Riot to PH: Why ask for money from the poor in Serian?

A banner announcing the PH fundraising dinner on August 18 is seen in front of SJK Chung Hua in Serian. The guest-of-honour is state PH chairman and Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen.

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KUCHING, August 13: Serian Member of Parliament Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem is baffled why Pakatan Harapan (PH) plans to raise funds in his constituency this weekend even though most Serian folks are poor.

“I can’t understand why they have to ask money from Serian people, when the vast majority of the people there are still ‘kais pagi makan pagi’ or (living) in hand-to-mouth condition.

“If they so need to help the government raise funds, they should start either in Kuching or Sibu, where there are so many rich people,” Riot told DayakDaily today.

Riot, who has been Serian MP since 1990, revealed that many of his constituents are poor.

“In fact, there are still many Chinese who are still poor in Serian. The vast majority of the ethnic groups such as Bidayuhs, Ibans and Malays are still toiling to earn their living,” he said.

Since taking over Putrajaya on May 10, the PH government has been raising funds from the public for the country. It has been reported that contributions to the Tabung Harapan reached the RM172 million on August 6.

On a related issue, Riot, who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) deputy president, said about 38 per cent of the party’s members were Bumiputeras.

“There has been a slight increase in our membership among the Bumiputeras,” he said.

According to SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, SUPP Bumiputera members comprised 36 per cent of the party’s 115,000 registered total membership.

Editor’s note: Percentage of Bumiputra members quoted by Ting amended to 36 per cent after further clarification.

— DayakDaily