‘Think of it as a duty roster than a shadow cabinet’

Susan Loone | May 8, 11

Sarawak DAP state representatives played down the current spat between the party and PKR over the shadow cabinet issue, saying the temporary crisis would not mess up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

DAP Sarawak secretary Chong Chieng Jen (right) described the issue which recently pitted the two Pakatan allies as a ‘minor hiccup’ which will not affect the existing relationship between the duo.

Chong, who is Kota Sentosa MP, explained that the problem has cropped up because the two parties viewed the issue differently.

Chong said the DAP viewed the exercise as a “portfolio distribution’, where every assemblyperson would get to flex his or her muscle in areas where they excelled or have expertise in.

“PKR, however, viewed it as a reflection of a future ministerial cabinet (where the candidates would eventually assume the ministerial post should Pakatan seize Petrajaya in the coming election),” he said.

“So to avoid controversy, perhaps we can call this line-up by another name…for example…a duty roster?” he added, at the conclusion of the party’s mega-ceramah in Penang last night.

‘Man to man marking’

Padungan assemblyperson Wong King Wei even went as far as to described it as similar to the man to man marking system in football.

“This means certain assemblypersons would be responsible for guarding a particular opponent,” he said.

However inside the Pakatan top leadership, the crisis seems to be far from over.

Yesterday, state DAP chairperson Wong Ho Leng (left) fired a salvo at PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, saying his statement over the issue was “baseless and irresponsible”.

Wong was dismayed by Azmin’s alleged insinuations that the Sarawak shadow cabinet line-up is ‘dominated by one race’ and lacking diversity.

He said the statement indirectly implied that the DAP is a party only for one particular community, which he denied.

Both parties became embroiled in the controversy when Wong – as opposition leader for the state assembly – announced that Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak had formed a shadow cabinet for the current term.

PKR, under its state chief and newly-elected Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson Baru Bian, shot down the line-up saying there was no consultation with the party over the matter.

Bewildered at times

About 1,000 people attended the DAP ceramah, in which Mandarin was mostly used, leaving those who didn’t speak the language bewildered at times.

Themed ‘Taking On Najib’s Fixed Deposit’, the three-hour ceramah included speakers from Penang DAP – Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, state exco and Tanjung MP Chow Kon Yeow, and Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi.

State reps from Sarawak included Chong Chieng Jen (Kota Sentosa), Chew Chiu Sing (Kidurong), Christina Chew (Batu Kawah), Wong King Wei (Padungan) and Ling Sie Kiong (Piasau), who all gave rousing speeches, praising Penangites for their courage to vote in a Pakatan government in the 2008 polls.

But the night was not over until Sarawakian reps confronted another nagging issue in their midst, the DAP-SNAP (Sarawak National Party) proposed merger.

The idea was mooted by DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang (left) following the state polls last month.

He said the merger would be in the interest of the present opposition pact and was no threat to any party in the grouping.

Not everyone thought of it quite that way, though.

PKR, who is at odds with the Sarawak opposition party, felt that such a development would affect the already shaky link between Pakatan allies.

However, Chew said that the reason why SNAP was considered for a merger is due to its long-time engagement with the Ibans.

“A merger between DAP and SNAP would expediate the change in government,” he added.

“However, we need to have a common framework and ideology…and if we have common enemies, then why not merge?” he reasoned.

  1. #1 by Loh on Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 6:42 pm

    From the recent state election it is clear that PKR will not progress beyond the three seats it won. Any chance of forming the next state government in Sawarak would come from SNAP, and it is also clear that PKR could not and would not be able to work with SNAP. It is a wonder why PKR with only three seats out of the 15 opposition seats would still insist that Brian Baru be the head of the “shadow cabinet”. If PKR does not insist that Brian Baru is the opposite number to Taib Mahmud as he was proposed before the election, then any position serving to check the excess of Taib Mahmud’s government given to PKR assemblymen would provide the necessary hand on experience. “Shadow cabinet’ has no governing power, and PKR is more than power crazy to fight for position where there were not even power to talk about.

    If PKR hopes to be partner to federal power, it should be more realistic on how the route to Putrajaya could be traveled. PKR should leave Sarawak to SNAP and DAP merger, including allowing its members to join DAP as direct members. In return DAP should allow its members in Sabah to join PKR, and DAP should leave Sabah. Only when Sarawak and Sabah reject BN would Pakatan Rakyat move to Putrajaya. PKR should not be fighting like UMNO trying to dominate Pakatan Rakyat. In fact should Anwar be jailed, Pakatan Rakyat will have to look for a potential PM, and he may not come from PKR,

  2. #2 by omeqiu on Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 6:44 pm

    Damage control is too late, DAP. PR is self-distructing. Guess which party is laughing? Why can’t all you big mouths discuss in private?

  3. #3 by monsterball on Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 7:03 pm

    DAP need not cow or bow to Hornbills.
    It is these birds that need to listen and follow.
    But it seems..when in Rome…do as a Roman does is what DAP may need to learn.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Monday, 9 May 2011 - 9:17 am

    Well, at least we all know dat d strange bedfellows in PR r at each other’s throats
    Y can’t PR partners b civil, discuss first then announce their unanimous decision?
    DAP must mature n move away fr tribal n parochial culture
    Y use Mandarin n leaving others bewildered?

You must be logged in to post a comment.