DAP will fight 12th Sarawak state general election for the first time to be part new Pakatan Harapan Sarawak state government and not to be Opposition in Sarawak

The DAP will fight the 12th Sarawak state general election, whether next year or latest by 2021, for the first time not to be an Opposition in Sarawak but part of a new Pakatan Harapan Sarawak state government.

Sarawak is a rich state but the wealth of the country had not been distributed fairly, benefitting only a clique of people instead of all Sarawakians, regardless of race, religion of region.

Sarawak state government has the largest annual state budget for any state in Malaysia, reaching a high of RM11.9 billion for 2019, which is more than four times that of Selangor which was RM2.56 billion; about eight times that of Johor which had a state budget of RM1.55 billion for 2019; about 10 times more than Penang which had an annual budget RM1.2 billion and about 12 times that of Perak which had a budget of RM1.06 billion.

But Sarawak ranks as one of the three poorest states in Malaysia, in the company of Sabah and Kelantan.

In the latest report compiled by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Issues, Philip Alston, the percentage of low-income earners in Sarawak is higher than the national-level figure.

According to Alston, at the national-level, 8.8% of households in Malaysia have a monthly income of less than RM2,000. But in Sarawak, 15.5 per cent of the households have a total family monthly income of less than RM2,000.

This I think is the most powerful argument why there must be a change of state government in the 12th Sarawak state general election, to ensure that the wealth of Sarawak is distributed to the people of Sarawak, regardless of race, religion or region not to be hijacked by the clique of people who are close to those in power.

Kapit has lost its importance which it enjoyed before the formation of Malaysia.

On Feb. 15, 1962, an important meeting of the 51 elected Iban chiefs had a meeting in Kapit to discuss the terms and proposals of the formation of Federation of Malaysia.

At that time, the personality of the Paramount Chief Tun Temenggong Jugah towered over other Sarawak politicians.

Tun Temengong Jugah has a famous saying: “Anang aja Malaysia tu baka Tebu, Manis di pun, tabar Di ujung” (Let’s hope that Malaysia will not end up as a sugarcane, sweet in the beginning, but turned less sweet in the end).

It is in the spirit of Tun Temenggong Jugah famous quote that one of the five pillar-promises of the Pakatan Harapan Manifesto for a New Malaysia calls for

“Return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963”.

The best way for the most satisfactory fulfillment of this pledge is for the election of a Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Government in the 12th Sarawak State General Election.

(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Impian Malaysia dinner in Kapit on Friday, 20th September 2019 at 9 pm)

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