KUCHING, August 2: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders have lashed out at Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Betong chief Vernon Kedit for calling Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas a ‘liar and traitor’.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said Vernon’s accusation was uncalled for, morally ‘distasteful’ and went beyond political decency.
“We respect freedom of speech, and in politics, we must also mutually appreciate the principal of ‘agree to disagree’. We must not tolerate bigotry and racism in our political culture. This political morality must be observed, especially when we are living in a multicultural and multireligious place, like Sarawak.
“Uggah does not represent the Dayak alone. He represents the interest of all communities and Sarawak as a whole. He (Uggah) is right to defend himself against an allegation that hurts his integrity as a state leader.
“We, in GPS, support his legal action. We must always subscribe to righteousness, ethics and sensitivity in our political practice,” said Alexander.
He added that politicians should not get too personal, especially when criticising. In addition, criticisms should be limited to the issue at hand and not at the person with the aim of putting someone down dishonestly by slandering or defaming.
PBB Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu said Vernon made unfounded allegations against a state leader who had shown commitment, passion and sincerity in the interest of all natives in the state.
“Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah does not deserve to be called a ‘liar and traitor’; being an Iban, we should know our own ‘adat’ (custom) and ‘basa’ (honour).
“We support Uggah’s action, for it is morally justified and to protect his integrity from such a personal attack.
“We don’t condone this indecent political culture from across the sea. All Sarawakians have been living in unity, peace and harmony all this while, and this we must protect,” Gerald stressed.
Political secretary to the Chief Minister, Romeo Thomas Tegong, described Vernon as a “populist” politician.
He observed that Vernon was trying his best to portray himself as a ‘political fighter’ when in fact he was politically irrelevant and, perhaps, a “menace and a burden” to PKR.
“He is more like a ‘thunder’ but no ‘lightning’. People on the ground know that he failed to deliver anything significant for his own Iban community, what more for Sarawak. That’s why he lost in the last election.
“People want a ‘wakil rakyat’ who can work and not one who knows how to talk loud only. Vernon must be responsible for his own actions. Don’t bring that ugly political culture to Sarawak,” said Romeo.
Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol said Vernon is a politician whose ‘mouth is faster than his brain’, and this type of politician is ignored, in most cases.
“He frequently posts statements that are racially insensitive solely to attract political attention. That is morally wrong. Sarawakians who still believe in racial harmony should not support this type of political behaviour.
“Uggah’s legal action is also about sending a clear message that certain level of respectable political values and ethics must be maintained.
“Winning an election by way of manipulating truths and spreading wild allegations will not last. It may disrupt racial integration and peace,” warned Abdullah. — DayakDaily