State ministers reminded to look beyond own constituencies’ welfare

PBK Southern zone chief Chai Kueh Khun

KUCHING, Jan 10: Ministers in Sarawak should take care of the whole of Sarawak and not only the constituencies they are representing.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Southern Zone publicity chairman Chai Kueh Khun asserted this in a statement when he said there should not be any partisanship as the role of all ministers is to ensure all Sarawakians are given equal attention and treatment.

Claiming there was a trend lately where ministers were spending too much time in their own constituencies and not other parts of Sarawak with people in need, he highlighted several places where fires have destroyed homes and longhouses but alleged none were given the right amount of attention.

Citing three longhouse fire incidents in Engkilili, Tatau and Sekuau in 2020 which left 427 residents including 78 children homeless, Chai questioned the role of Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian in these events.

“Should this role be left to the elected representatives or should the Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian be on hand to assess the situation, provide temporary and permanent plans to rebuild the longhouses or other housing options to prevent the recurrence of fires?

“This is expected of him by the people as the Minister of Local Government and Housing. Spending too much time in Batu Kawah taking care of his own constituency will leave him with very little or no time to take care of other parts of Sarawak,” he said.

On a related issue, Chai urged the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government not to confuse the roles of the government and the opposition.

He said it is the job and duty of the government of the day to deliver, and not the opposition as the role of the opposition, in the State Legislature, is to check the excesses of the ruling or dominant party.

“In a democracy, the opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public.

“They are to check the government from becoming authoritarian, to restrict it and to keep watch over them. If the opposition are doing this role, then they have already performed their duty.

“It is unfair for GPS’ ministers or their elected representatives to continue to tell the people that the opposition can only shout but cannot deliver,” said Chai. — DayakDaily