KUCHING, June 5: GPS Backbenchers Club has called on PSB and other opposition assemblymen to volunteer and contribute a portion of their salaries to the State Disaster Fund and help Sarawak recover from the Covid-19 crisis, instead of politicising the issue.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Backbenchers Club made this call in responding to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s statement, who described the two months’ salary cut of State government officials to be contributed to the State Disaster Fund as a “political stunt”.
“The contribution by the State government via a pay cut of its members serves as a symbol of solidarity for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are perplexed as to why Datuk Seri Wong decided to politicise the issue when it is never about politics to begin with,” they said in a statement issued today.
GPS Backbenchers Club said they were also baffled as to why PSB opposed the initiative when the party, through one of its Presidential Council members, had in February this year demanded for assemblymen to take a pay cut to purchase gadgets for poor school children to enable them to follow home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) sessions.
“Why is it when this is done now, that the party opposes the move with all its might? Have they forgotten their demand for the pay cuts back then or was it simply a ‘personal opinion’ of one of its members?” they questioned.
GPS Backbenchers Club pointed out that this initiative was nothing new as this was also done at the Federal government level which was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this week.
The move, it added, was also emulated by other State governments – Johor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan – regardless of political affiliations and beliefs.
As to Wong’s claim that the RM3 million worth of contribution from the pay cuts was a drop in the ocean in terms of the Sarawak government’s expenditure, GPS Backbenchers Club said: “It was never about the amount but more importantly, the spirit of the matter.”
In this critical juncture due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they emphasised that it was crucial that everyone show support and conviction to see that the Covid-19 pandemic comes to a halt.
“It is time that they stop politicking, step up and play their role in helping Sarawak recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.” — DayakDaily