Chong accuses GPS of playing “two-faced politics” in PN coalition issue

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, May 23: DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has today hit out at GPS government for playing “two-faced politics” on the issue of coalition with Perikatan Nasional (PN).

“On the one hand, its federal minister at the federal level announced that GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) is with the PN. On the other hand, its state minister at state level (said) GPS is not joining the PN.

“The reason for such two-faced politic is obvious. While the GPS federal ministers, being part of the federal cabinet, have to act within the PN framework and policies, the GPS state ministers and lawmakers have to appease to the sentiment of Sarawakians who detest anyone working with the extremist Pas and corrupt Umno,” he said in a statement.

Chong, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyman, added that as part of the federal cabinet, GPS was already part of the PN and working together with Umno and Pas to formulate policies and laws in our country.

“No amount of political wizardry can the state GPS disassociate themselves from this Umno- Pas coalition,” he said.

One clear consequence of the state GPS being part of the Umno-Pas coalition, he pointed out was the recently imposed police permits for Sarawakians returning from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak.

He was referring to the latest change in travel restrictions where everyone including Sarawakians who intended to enter Sarawak were required to first apply police permit before applying online to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“Once you have the police permit, the SDMC’s approval is just a matter of course. If you do not have the police permit, SDMC will not approve your application. In effect, the police holds the deciding factor whether a Sarawakian can return to Sarawak or not.

“For the first time, a normal Sarawakian wishing to come back to Sarawak has to obtain the approval from a police officer in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Why can’t SDMC decide for themselves whether a person is fit to return to Sarawak or otherwise? Why must the state government surrender to the federal police force, the power to allow a Sarawakian returning to Sarawak? Bearing in mind, such discretion will in most cases be exercised by a Peninsular Malaysian police officer,” he questioned.

Chong said this was a clear sign of Umno-Pas domination over the GPS which had only joined the PN government for less than three months, but the fundamental rights of a Sarawakian returning to Sarawak is now compromised by the GPS government.

The other clear consequence of the GPS joining the Umno-Pas government, he elaborated, was the compromise in the State Sales Tax (SST) collection on petroleum products after the state government has won the legal action against Petronas.

Despite the claim of RM3.8 billion and having the Court declaring that Sarawak has the rights to collect such tax, he alleged that the GPS government settled for RM2 billion.

“With GPS now in the PN federal cabinet, the history of erosion of Sarawak’s rights when under BN’s time will continue.

“This time, it is even much worse because Pas is also part of the government and will dictate terms and impart their extremist ideologies in many of the federal government policies and laws,” he added.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP, stressed that both the above incidents which were unfavourable to general Sarawakians’ rights happened so shortly after the formation of the PN government, clearly demonstrating that GPS could not stand up for Sarawakians’ rights when Umno-Pas decided otherwise.—DayakDaily