Chong questions PSB’s seriousness in forming State govt when it can’t even name CM designate

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING, Dec 1: How can Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) be serious about forming the State government when the party does not even have a Chief Minister designate going into the 12th Sarawak Election, questions Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

Hitting back at PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s statement that DAP only wishes to be an opposition party, Chong said no political party wishes only to be in the opposition forever, but a political party has to understand the reality and surrounding circumstances in which it operates.

Comparing the current situation in Sarawak with the national situation where Pakatan Harapan (PH) had managed to take over the federal government in 2018, Chong pointed out that there are two important factors lacking in Sarawak for the Opposition to win this 12th Sarawak Election and replace Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as the State government.

“Firstly, before the PH won the elections in 2018, the Opposition had in two consecutive general elections (2008 and 2013) managed to deny the Barisan Nasional (BN) its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

“In the case of Sarawak, the Opposition merely won 10 out of 82 DUN seats in 2016. Even Wong won his seat of Bawang Assan under the BN (Barisan Nasional) ticket.

“When PH went into GE14, there was a clear Prime Minister designate. In Sarawak, till this day, PSB cannot even name a Chief Minister designate acceptable to its own party, what more to say the other opposition parties,” he said in a statement today.

The Kota Sentosa incumbent added that the coming Sarawak elections will be carried out under very restrictive election campaign standard operating procedures (SOPs) which would work against the Opposition.

Therefore, even if PSB were to be able to work with all opposition parties, Chong said it would still be an uphill battle to defeat GPS, what more when PSB is going into the elections fighting both GPS and the other opposition parties.

“As a veteran politician, Wong should know this. Yet, in the course of negotiations, when PSB starts insisting to contest against DAP in seats like Kota Sentosa, Pujut, Meradong and Batu Kitang, PSB appears more like wanting to be a spoiler than winning the elections and forming a government.”

As such, Chong questioned PSB’s true agenda, whether it is genuine in wanting to bring about change in Sarawak or just wanting to win a few seats and then return to GPS to be part of the government.

“As for DAP, we are a party fighting on principles and for good governance. We are also a realistic party. In this Sarawak election, we are setting our goal of denying the GPS of its two-third majority to provide a stronger check and balance in DUN (Sarawak Legislative Assembly) and also paving the way for a change of government in the next elections.”

With Wong’s statement, Chong said that it is now clear that PSB only wants to be the government.

“Given such sole intent, it is likely that once elected, if they do not have the number to form the government (which is almost a certainty), there is all likelihood of hopping, switching camp and joining GPS. With such a position, one seat given to PSB is as good as one seat conceded to GPS.

“Could it be that PSB is in fact the Trojan horse planted by GPS?” he asked. — DayakDaily