Chong: Perak CSA watershed in Malaysian politics

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, Dec 17: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen hails the recent Perak coup and the subsequent Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) as a new political milestone of reform in the country.

The significance of the CSA, he emphasised, could never be overstated as it represented a turning point in Malaysian politics for the better.

“The Perak CSA is undoubtedly the way forward for the country to replace confrontational politics with more inclusive and constructive politics in the country. All this will not be possible had there not been a change of government in 2018,” he said in a statement today.

Chong, who is also the Stampin MP, pointed out that the agreement would lead to systematic reforms in that the opposition lawmaker will chair the State Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee to provide better check-and-balance on the executive’s power.

“All state legislative assembly members or ADUNs (including the opposition ADUNs) will have equal constituency allocations so that the people will not be ‘punished’ for supporting the opposition.

“All ADUNs (including the opposition ADUNs) will be part of the District Action Committee and Disaster Management Committee for more inclusive and effective implementation of government policies and services to the people.

“Opposition leader’s position (will be) formalised with the necessary allocations to run the Opposition leader’s office and fair allocation for all vernacular schools and religious bodies,” he explained.

The Perak CSA, Chong continued, also replaced the confrontational politics of two coalitions with multilateral co-operation for a more stable political environment without compromising the need for check-and-balance.

With the appointments of Opposition ADUNs as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman and into all the government’s action committees, he added, it has enhanced the opposition’s supervisory roles.

“It enhances the role and effectiveness of the opposition in influencing and formulation of government policies,” he said.

As the two major parties in the two coalitions agreeing to the CSA were United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and DAP, Chong stressed that this will reduce the racial politicking which has been the hallmark of Umno all these years.

“By agreeing to the CSA with PH and having to rely on the support of the PH for Umno to remain as a stable government, Umno Perak will have to tone down its racial rhetoric and focus more on governance and delivery to the people,” he said.

As for Sarawak, Chong who is also the Kota Sentosa assemblyman, asserted Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was still running the state in the most exclusive and opaque manner.

“The GPS government still subscribe to the notion of depriving the opposition ADUNs their rightful constituency allocation, exclude the ADUNs from the government’s action committee even in the management of disasters, non-recognition of the opposition leader’s position and keeping the PAC chairman post to only the government’s ADUNs.

“The operation of state government agencies remains shielded from scrutiny by the opposition ADUNs,” he added.

Such agencies include major agencies like the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) and Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) which involves billions in state funds.

“Even the racial breakdown of the civil servants of the state government was kept a secret by the state and ADUNs were disallowed to ask questions on its composition even in Sarawak DUN.

“As Perak’s politics has now moved forward for more openness, co-operation and inclusiveness, it is high time for Sarawak’s GPS to abandon its archaic practice of the last century,” he added. — DayakDaily