By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth today urged Progressives Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to rethink his criticisms of PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, which were published by a local daily yesterday.
PRS Youth publicity chief Andy Lawrence told Tiong to look at the bigger picture when Masing, during the party’s recent Extraordinary Delegates’ Conference, said it was important for the voices of smaller parties in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to be heard by the dominant party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).
Andy said Masing’s speech was never meant to cause a stir or rock the boat. It was said in good faith and for the good of GPS, if only it is listened and understood well, he added.
“There was no mention of anything at all by our president on PDP that warranted Datuk Seri Tiong to take offence on Masing and labelled him as ‘rocking the boat’.
“Who is rocking the boat here actually?” Andy wondered, in a statement today.
Tiong, in the article, said what Masing said was akin to rocking the boat. He opined that Masing should have brought his grouses up with the leaders of other GPS component parties, instead of going public with his demands.
“In all those years in BN prior to the last general election, Masing seemed to have no problem with the allocation of seats to his party, when BN won state elections handsomely. Now with BN having lost its power at the federal level, he started making noise about PBB getting the lion’s share of the seats among GPS parties.
“Is he trying to say that PRS lost those seats because PBB had the majority of the parliamentary seat allocation? Masing should face the bitter truth that the loss of the three seats was due to internal disputes in his party and not try to point his finger at PBB’s dominance in the state BN,” Tiong was quoted as saying in the article.
On that, Andy said as a young and the second largest party in the coalition, in addition to being Dayak-based, Masing felt that the burden was on him to shoulder and voice out the ‘cries’ of the rural Dayaks, who had placed high hopes and expectations on him as their elected leader.
“Too bad, if that is wrong, then I cannot preempt what is right.
“Put it this way, political anatomy is no less different than the anatomy of our human body. The stronger party, by being dominant as does our ‘head and brain’, will lead and manoeuver, for without it, it is as good as a dead body,” he said.
Andy pointed out that the younger parties or the other partners in the coalition would play some roles as the “heartbeat” and “nerves”, providing supplements and blood circulation all around the body. This way, the body would function well, he added.
“Now, as a matter of fact, the ‘Samalaju episode’ had struck Datuk Seri Tiong and made him aware that the younger and smaller parties are not left with much, except to bargain from the dominant.
“Akin to our body without ‘fingers’, we have to understand that the body could still walk steadily around.
“Same is true to a coalition. The strong and dominant party can stand on it’s on even without the smaller ones, the reason being the number is insignificant. The smaller ones need to bargain and be heard to gain, for the stake is ‘small for the small’,” stressed Andy.
He pointed out that the learning point here would be don’t forget to voice out, be heard, then “ask and you shall receive”. — DayakDaily