Wednesday, April 3, 2013

‘Taib has written off 8 MP seats’ | Free Malaysia Today

Taib has written off 8 MP seats’

Joseph Tawie | April 3, 2013
The general election is no longer a battle between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, it's about putting right that which is wrong, says DAP.
KUCHING: Sarawakians were today urged to vote for a two-party system and “end” once and for all the “political monopoly and hegemony” of Barisan Nasional.
Fuelled by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s admission that BN could lose up to eight seats in Sarawak, state opposition DAP said a two-party system will be the “best legacy” Sarawakians could leave behind for their children.

Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats and the opposition has made unprecedented inroads into BN’s rural “fixed deposits” and Chinese majority seats. They are confident of wresting at least 12 seats.
Taib, who has had “monopolistic” power since 1981 when he assumed the chief minister’s post, had reportedly said that Sarawak BN would deliver “at least” 23 out of the 31 parliamentary seats to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s bid to return the coalition to power in the 13th general election.

Najib announced the dissolution of Parliament this morning, paving the way for the election to be held within 60 days.

Speaking to FMT today, DAP secretary-general Chong Chieng Jen said the polls was an opportunity “to end” the hegemony and monopoly of the BN.

“This election goes beyond who will form the government. It is no longer just a battle between BM and Pakatan Rakyat.

“It’s about putting right the wrongs. In the past 50 years, under the political monopoly and hegemony of BN, we saw mega corruption scandals exposed, alleged wrongdoers escaping with impunity and cases forgotten.
“This must stop. It is now a choice of either choosing to remain under the BN political monopoly and hegemony or creating a two-party system in Malaysia.”

Chong said the repeated empowering of BN in every election has left Malaysias with a “legacy of corruption”.

“The general election gives us the opportunity to end all these. If we change the government, this will be the best legacy that we leave for the future generations.

“Once a change of government happens, whoever be the government will have to govern with more transparency and accountability.

“And the system itself will then be the most effective check and balance on the powers-that be,” he said.
“This is the true implication of the 13th general election,” he said

BN’s ‘black seats’
Although Taib has not specified the seats that BN will lose in the parliamentary polls, it is understood that he was referring to SUPP’s six seats in the Chinese majority constituencies such as Stampin, Bandar Kuching, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri. The other two seats are likely to be Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) seats in Saratok and Baram.

BN has classified these seats as “black seats”.

The Chinese here are dead set against the state BN due to a number of factors which include rampant corruption, abuse of power, the practice of cronyism, and the marginalisation of the Chinese community in terms of economic opportunities and Chinese education.

The failure of SUPP to effectively represent the Chinese community is among major issues in Sarawak.
Adding to this is the bitter internal squabbles and power struggle with SUPP.

The issue in Saratok is of neglect. Agricultural subsidies and economic development were withdrawn. Infrastructure development and basic amenities such as clinics, clean water supply and electricity are still lacking in many of the longhouses.

The BN made a lot of promises in the past but they were never fulfilled.

In the Baram constituency, people are against the proposed construction of the Baram Dam which will displace more than 26,000 Kayan, Kenyah and Penan from their traditional and ancestral land.
What worries these villagers is that their problems and miseries will only worsen if resettled elsewhere.

BN has also identified other “grey areas” in rural Sarawak but is confident of retaining them.

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