Let people elect their local councillors, Kho tells CM

Desmond Kho

KUCHING, Aug 3: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak Information chief Desmond Kho has urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to stop the double talk and give Sarawakians a voice by implementing local council elections.

“One must wonder whether the Chief Minister agrees with his own rhetoric of Sarawak First, as such a battle cry indicating that it is Sarawakians who have a hand in running the state.

“If so, then why does he shy away from (implementing local council) elections which would give Sarawakians the ability to exercise our own autonomy in a democracy?,” Kho questioned in a press release today.

Kho was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s refusal to support Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s plan to streamline local council elections, saying that it was against the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which allowed the state to administer the local government.

He opined that Abang Johari’s arguments were misguided because he believed the best way to ensure Sarawakians take part in local governance was to let people elect their local councillors.

“After all, if the state government’s parties fail to look after Sarawakian interests, then local council elections would allow local communities to voice their displeasure,” he said.

“However, Abang Johari seems regrettably allergic to the idea that Sarawakians should have a say in domestic governance,” he added.

Thus, he viewed that Abang Johari’s statement was a clear example of what George Orwell termed ‘doublespeak’ in his book ‘1984’, which meant to say that something was the complete opposite of what it was mean to be.

“He should know that as long as local council elections are clean and fair, PH is justified in wanting them to be implemented, and in fact this is the first step in restoring autonomy to Sarawakians,” he said.

“Furthermore, PH has a much cleaner record in the implementation of elections compared to the previous government,” he added. — DayakDaily