17th DAP Sarawak Annual Convention 2014

Chairman Address

(26-10-2014)

The year 2014 has been a sad year for all of us DAP Sarawak for we have lost 2 great leaders, our National Chairman, Sdr Karpal Singh and our former State Chairman, Sdr Wong Ho Leng.  Though they are no longer with us, but I believe the memory of them and their fighting spirit will remain with us forever and will continue to be our source of motivation and inspiration.

Since the present State Committee took office on 9-6-2013, it has been a very challenging time for us in the past 16 months.  We have ventured out from our traditional grounds in the urban centres to the rural areas, a new political frontier for DAP Sarawak.  

With the help of the Impian Sarawak team spearheaded by our national leaders, working hand in hand with our local Go-Rural committees, we have managed to make an impact in the rural area, providing a new alternative to the rural people.  While in the past the opposition was accused of talk only no action, we now deliver minor rural projects for the rural people.  While in the past only BN can provide minor rural projects, now we DAP can also deliver such projects.

Since the launch of Impian Sarawak in September, 2013, we have proven to some longhouses folks in Sri Aman, what BN Government estimated to be costing RM70,000 road pavement project, we did it with RM7,000.   We have connected water supply to the doorsteps of the families in the kampongs in Bengoh, Pakan, Limbang, Bintulu where the BN Government has neglected them for decades.  We helped build a house for an abused single-mother whom the BN government has turned its back on. We helped constructed jetty in Sg Rassau, Sibu. We have even constructed a 3 km road for cars to reach 2 kampongs in Mambong where previously there was only a footpath.

In fact, the Impian Sarawak Ubah brand name has struck such fear on the BN that in several occasions, projects requested by some kampongs and longhouses which have been neglected by the government for years were immediately carried out after our Impian Sarawak team paid its first visit to the kampong.

Besides carrying out these minor infrastructural projects, we also engaged in programs to uplift the earning capacity of the rural people.  In Sri Aman, we gave oil palm seedlings to the NCR land owners whom the MPOB was directed by the Sarawak Government not to give.  In Mas Gading, we taught the women, mushroom farming technics and handicraft work for them to earn extra income.

All these programs centre on one political message, what the BN can do, we can also do notwithstanding that we are in the opposition.  Vote us in as the Government, we can do a lot better than the BN.  This message has been continuously delivered to the rural folks through our regular publication and free distribution of Ubah Sarawak newsletter.

The 3 thrusts of our Impian Sarawak Go-Rural projects are namely, improving the living environment, uplifting the earning capacity and enhancing the political minds of the people in the rural area.  These will continue so long as DAP is in Sarawak.  


Political scenario in Sarawak has changed significantly since Adenan Satem replaced Taib as the Chief Minister of Sarawak on 28-2-2014.  Some say that we have lost our punching bag because Adenan Satem is a more friendly and approachable person.

I beg to differ.  It is not Taib that the people in Sarawak is against.  It is the BN policy of cronyism, monopoly of State resources in the hands of few, the land grabs and corrupt practices and abuses that the people in Sarawak is against.  These, Adenan has inherited from the previous administration.

Though Adenan Satem has made some statements that sounds good, eg. “not allowing his immediate family members to apply for state land and timber concession”, he has failed to implement policy reforms in the system to fight corruption and cronyism in the system.  Even his cabinet ministers are not singing the same tune as him.

As a result, if Adenan Satem truly wants to rid his administration of cronyism, corrupt practices and abuses, he is quite alone in BN, and he can only find friends in DAP.

As a responsible Opposition, if the Chief Minister does something bad, we criticise and oppose.  But if a Chief Minister wishes to do good for the people, we not only support, but also will make constructive proposals and list out the reforms in policies that will help him clean up his administration and help to make Sarawak a better place to live.

The State Committee presents to the Convention for adoption and approval, The DAP 2014 Bintulu Declaration titled “TOWARDS EQUAL PARTNERS”.  This Declaration will list out the promises of DAP Sarawak to the people of Sarawak and at the same time, serves as our proposal to the Sarawak BN Government for reforms towards transparent, fair and clean governance and make Sarawak a better place to live.

It will not only restore the EQUAL PARTNERS relationship between Sarawak and West Malaysia as envisaged by the founding fathers of Malaysia, but will further create an environment where all Sarawakians are treated as EQUAL PARTNERS in our nation building.
  

Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak State Chairman