Vernon to PBB leaders: `Wake up and smell the coffee’ 

Vernon Kedit

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KUCHING, Nov 30: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Betong chief Vernon Kedit advised Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders to stop their ego and see the reality of the changed political landscape.

“I am amused that just this week, three PBB strongmen — Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Abdullah Saidol and Datuk Idris Buang — have seen fit to focus their attention on me. I must be saying something right for them to single me out on my comments and opinions,” he said in a press statement here today.

“It is high time for PBB leaders like them to move out from their ivory towers to wake up and smell the coffee (as) not all Sarawakians (would) swallow their old and tired propaganda in this new political reality.”

Responding to Idris’ comment that “only the 100-per cent Sarawak political parties under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) are able to fight for the rights of Sarawakians more effectively”, Vernon reminded that Sarawakians knew that only national parties PKR, DAP and Amanah led by true blue Sarawakians had fought for and with the natives of Sarawak on native customary rights (NCR).

“So far, only 100 per cent Sarawak political parties under GPS have managed to stubbornly pursue policies that deny NCR to landowners. GPS led by PBB, which is purely local, is the greatest purveyor of Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code, which denies total ownership of NCR lands to the natives.”

Vernon added that similarly, other local parties also turned a blind eye to Sarawak’s rural schools.

“Just look at the solar-for-schools corruption scandal now exposed. This happened during the watch of these so-called local parties. One hundred per cent corruption that denied much-needed development for all Sarawakian rural schools!”

Vernon emphasised that local parties must also answer the glaring question of racial imbalance in the state civil service.

“No use to talk about wanting to maintain racial harmony and the ‘refined culture of unity’ when they do not practice what they preach. Sarawakians have had enough of their empty rhetoric.”

Vernon argued that since Pakatan Harapan is the government of the day, it was their duty and responsibility to highlight the weaknesses of GPS, which were now desperately trying to cover up by invoking MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) and stoking local sentiments.

He also questioned Fadillah and Abdullah if it was not PKR and DAP who highlighted the MA63 with the Kuching Declaration of 2012.

GPS, at the time proudly flying the Barisan Nasional (BN) flag, he said, had assaulted their efforts but now have taken up PKR’s torch and were championing the very issues they started.

“Let us not forget who initiated the Petroleum Act and which parties agreed to the Territorial Sea Act. Idris Buang needs to look in the mirror and ask himself why pure local parties gave away and eroded Sarawak’s intrinsic and inherent rights systematically and progressively over the last 55 years.

“Sarawakians remember these undeniable facts no matter how Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Abdullah Saidol and Datuk Idris Buang try to distract us with their empty rhetoric that nobody buys anymore.”

At the end of the day, Vernon believed Sarawakians would not look at parties so much as they would look at individuals and characters.

“Individuals like (Works Minister) Baru Bian and (Krian assemblyman and Saratok MP) Ali Biju have proven track records of fighting for Sarawakians and our rights. Meanwhile, the track records of Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Abdullah Saidol and Datuk Idris Buang are also on full view to the public.” — DayakDaily