Yesterday, the DAP Serian Branch launched the State Election Machinery for Kedup and Bukit Semuja. The launching ceremony was held at the Balai Raya of Kampong Sangai Empani and was attended by approximately 200 of the DAP Serian Branch members.
As the officiating guest of honour for the event, I am very encouraged by the turnout, especially given that yesterday is a working day. Not only were they present but their mood was high and enthusiastic.
In my address, I brought up 3 issues, namely: 1. The implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST) which has made lives difficult for everyone. The coming Sarawak State Elections will be the first time the people can express their disapproval towards the Barisan National (BN) Government for the implementation of GST in April, 2015. In this coming State Elections, we must send a clear message to BN that the people oppose GST.
2. Under BN government, regardless whether the international oil price is up or down, ultimately the people suffers. When the oil price was high, the cronies of the BN government have a windfall and benefits from the high revenue generated while the people suffers from high inflation. However, when oil price is low, the people also suffers from inflation. This is the result of the BN policies favouring the cronies over the people.
3. In 2015, there was a total RM900 million allocated for Minor Rural Projects (MRP) fund. With such amount, every DUN constituency should get approximately RM15 million each. Given that there are about 100 kampong in Kedup constituency, each kampong (or every JKKK) in Kedup should get about RM150,000 for MRP fund in 2015.
However, this is not the case. Where has all the MRP fund gone to? That is the question everyone must ask their Ketua Kampong, BN ADUN and the minister.
When DAP brought up this question in DUN, Adenan refused to answer and tried to divert the issue by accusing the DAP of objecting against rural development.
Ultimately, despite whatever said by Adenan or Najib about how good BN is, people’s livelihood are seriously affected by the BN policies. Business activities are slowing down and the working class are finding their disposal income shrinking.
Therefore voters in Sarawak should seize this opportunity to strengthen the opposition and lay the foundation for change of government in the 14th General Elections.
Together with me are MP for Bukit Gelugor Ram Karpal, MP for Stampin Julian Tan and ADUN for Pending Violet Yong.
3-2-2016 Chong Chieng Jen Sarawak DAP chairman MP for Bandar Kuching ADUN for Kota Sentosa
Adenan’s call for a bigger win for the BN in the coming State Elections for him to bargain for more autonomy is but an excuse to cover up his failure to obtain autonomy from the federal Government.
He is now using his failure to get true autonomy from the federal Government as a carrot to entice more votes for BN in the coming State Elections.
Sarawakians are no fools and we can see clearly from the following facts that Adenan’s call is only a bluff:
1. At present, in Parliament, BN has a total 134 MPs out of 222 MPs which is only 60.36%. On the other hand, in Sarawak DUN, BN has 54 out of 71 ADUNs which is 76.06%. Sarawak BN is already a lot stronger in DUN than the National BN in Parliament. There is thus no reason for the Federal Government to reject any demand from the Sarawak Government on any of the autonomy powers on the ground that Sarawak BN is not strong enough.
2. In the demand for 20% oil and gas royalties, Adenan had 100% support in DUN. Yet he still fails to get the Federal Government to consent to the 20% oil and gas royalties. What number can be more than 100% support in DUN? Surely Adenan cannot have an electoral victory that will give Sarawak BN more than 100% win. If even a 100% support in DUN cannot make the Federal BN Government give in to the demand of the Sarawak State Government, it is pointless for Adenan to ask for a bigger victory in Sarawak state election.
3. The key to more autonomy power for Sarawak lies not in the State elections but the 25 Sarawak BN MPs in Parliament. The issue of negotiating for more State autonomy is all about the devolution of power by the Federal Government to the State Government. It is a matter of whether the Federal Government is willing to devolve these powers. If it is not willing, then it is a matter of how the State Government force the issue.
If Adenan is true in wanting to get more autonomy for Sarawak, he has the leverage in the Sarawak’s 25 BN MPs in Parliament. If and only if these 25 Sarawak BN MPs withdraw their support for the National BN, the National BN will only have 109 MPs which will make Najib’s administration a minority government.
As a minority government, it will then be up to Adenan to detect the terms with the Federal government, not to beg and plea with Najib.
However, if these 25 Sarawak BN MPs remain in BN, then they are still bound by Najib and given the stand of UMNO BN (as shown in the royalty issue), there is no hope for more autonomous power for Sarawak.
I urge Adenan not to treat Sarawkians as if we are all ignorant about politics. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the current political scenario and the workings of a federation system will know that his statement is nothing but a bluff.
If Adenan wants to dangle a carrot for the Sarawak voters to vote BN in the coming State elections, make sure it is a true carrot, and not a fake carrot.
The rejection by the Federal Government of the 20% oil and gas royalties demand has clearly shown that there is no political will on the part of the BN to give Sarawak more autonomy.
Therefore, to effectively fight for more autonomy, Sarawak BN must withdraw from BN and Adenan must direct his 25 BN MPs to withdraw their support for Najib’s administration. Otherwise, all negotiations and talks about autonomy will come to nothing and suffers the same fate as the 20% oil and gas royalties demand.
1-2-2016 Chong Chieng Jen MP for Bandar Kuching & ADUN for Kota Sentosa DAP Sarawak Chairman