KUCHING: It does not matter if Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is sincere in reinstating the rights of Sarawak as a territory as it is a vision supported by all Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak coalition parties.
PH Sarawak information chief Vernon Kedit in a statement yesterday reminded Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing that at one time, Masing who is Deputy Chief Minister was also in the opposition.
“Perhaps this Deputy Chief Minister needs to be reminded that Tun Mahathir alone does not determine the direction and policies of Pakatan Harapan.
“Whether Tun is sincere or not is not the issue. The issue is that Pakatan Harapan as a coalition has released the 5 Thrusts which is wholly supported by all the leaders in every political party in the coalition, including Tun Mahathir himself.
“In Pakatan Harapan, we decide by consensus and these 5 Thrusts were arrived at by consensus. When we win GE14, as a coalition, we will implement these 5 Thrusts for Sarawak,” said Vernon.
Vernon who is also PKR information chief was responding to Masing’s statement on Monday questioning why Dr Mahathir did not pursue reinstating Sarawak’s rights during his 23-years-long administration as a prime minister. Masing continued by saying Dr Mahathir was not sincere at looking into the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Vernon also remarked that Masing who was once an opposition leader had changed his tune after becoming part of BN.
“Masing forgets his roots. He was an ardent opposition leader during the early days of PBDS (Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak) in the 1980s. He led the charge against the injustices promulgated by Barisan Nasional in Parliament which systematically stripped away Sarawak’s rights which were done well before Tun’s time as Prime Minister.
“Then Masing joined Barisan Nasional and began to sing a different tune.”
He questioned why Masing did not redress the wrong committed against Sarawak since the latter has been in power for so long.
“Did he go to Tun Mahathir and table amendments to the laws that downgraded Sarawak? Masing did no such thing, as far as the public knows. Even if he did raise up issues behind closed doors, nothing has come of them.
“It has become common knowledge that Masing is very good at complaining in the newspapers but remains obediently silent in the Dewan where it matters. So, who has been insincere all this while?”
He further questioned what PRS MPs have been doing in Parliament during the time of Dr Mahathir.
“How many MPs has PRS put in Parliament, and how many of them have spoken out against Tun Mahathir when he was the Prime Minister? We can only surmise that they too followed the lead of their President Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing by making some noise in the newspapers for show but when it comes to the real deal in Parliament, they are either absent during the vote for important matters pertaining to Sarawak or if they are present, they vote obediently according to the whims of UMNO.
“The Hansard of Parliament is readily available and I will be more than happy to remind Masing of the ‘sincerity’ of PRS MPs towards Sarawak and Sarawakians when they voted with UMNO against the rights of Sarawakians.
“Need I remind him of when the Territorial Sea Act of 2012 was tabled, and most recently when the tourism tax fiasco was forced through?” said Vernon.
He added when Masing was pointing one finger at Dr Mahathir, four fingers were pointing back at him and his party’s ADUNs (state assemblymen) and MPs who have failed Sarawakians not only during Tun Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister but up until today.
“Tun Mahathir’s sincerity is not the issue; BN Sarawak’s insincerity is the glaring issue and that is why Pakatan Harapan’s 5 Thrusts is the only mechanism that Sarawakians can hope for to heal the festering wounds that BN has inflicted on Sarawak for 54 years,” Vernon said.