawakian MPs to fight for Sarawak’s rights for all Sarawakians.

“While the west is extremely polarised and deeply divided, let’s ring-fence Sarawak to remain not just a shining example of what Malaysia is supposed to be but be the baton of hope, the model for other parts of Malaysia to aspire to and replicate,” said Dr Sim. — DayakDaily