KUCHING, Sept 28: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing wants all political parties to stop the unhealthy and irresponsible behavior of abusing their power by intimidating the local “tuai rumah” to coerce them into supporting a certain political party.
The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said it is an outrage to learn that several “tuai rumah” have been ‘threatened’ by certain political parties simply because of their support for different parties.
“As a member of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), I urge all parties to refrain from adopting this unhealthy form of political practice, which is borne from a selfish agenda to gain power,” he said during a visit and dialogue session held at Dudong longhouse (Rh Birai anak Empading) in Sungai Salim, Sibu recently.
Tiong noted, to his knowledge, among the longhouses that support the GPS state government, they will have their own preference for the component parties in the alliance, and this should be left to the personal choice of the longhouse chiefs as their freedom.
Disappointingly, he said, some members of the other components in the alliance have chosen to display their unhappiness and abuse those they deemed unaligned to them.
“They have even resorted to threats and refusing to allow the issuance of the certificate that recognises the leadership of the longhouse chief. This is a highly irresponsible behaviour and abuse of power to intimidate the longhouse heads to coerce them into supporting a certain political party,” said Tiong.
Tiong also pointed out that he has come to know that two “tuai rumah” have been labelled anti-GPS just because they did not support a certain political party.
According to him, these members of the political party have even abused their positions by writing to the district officer of Sibu to disparage the “tuai rumah” and prevent them from obtaining their proper certificates.
“They seem to forget that the appointment of “tuai rumah” is not determined by any political party but approved by the Sarawak government after a selection process by the longhouse residents. So, why do these political party leaders resort to these underhanded tactics for their selfish interest,” questioned Tiong.
He also suggested that these politicians should visit the constituencies frequently, not for publicity’s sake to gain political mileage but to really understand the grassroots’ issues and resolve the people’s difficulties.
“Only political leaders and parties with roots among the people can win their trust and support through sincere effort to serve and keep promises. Political leaders must serve the “rakyat” with sincerity,“ he said.
Tiong also said the Sarawak state government had decided that the chiefs of longhouses with more than 10 households will be recognised as such.
He clarified that for “tuai rumah” of longhouses with fewer than 10 households, the GPS is still discussing the method to resolve the appointment of the “tuai rumah”, with an aim to reduce disagreements among the community. –DayakDaily.