Chong:  Anwar should give way to Shafie if fails to obtain parliamentary majority

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, July 16:  Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak believes that if Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim fails to obtain the necessary majority in parliament to be the prime minister, he should give way to Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Shafie Updal.

DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen reiterated his support for Shafie as the next prime minister whom he believes could help Malaysia break away from racial and religious politics.

“DAP Sarawak has autonomy from the DAP national.  On the choice of Prime Minister candidate for the opposition, we are on the same page as our counterpart in Sabah.

“While we respect the decision by the PH (Pakatan Harapan) presidential council to reaffirm the coalition’s commitment for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim to be Prime Minister of Malaysia, (but) we still strongly believe that Shafie Apdal remains an important factor and integral part of national politics especially to break the toxicity of racial and religious politics that has entrapped national politics for too long as well as to achieve better inclusivity that our people have perhaps never felt before especially in terms of federal-state relations.

“More importantly, Shafie Apdal has demonstrated his consistent stand in the fight against corruption and kleptocracy and chosen to remain faithful to the mandate given by the people even when offered an easier path to be part of the current PN (Perikatan Nasional) government or the previous BN (Barisan Nasional) government,” said Chong in a statement today.

Chong said that as of July 13, 2020, after the PH presidential council affirmed its support for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the total number of Members of Parliament (MP) supporting the lead of Anwar, which even included Bersatu and Warisan, was only 109, three short of the 112 required to form government.

The Bandar Kuching MP said that as it stands now, PH, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Warisan and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), all added up to only 109 MPs but with a choice of two candidates for the one Prime Minister position.

“The main issue now is who among the duo, namely Anwar or Shafie, is able to get the support of additional MPs to topple the PN government?  This is important as the country cannot afford to have the PAS UMNO-led PN continue governing and wreaking havoc on the country.”

“While Anwar as the prime minister candidate is the first option of PH which has 91 out of 109 MPs, there must be a dateline set for Anwar to obtain the support of addition number of MPs to cross the 112-majority mark.  Beyond that dateline, Shafie Apdal should be given that chance to prove himself,” said Chong who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

Advocating Shafie’s prime ministerial candidacy, Chong said having a Prime Minister from East Malaysia would help Malaysians move beyond the old politics that has entrapped the nation for so long and help shape a new nation of racial harmony and regional inclusivity in development.

“We believe it is time an East Malaysian should be at the forefront to transform Malaysia into a more progressive country, building a ‘New Malaysia for all’ that we all have been striving to achieve.

“As East Malaysian, there is no reason that we do not support a fellow East Malaysian, Shafie Apdal, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) will be doing Sarawak a great disfavour by choosing to cohort with PAS and UMNO over supporting a fellow East Malaysian as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.  By remaining with PAS and UMNO while rejecting a fellow East Malaysian as Prime Minister candidate, GPS now risks rejection by the people of Sarawak in the coming State poll,” said Chong.—DayakDaily