State govt urged to put aside enmity for the good of Sarawak

Irene Chang

SIBU, May 19: Democratic Action Party (DAP) calls on the state government to put aside high-handed tactics, personal grudges and wounded pride to work together with Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak to restore and rebuild Sarawak for the good of the people.

The party’s Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang said she was disturbed by the statement by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah that “the Sarawak state government didn’t even bother to give a peek” into the new deal offered by PH Sarawak on April 9, 2018.

“This shows that the BN Sarawak suffers from a dismal lack of understanding and lack of respect for the voice of the people and suffers from the same problem of arrogance as the previous federal BN Government which had contributed hugely to their downfall.

“The Sarawak state government should bear in mind that such arrogance and refusal to hear and listen to the wishes of the people will no longer sit well with the people of Sarawak, as can be seen from the dismal performance of their coalition parties in the just concluded general election,” said Chang in a statement today.

Chang, the widow of former state DAP chief Wong Ho Long said for the first time since Sarawak joined the Peninsular and Sabah to form Malaysia, the present situation offered a very real possibility that most that Sarawak’s rights may be restored, by working together with the PH federal government.

“The Sarawak state government therefore, should not hesitate to accept all that the federal PH government and PH Sarawak have to offer once the mechanisms have all been put in place.

“The state government owes it to the people to make the most of this opportunity to work together with all parties for the sake of the people and I assure the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) that though his party did not come back with a stronger mandate from the people as he had appealed before and during the campaigning for GE14, PH Sarawak is also committed to making Sarawak a powerful state,” said Chang.

She said the new deal offered by state PH would be the litmus test as to whether the state BN government was sincere in its fight for the devolution of powers to Sarawak and reminded all state assemblymen to be on the side of those aiming to improve the lives of Sarawakians as well the socio-economic development of Sarawak.

“But this cannot be done if the state BN government refuses to mend their old ways and accept what is now being offered to the people of Sarawak on the platter, which includes the restoration of territorial integrity and devolution of powers in taxation and public revenues, education and health, amongst others.

“These are what Pakatan Harapan, through her coalition parties of DAP, PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and AMANAH (Parti Amanah Negara) have been fighting for so many years. And even though the BN state government has missed the boat by refusing to sign the agreement for the new deal before GE14, PH Sarawak is still very much committed in delivering all these election pledges and more to the people of Sarawak,” said Chang.

She said state government should top practising “carrot and stick” politics but show proper governance and commitment to developing Sarawak and fulfilling all their pledges made during the campaign period.

“The people are watching if these promises will be carried out as these are the state government’s responsibility as long as they remain as the government of the day,” said Chang. — DayakDaily