By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 10: With yesterday marking one year of Pakatan Harapan (PH) in power, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Youth has taken the coalition to task over the former’s lack of sincerity and commitment in honouring and fulfilling its election promises.
They have given the PH’s performance a thumbs-down.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu said PH, a year into office, has not fulfilled any of the promises in its manifesto.
“So, we want to know where is this nation heading to and what to expect of the future. Worst is making us like second-class Malaysian citizen,” he said.
“We really want them to walk the talk and be sincere to Sarawakians. Don’t give empty promises.”
The Youth chiefs from the four component parties in GPS, including Datuk Snowdan Lawan of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Micheal Tiang (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP)), and Robert Ayu (Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)), jointly addressed a press conference at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex yesterday.
Snowdan observed that the PH government had made a lot of U-turns and flip-flops in their policies in which many were unfavourable to Sarawak, especially on the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
“If they were sincere in protecting our rights, they would have agreed to include a few words of ‘pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963’ (in the constitution amendment bill), but it seemed they dilly-dallied on this matter.
“Moreover, many projects in Sarawak have been cancelled, which PH initially claimed was due to the downturn of Malaysia’s economy because of debts but at the same time, they have approved a lot of projects for Sabah and other states like Kedah,” he said.
He also referred to the decision to relocate the Sabah and Sarawak High Court Registry from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu without consulting the Sarawak government, which was obviously done without following the rule of law that PH claimed to uphold.
“Instead, they breached it. I see that it is a very messy (federal) government,” he added.
Tiang chipped in that Sarawak’s position in new Malaysia had gotten worse or lower because in the past, Sarawak had seven federal ministers but under PH, the state only has one full federal minister.
“While they claimed that they want to help us to restore our status as an equal partner in Malaysia but does this sound equal when we only have one federal minister and one deputy minister?” he asked.
“In the past, we tried to play catch up with Malaya in terms of development but now we don’t even have what was given to Sabah. Sandakan was allocated RM2 billion for development projects and monsoon aid (RM42 million) for Sabah smallholders, but Sarawak does not have any,” he said.
Tiang added that if PH considered Sarawak as an equal partner in Malaysia, they should start treating Sarawak like one instead of one of the 13 states or even worse than that.
Robert also criticised PH on their failure to fulfil the ‘7 Guarantees for Sarawak Within 1 Year’ as promised, including the 20 per cent oil royalty with 10 per cent to be declared as petrol cash dividends as well as the RM1 billion to repair dilapidated schools.
“Not even one. I expect (Works Minister) YB Baru (Bian) to be present in the Dewan but unfortunately we did not see him at all because this is the right time for him to explain a lot of things, especially pertaining to the many projects that have been cancelled,” he said.
Snowdan added that some 30 villagers from Selangau had met with PRS president and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing to express their disappointment with Baru for not voicing out and fighting for their needs and plights.
Considering the allegedly unfair treatment given to Sarawak, the GPS Youth said it showed unwillingness on the part of PH to help Sarawak and, thus, Sarawak cannot find any reason to support them.
“GPS is on the right track. The three by-elections are the answer, that people now realised they have been misled due to lies and accusations, and they are fed up already. The results will speak for itself and with social media, people are more aware of the situation now,” Snowdan concluded. — DayakDaily