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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 13: Sarawak must win all 31 parliamentary seats in coming 15th General Election (GE15) to become a strong and formidable force in view of the political changes and swirling new alliances taking shape in Peninsular Malaysia.
Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan Branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok observed that political forces in Peninsular Malaysia are now consolidating and finding new alliances in an attempt to cause an upset come election time.
“Sarawak needs to consolidate our votes and must make sure we (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) have the 31 seats to count on and strengthen our values and Sarawak’s position within the federation.
“This will allow our Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) to continue all-out efforts to reinstate our eroded rights,” he said during the SUPP Stakan Branch annual general meeting (AGM) and anniversary dinner 2021 held at an eatery here last night.
In the last general election, Sim shared that Sarawak won 19 out of 31 parliamentary seats, but currently held 18 seats after Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat defected from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).
Despite that, he believes GPS will do the best for Sarawak and thus called out to branch members to work harder to win all 31 seats for GPS including seven under SUPP so that Sarawak will not be left behind in any development agenda.
Looking back at the 2018 general election results, Sim pointed out that Stakan lost in most of the non-Bumi areas but GPS candidate Rubiah Wang won handsomely in Kota Samarahan with an increased majority.
“In the past five years, we found that the increase in Chinese residents did not tally with the number of voters in our constituency. Perhaps this is because these voters have not changed their voting addresses and are still voting in their old districts.
“But most of the non-Bumi votes will remain at between 10-12 per cent of the registered voters in our constituency,” he said.
As such, Sim said it is SUPP Stakan’s mission to try and reach these areas and increase the voting percentage to help Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Sarawak (PBB) secure as much of the votes.
“I am pleased to see that in the recently concluded Sarawak elections, the non-Bumi votes have somewhat turned up and Stakan saw better results and support from these voters.
“We will continue to create more awareness on all the various initiatives introduced by the GPS government so that more people can benefit instead of missing out because they are unaware. With all efforts, we hope all of us will be victorious come the next general election,” he added.
The initiatives include RM1,000 Sarawak Endowment Fund for every Sarawakian newborn, RM450 Post-Natal Assistance for new mothers, two times RM300 assistance for Sarawakian students in Peninsular Malaysia to return home for the festive holidays, as well as Kenyalang Gold Card to benefit ageing population including RM3,000 Death Compassionate Assistance.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting, Batu Kitang assemblyman who is also Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap were among those present. — DayakDaily