KUCHING, June 26 — Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem must block not just Umno but the Peninsula-based Malay party’s race-based policies from creeping into Sarawak, state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said today.
The state opposition leader warned that Umno’s policies had the potential to cause disharmony in multi-ethnic Sarawak, where the locals have been living peacefully with each other.
“It is no use asking Umno not to set foot in Sarawak, but allowing its race-based policies to come in to the state,” he said.
Since becoming chief minister in February last year, Adenan has repeatedly said that he will not let Umno open up in Sarawak, and acknowledged that the presence of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s biggest party in the state could affect the local racial and religious harmony.
|File picture shows Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen (left) with his political secretary Sanjan Gaik, holding a news conference in Kuching, Sarawak, February 9, 2015. — Picture by Sulok Tawie|
As a first step, Chong suggested Adenan instruct Sarawak’s 25 BN MPs to speak up against racial policies in Parliament.
The Bandar Kuching MP said the latest example of Umno’s race-based policy is a requirement for all forwarding agents to allocate 51 per cent of the total shares for Malays.
He said the forwarding agents are also required to have 51 per cent of their workforce and directorship allocated for Malays.
“This is a totally ridiculous policy because many forwarding agents are small-time business with two or three partners,” Chong said, adding that the partners are also doing the work themselves.
He said the policy was introduced earlier this year, and the forwarding agents must comply before month’s end.
“If these forwarding agents do not take in the Malays as partners, directors and workers, their licences will not be renewed,” Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa state lawmaker, said.
“If they cannot renew their licences, many of which are to expire at the end of this month, the forwarding agents are forced to close down.”
He said he had asked the Ministry of Finance for a written explanation about the policy, but the answer he got was rather unsatisfactory.
He said that explanation was that the policy was to enable the Malays to venture into the logistics sector.on themalaymailonline