Saturday, December 3, 2022

Four issues of the 11th Sarawak State Election

Secara Rawak

I want to discuss four issues of the 11th Sarawak State Election.

The first issue is that of the Sarawak Chief Minister after the May 7 Polling Day.

This question is as good as decided on Nomination Day on April 25, because there is no doubt whatsoever that the Chief Minister of Sarawak after the May 7 Polling Day will be Adenan Satem and nobody else.

Only the mentally weak or deficient would think that Adenan would not the Sarawak Chief Minister for the next five years.

In Siburan, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Adenan should be given five more years as Sarawak Chief Minister and it is not fair if Adenan is only given two years.

I fully agree with Najib and there is no doubt whatsoever that Adenan would be given five more years as Chief Minister of Sarawak.

The second issue is whether there will be a strong and effective Opposition in the Sarawak State Assembly to ensure that Adenan will keep to his promises to serve the people of Sarawak, ensure that Sarawak recover the autonomy rights and powers from Putrajaya, and most important of all, ensure that Adenan would not abuse his powers.

DAP fully supports Sarawak state autonomy but we cannot agree with any abuse of power, and there can be no doubt that barring DAP and PKR leaders from coming to Sarawak during the state election to carry out “legitimate political activities”, which is guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution and the Immigration Act, is an abuse of power.

This should be a salutary reminder of the need to have a strong and effective opposition in the Sarawak State Assembly to provide the necessary checks-and-balance against abuses of power, bearing in mind the famous axiom of Lord Acton that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely”.

The ideal situation is to deny Adenan two-thirds majority in the State Assembly, which will require a total of 28 out of a total of 82 seats. This will not easy to realise – but it may be achievable if the DAP wins 20 to 22 and PKR wins from six to eight State Assembly seats.
The third issue is the effect of the Sarawak election on Najib’s tenure as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

In the past 52 years, no Prime Minister of Malaysia is campaigning as intensively as Najib in the 11th Sarawak State Election. He is not only the first prime minister to be present on Nomination Day for Sarawak state general election, but is campaigning as hard Adenan in the Sarawak election.

The answer is simple. The Sarawak election result will be used as a barometer of the popularity of Najib as prime minister, whether it could be used to counter the growing national and international campaign that he should step down as prime minster because of his twin RM50 billion 1MDB and RM42 billion “donation” mega scandals.

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The voters of Sarawak should be fully aware of this reality, and decide whether they want their vote on May 7 to be used by Najib as a vote for endorsement and confidence of his premiership of Malaysia.

The fourth issue is whether the 2016 Sarawak election could pave the way for a new Sarawak state government in the 12th Sarawak State Election.

DAP has fielded 31 State Assembly candidates – 14 Chinese, 16 Dayak (four Bidayuh, three Orang Ulu and nine Iban) and one Malay.

If the DAP can defend the 12 seats won in the last state election and make a breakthrough among the 19 new constituencies, showing that Kuching, Sibu, Maradong, Sarikei, Bintulu and Miri have the support of other areas like Tasik Biru, Mambong, Serian, Simanggang, Pakan, Murum and Mulu for political change and meaningful development, then the Sarawak DAP will be able to plan to work with other like-minded Sarawakians to aim to capture the Sarawak state government in the 12th Sarawak State Election in 2021.

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