Adenan vs Chong: Who is indulging in gutter politics?

Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen last week portrayed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem in a negative light with an insinuation that the State Barisan Nasional chief was reducing himself into gutter politics.

The portrayal was in response to Adenan’s call to the opposition, especially the DAP, not to pour cold water on his negotiation to reclaim Sarawak’s rights which were handed over to Putrajaya in the early days of Malaysia.

According to Adenan, the negative light portrayed by the opposition would give the impression among the public that the State government had failed in the negotiation to reclaim the rights.

There is nothing wrong with Adenan’s call, but the DAP looks at it in a negative light or a political way. It is still too early at this stage for the opposition to condemn the negotiation as a failure.

Chong, who is the State Assemblyman for Kota Sentosa, in his quick rebuttal, accused the chief minister of reducing himself to gutter politics for advising the opposition not to pour cold water over the negotiation.

Over the past few months, especially when the Sarawak state election is drawing nearer, anyone could read in the local media that Chong has been issuing statements attacking Adenan over his alleged weaknesses as head of government.

Chong has his own reasons for telling the people that Adenan, in spite of his high popularity among the people, has weaknesses as well. Perhaps, he is saying that Adenan is also human being and therefore capable of making mistakes.

Chong deems it as Adenan’s weakness for not using 25 Members of Parliament from the Sarawak Barisan to pile pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to increase oil and gas royalty from 5% to 20% for Sarawak.

While attacking the chief minister and the State Barisan for their alleged weaknesses, Chong is seen as projecting the DAP as the state’s saviour from disasters and a party which the people of Sarawak can rely upon and trust for their well-being.

His numerous media comments could be seen as telling the rakyat, especially the DAP supporters, that he and other DAP elected representatives are living up to the expectations of the people who voted for them in the 2011 state election and that they should to continue to support them in the next election.

It is safe to assume that the political assaults by the DAP and its elected representatives against the State Barisan Nasional and its leaders will gain its intensity once the state legislative assembly is dissolved to pave the way for the state election. Now, it is just a warming up exercise, so to speak, for them.

We can understand, too, that the DAP will be telling the people that it is always there to champion the plights of the “oppressed” people or against the tyranny of the Barisan and the corrupt leaders in the run-up to polling day.

We can understand, too, that the DAP will be playing up with issues like unfairness in the awarding of government contracts to crony companies or recruitments into the civil service and allocating fund for minor rural projects.

These issues will surely stir up the sentiments of the people, especially the voters, to support the opposition in the election. Otherwise, what is there for the opposition to raise and how to gain the support of the voters other than stirring up their sentiments?

While the DAP and its leaders have every right to criticise the chief minister and the State Barisan, they should be brave enough to publicly welcome the success of securing Sarawak autonomy over a number of administrative matters from the federal government in the first phase of negotiation on Sarawak’s rights.

Getting the prime minister to allow Sarawak to have 90% of the total number of teachers to be locals by 2017, and delegating the state officers to recruit officers for federal departments in Sarawak is a huge achievement by any measure.

It is also not out of place for the DAP to welcome the success in getting the federal government to get the consent of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly first before drafting legislation that would have any bearing or impact on Sarawak.

This is a very significant and important agreement between Adenan and Najib because in the past, legislations like the Territorial Sea Act, Continental Shelf Act and Petroleum

Development Act, were drafted without the consent of the State Legislative Assembly. These Acts, unfortunately, have altered the boundary of Sarawak.

Let us see whether Chong or the DAP will congratulate Adenan for the success. – Sarawak Voice