By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 14: Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) “Sarawak First” slogan is hollow and meaningless for average Sarawakians as it works only for the ruling elites of GPS who are not connected to the general populace.
Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen who expressed this view is seeking to defend P196 Stampin in the 15th General Election (GE15).
He listed 10 issues which have adversely affected average Sarawakians in their daily living but allegedly have totally been ignored by the GPS leadership, claiming some of these issues “are even caused by the wrong use of the autonomy by the GPS government”.
Among some of these issues was the GPS government imposing five per cent Sarawak Sales Tax (SST) on all imported tyres in Sarawak, the only State in Malaysia with such additional tax on tyres, making tyres in Sarawak the most expensive in Malaysia.
This is, according to Chong, is due to Sarawak’s autonomy to impose Sales Tax which was used to the detriment of and not to help common Sarawakians.
“While the GPS government continues to collect revenue, common Sarawakians pay more,” said Chong in a press conference streamed live online today.
He then accused the GPS government of facilitating the monopoly of cement supply in Sarawak thereby making Sarawak’s cement more expensive than cement in other states in Malaysia and also making the construction sector in Sarawak susceptible to frequent cement supply interruptions.
Chong asserted the monopoly holders continue to make huge profits, while common Sarawakians pay more.
Thirdly, Chong who is also the Padungan assemblyman described Sarawak as having a “rich government but poor people”.
He said while the GPS government constantly boasts about having RM30 billion in reserve funds, Sarawak is the third poorest State in Malaysia.
“For a government to keep so much money idle in the bank while many Sarawakians are living in poverty, that is a clear sign of a government not caring for the common people.
“While the government continues to brag about the huge reserve fund, many common Sarawakians suffer in poverty,” Chong added.
DAP candidate for P195 Bandar Kuching Dr Kelvin Yii was with Chong at the press conference. — DayakDaily