By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 3: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) led state government should be fair to the state Pakatan Harapan (PH) elected representatives by extending grants to them.
When debating the TYT’s opening address today, David Wong (PH-Pelawan) said on certain occasions, GPS would urge the state PH to support their motions in the state legislature while championing “we are all Sarawakians”.
“But when they don’t need our support, then they treat us like enemies and forgot that we were here because the people in our constituencies voted us to be here.
“To punish PH members of this august House is akin to punishing the voters in our `kawasan’ (constituency). Can the CM (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) tell us whether all these voters are Sarawakian or not? It is another example of hot air by our GPS government?” asked Wong.
He lashed out at the state government’s hypocrisy in not giving grants to the state PH. It was promised by Abang Johari last year, according to Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong in her debate speech yesterday.
Wong said GPS assemblymen were each given RM2 million in Minor Rural Project (MRP) fund, RM5 million in Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) and RM1 million in House improvement grants by the state government, but PH members were not given a single cent.
“Where is fairness and justice?” he asked.
Wong said the state government was a mere trustee of the resources and coffer of the state, and they don’t own them.
“The wealth and resources belong to all Sarawakians and the people of our kawasan must be given fair and equitable resources, and their elected representatives have all the right to receive funding from the state government.
“The GPS government cries like a baby saying that the federal government has not been fair to them and brought up schools, healthcare, grants and development funding. But why don’t they ask themselves whether they have been fair to all Sarawakians? How about showing the federal government fair play by leading the way with grants to PH elected members of this House?
“With the ongoing negotiation on MA63, more power will be devolved to Sarawak, such as tax revenues and devolution of power. How could GPS be trusted to safeguard Sarawak interests if they can’t treat all Sarawakians as Sarawakians?” he asked.
Meanwhile, his colleague, Tanjong Batu assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing called for an understanding between the state and federal governments and ignore the instigations by certain quarters playing their political games.
“The people are very frustrated to read news to see the fights we are engaged in as if every day is an election day. We cannot be fighting forever only to read the news or postings on Facebook as to who is being embarrassed more, the belief that if you lose, I win. There is no need for that.
“We may even go so far as to say something about the other side no matter how false, no matter how malicious, thinking that it is just a part of the game. That exactly is the thing that has stopped either party from helping our people. Worse still, it is sowing further division among us and further distrust in the federal government,” he said.
Chiew said PH had campaigned on change but many were not sure if they still believe that PH could change.
“But remember that we never suggested that change would be easy and that we could do it alone. Our country is a very diverse country and we have been divided for so long racially, religiously, economically and regionally, and any time when you try to do big things and make big changes, you are bound to hit some nerves that could arouse great emotions and controversy,” he said.
Chiew reminded the people that the PH government is here today only because history had called for them to be here because there is a generation of people who are not afraid to do what was difficult to do but what was needed to do to keep the Malaysian dream alive and continue on with the reforms.
“With that new Malaysia’s clean governance, let our people continue to believe in the things that they should believe in so that our children and our grandchildren could be better off,” he added. — DayakDaily