KUCHING: Labeling Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak’s manifesto as ‘nothing new’ reflects Barisan Nasional’s (BN) continuous failure in restoring Sarawak’s basic rights and meeting the basic needs of the people.
Dr Kelvin Yii who is the special assistant to state Democratic Action Party chief Chong Chieng Jen, said BN was not serious in delivering what the people needed but PH Sarawak was.
“The reason that it is perceived by BN as seeming to be nothing ‘new’ in the PH manifesto is because it encompasses basic rights and even development issues which BN has failed to provide and deliver to the people even after being in power for more than 50 years.
“The difference is, we are serious about implementing it and restoring what is rightfully ours including fully recognising our ‘wilayah’ or regional status, being not just one of the 13 states, in comparison to Barisan Nasional who has the authority and power to do so right now but chose not to do so,” said Yii in a press statement yesterday.
Yii was responding to political secretary to the chief minister Susan Chemerai Anding who in a recent statement described the PH manifesto as being ‘nothing new’.
“The reality is, until today in Sarawak itself, we are lacking so much basic amenities and infrastructure due to the negligence and bad governance of the BN government.
“Even basic infrastructure including treated clean water supply coverage is only about 61 per cent in the rural areas. Many of our schools especially in the rural areas are in dilapidated conditions.
“The school buildings did not fall into such conditions overnight. How could the state government allow them to get to this condition and only now put on a show to demand from the federal government? Why were they silent on the matter for so long?” asked Yii.
He said this has been the problem all along with BN Sarawak and all its component parties.
“They were silent all this while, standing aside as our state’s rights erodes and (we have) been left behind in terms of development. They are now trying to shift the blame to (PH chairman) Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) when it was them who have the responsibility to fight for our rights and interest.
“They also fail to understand that PH does not function like BN where there is an overpowering UMNO and other component parties are just subservient to them,” he said.
He added that whatever doubts people may have of Dr Mahathir, PH has the advantage of hindsight to prevent such things happening in the future especially when the opposition coalition comes into power.
“Included in our main agenda will be the reformation of the different government institutions which are supposedly independent. The proposal to limit the prime minister’s term will also contribute to limiting the power of the Prime Minister and returning the powers to the people.
“The BN Sarawak leaders shifting the blame and going on a personal attack on Tun Mahathir, speaks volume of their desperation and also the relevance of our 5 Thrusts to the people of Sarawak.
“We are determined to return what rightfully belongs to Sarawak as well as to make sure the state receives equitable development and quality education for every one of our children,” said Yii.