Kota Sentosa rep deems DAP Sarawak debate proposal ‘waste of time’ if not on matters concerning constituency

Yap showing the letter from Kong on a public debate between DAP and SUPP on April 3, 2024.

KUCHING, April 3: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap has urged Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak not to evade real issues, while reaffirming his stance that he is open to a public debate with its chairman Chong Chieng Jen, but only on specific topics concerning and affecting Kota Sentosa constituency.

Yap emphasised this stance in rejecting a counter proposal by Chong’s special assistant, Michael Kong, to debate on accountability and transparency, which he deemed as a waste of time as he is only an ordinary state elected representative without any governmental position.

“Moreover, I’m not directly involved in formulating policies, regulations, guidelines, and procedures on integrity, accountability, and transparency within government ministries, departments, local authorities, and government-linked companies,” he said in a statement today.

This challenge unfolded following Yap’s response to Chong’s Facebook post on March 25, where Chong claimed that the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) has not improved since the last century and challenged the party to a debate.

Yap, who is the SUPP Kota Sentosa branch chairman, responded in a Facebook post on the same day, expressing his amusement and requesting Chong to set the time and place for a debate on the topic, ‘DAP Sarawak have failed the people of Sarawak and have failed to deliver on its numerous election promises’.

Subsequently, Kong issued a press statement challenging Yap to a debate on various topics and sent a letter dated April 1 to Yap’s office proposing several topics and participants for a public debate between DAP and SUPP.

In response, Yap emphasised that any debate with Chong must be relevant to the voters of N12 Kota Sentosa and focus on matters for which both are responsible, such as whether N12 Kota Sentosa is better served under a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representative or if it was neglected during the 15 years under DAP representation in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN).

“I am the current State assemblyman of N12 Kota Sentosa and Chong is the former three-term assemblyman for the constituency and current two-term member of Parliament (MP) for Stampin on which Kota Sentosa is part of.

“It is therefore appropriate for Chong to debate with me on what he has done for the welfare, progress and development of Kota Sentosa,” he said.

Regarding Kong’s proposal, Yap reminded that Sarawak is the first state in Malaysia to pass the Ombudsman Ordinance 2023, demonstrating the GPS government’s commitment to instilling an integrity culture among those in authority.

“Integrity is not just about avoiding corruption, embezzlement or fraud but it also fosters a culture of accountability where those holding positions in government entities or bodies take responsibilty and are held accountable for their actions, decisions and their consequences,” he pointed out.

In a world where transparency and accountability are essential for a functional democracy, Yap underscored that the Ombudsman Ordinance 2023 play an essential role in ensuring the voice of the people are heard and the government operates in the best interest of its citizens.

“I’m proud to have debated and voted for the passsing into law of the Ombudsman Ordinance 2023,” he added. — DayakDaily