Chong claims GPS super majority may turn Sarawak Legislature arbitrary, oppressive

Chong giving a press conference on the sidelines of DUS on May 8, 2024.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 8: The super majority held by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) may turn it into an arbitrary and oppressive place where only one voice is allowed while dissenting opinions are suppressed.

Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (PH-DAP) said this was already happening as he was “whacked the whole day” by GPS members following his refusal to support the Motion of Thanks to late Sarawak Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud tabled by Gedong assemblyman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (GPS-PBB) who is also GPS chairman and Premier of Sarawak.

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He strongly believed that throughout the 32 years of Taib’s administration as Chief Minister of Sarawak, there were bound to be shortcomings and failings of policies which were not brought up by GPS members.

Out of respect for the dead (in which he categorically stated that “he did not wish to speak ill of the dead”), he did not delved into the details with regards to Taib’s failed endeavours such as the erosion of rights in accordance to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Native Customary Rights (NCR) land cases and income disparity because he did not wish to bring them to be put on record on the Dewan’s Hansard.

He also claimed that it was also out of the respect for the late Taib that he used a mild phrase—‘under a cloud of suspicion’ to describe Taib’s administration, where he explained that the English phrase means “something is wrong”.

Despite these efforts, he lamented that he still got “whacked the whole day” where almost every single GPS representative started their debates by slamming him, before moving on to praise Taib.

“I expected that, to become the punching bag of the Dewan but what I would like to highlight is that, this is the result of 80-to-2 margin of majority of the ruling (coalition) against the opposition.

“And the danger of turning this Dewan into an arbitrary and a very oppressive place where only one voice can be heard and the rest of the different voices, different opinions be brushed off or suppressed.

“It’s a very dangerous trend and it also highlights the disadvantage and the danger of a super majority, as they are called, in the Dewan, of GPS,” said Chong at a press conference held on the sidelines of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting today.

Earlier today, Chong had voiced his and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong’s (PH-DAP) refusal to support the Motion of Thanks to Taib in DUS.

Their refusal drew flak from several GPS elected representatives.

A total of 28 GPS members debated the motion. There were 16 from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), five from Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), four from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and three from Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

Meanwhile, there are a total of 82 seats in DUS with ruling coalition GPS consisting of PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP holding 79 seats; Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak, being the opposition, retains two while the last seat is held by an independent. — DayakDaily

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