KUCHING, Nov 8 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen today reminded voters that it would be more beneficial to the state to allow Pakatan Harapan (PH) to win as many parliamentary seats in the state as possible in the 15th general election (GE15).
He said this will allow PH to play different roles and to strike a balance to achieve what is best for Sarawak and Malaysia.
“The best way to strengthen Sarawak is by not giving absolute power to GPS in the general election, but to strengthen a system of strong check and balance within Sarawak,” Chong, who is defending his Stampin seat, told reporters.
“Fact is GPS already has a strong mandate in Sarawak after controlling 76 seats out of 82 seats at the state level and even in this general election, they are predicted to win the majority of seats, especially in rural areas,” he said.
Chong said GPS cannot claim to monopolise the interest of all Sarawakians, stating that the last time GPS, then known as Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak, controlled all the seats in Sarawak, there was tyranny and a lack of accountability.
“However, by having a strong check and balance system, and positive pressure among the main parties with national influence, it can only be beneficial to Sarawak.
“Even when PH was in opposition, through our influence on a national platform, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Prime Minister, with one of the conditions being to expedite the restoration of our original status under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Moreover, he said PH had the standing to negotiate with the finance minister to increase the allocations to Sarawak by RM450 million on top of what was first announced in Budget 2022.
“These are among many examples of how a strong presence of a party with national influence like DAP within Sarawak to act as a counterbalance on a national level is beneficial to Sarawak,” he said.