Chong’s comments uncalled for as GPS govt will continue to allocate funds for Covid-19 response

Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman

KUCHING, May 15: The GPS State government has never withheld funds for Covid-19 pandemic response, asserts Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman in slamming DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen for levelling such “malicious and baseless” claims.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong drew the wrath of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) backbenchers after issuing a statement questioning Sarawak government of withholding funds for Covid-19 response until closer to State Elections which was reported in an online news portal.

Chong was quoted as saying that the Sarawak government still refused to allocate additional funding to hawkers, small traders and the small and medium enterprises despite the prolonged impact of the pandemic and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

Fazzrudin pointed out that Chong’s comments were uncalled for and only serves to trivialise the State government’s efforts to keep the economy going amidst the pandemic.

“The GPS state government has never withheld its funds to assist the people affected by Covid-19, including petty traders and hawkers.

“GPS has and will continue to serve the people, be it the public servants, private sector workers, small businesses and the public in general at all times.

“This has been the practice throughout the five-year term of being elected as State government and will continue in the future,” he said in a statement today.

Unlike the Pakatan Harapan (PH), Fazzrudin emphasised that GPS does not subscribe to the notion of only showing up during the election season to champion the welfare of the people.

“This, to us, is not a seasonal thing as the people needed to be assisted at all times.

“What Chong is doing is down to a desperate attempt to win some semblance of support leading up to the upcoming state election,” he added, in referring to the last general election where DAP had promised to return 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent of taxes collected to Sarawak if they took power.

Fazzrudin criticised that they had been in the Federal government for 22 months but until this day, the promises they gave to the people have not materialised which had in turn caused many PH voters to pull their support away from the DAP.

“Sarawakians will not fall for the same trick by the PH and DAP.

“Doling out RM100 to hawkers, as they did for Icom Square on May 2 will not resolve their plight along with making empty promises of further assistance,” he said.

The plight of the small business, hawkers and traders and the general public as a whole, Fazzruddin stressed, would only be fully addressed with the prompt recovery of the economy.

“This is what the Sarawak government is doing at this moment by managing the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the vaccine rollout,” he added. — DayakDaily