Chong (centre), flanked by Wong (left) and Yong, during the press conference held yesterday at the party’s headquarters here.
KUCHING: State Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen is ready to table a motion for a referendum ordinance in the next State Legislative Assembly sitting in August. The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said the ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ (S4S) organisers have been gunning for a referendum ordinance, as opposed to Sarawak’s independence. “What the Referendum Ordinance will do is allow referendums to be held in respect of major decisions of any country or government, and S4S has stated earlier in April this year that their struggle is not for independence but for the referendum ordinance and we at DAP do support this idea. “There are a lot of examples of referendums globally – for example, in Switzerland, several referendums are held in a year where even the government’s decision to increase assessment rates have to go for referendum. As for Scotland, their referendum was very specific, which was the Scotland Independence Referendum Act where they only have one agenda which is their independence. But after numerous interactions with S4S, they are not gunning for independence but for a referendum ordinance,” Chong said during a press conference yesterday at the party headquarters here. In regard to the July 22 rally, Chong stated that it would help to increase political awareness in Sarawak especially in regard to the state’s history. “This is something good for the state, and we look at it as a people’s movement. This will help to defend Sarawak’s interests and to fight against any unfair or unjust government policies. “To effectively defend Sarawak’s interest, we need to have a clearer agenda. The Referendum Ordinance is a process, not an ultimate aim or agenda, but we feel that there are four areas of autonomy that can better protect Sarawak’s interest and they are autonomy in the fields of education, health service, police affairs and tax,” Chong added. Chong also said DAP would be participating in the July 22 rally, although he was careful to emphasise that it was not so much of a rally but a “stroll”. “We call on our members and supporters to meet at 8am on Wednesday opposite the Hilton Hotel and we will slowly walk towards the Song Kheng Hai rugby field at 8.30am. This will not be a rally, but a stroll along the road. There is no reason for police to have any concern or worry about us blocking the traffic. “We look at this as a people’s movement that transcends all political parties and we will oblige S4S’ request that there should be no party logo and we will be wearing non-party logo shirts in red or black,” Chong remarked. State DAP organising secretary Violet Yong and state DAP Youth chairman Wong King Wei were present at the press conference. On TheBorneoPost July -21, 2015, Tuesday