Institutional reforms take time, says Chong

(Seated from left) Willie, Chong, Baru and See at the press conference.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Feb 8: State Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen said the institutional reforms being undertaken by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government are not expected to mend overnight what the previous government had done in the last 56 years.

“If we can do a cleansing of what was rotten for so long to a rosy situation, then it would be a miracle,” he told reporters covering Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Chinese New Year open house at PKR Stampin Branch here today.

Also present were state PKR chief Baru Bian, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin.

Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, urged the people to continue to have faith in the PH government, which has set up a lot of parliamentary committees and select committees to address many issues plaguing the country.

“Those are all in progress and the process to deliver our election promises (takes time),” said Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

He pointed out that these committees comprised representatives from both political divides. Previously, their representation was under the prime minister’s prerogative.

“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is headed by the opposition, and that is unthinkable in the past,” he said.

Chong added that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was heading towards greater independence, and the Election Commission (EC) proved its independence by the way they handled the recently concluded Cameron Highlands by-election.

“EC criticised the opposition and the government during the by-election. So, the important thing is that institutional reforms are slowly and steadily setting in,” he emphasised.

Chong said it was not too long ago that the country was governed by a kleptocrat, but that stigma is now gone as Malaysians had spoken very clearly on May 9 last year.

“With that, Malaysia will rise again as one of the Tigers in South East Asia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Baru spoke of the need for Malaysians to have faith in the PH government as it had taken over the government only nine months ago.

“I think if there is sincerity to do what is best for the nation, then I think the PH government cannot go wrong,” he said.

Baru, who is also Works Minister and Selangau MP, acknowledged that there would be a lot of challenges along the way, but he reckoned that sincere efforts to do what is right and good for the people will be sufficient for the PH government to move forward. — DayakDaily