Forward    Feedback    


Sarawak BN Manifesto 2006 – Nice to the ears but fails miserably when put to test

Media Statement

by Chiew Chiu Sing

(Kidurong, Tuesday): Expectantly, Barisan Nasional has launched its manifesto with the emphasis on peace, progress and prosperity. But it is nothing more than a nice sounding piece of rhetoric which fails miserably when put to test under tight scrutiny.

The five main principles outlined in the manifesto are basically correct; but the fact remains unchanged, i.e. the Sarawak BN under the leadership of Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud for more than 25 years is simply lack of credentials and credibility.

The BN manifesto does not address the problem of corruption in Sarawak. This shows that the BN Government leaders seriously lack of such political will.

I may argue that there’s nothing new about the Sarawak BN Manifesto 2006.It’s like “old wine in new bottle”, so to speak.

To put it bluntly, the BN Government under Taib Mahmud will continue to be self-serving, corrupt and inefficient. Only well-connected cronies could enjoy the so-called equal opportunities created by the BN Government. The farmers and the natives, on the other hand, will inevitably continue be marginalized by the Taib Administration.

DAP therefore urges Sarawak voters to seize the historic opportunity that the state general elections offered on May 20 by voting for a strong opposition as a check and balance to the BN government to uphold freedom, democracy, justice, integrity and human dignity.

For too long the people of Sarawak has allowed BN unfettered, unrestrained and limitless power to do what they like at the expense not only of democracy and justice but also the welfare of Sarawakians.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had expressed confidence that the BN will win a bigger mandate in the state election. In the last elections, BN had almost swept every seat by winning 61 out of 62 seats, with the sole opposition seat won by me in Kidurong. For Sarawak BN to win by a bigger mandate means BN winning all 71 seats or zero opposition in the State Assembly.

Sarawak’s 900,000 voters have to decide whether democracy, justice, freedom, integrity and human dignity would be served if there is zero opposition.

For too long, development projects have bred rampant corruption resulting in Sarawakians being marginalized economically. The 30 cents fuel hike has only imposed a heavier burden on the hardships and difficult livelihood faced by the people. That Sarawakians have to pay higher fuel prices than those in West Malaysia is unfair and unacceptable when Sarawak is one the oil and gas producing states that allows Malaysia to be an oil exporter.

The Federal Government should increase petroleum and gas royalties 3 times from the present 5% to 15% to help Sarawakians enjoy the benefits of their own oil resources

DAP regrets that BN and SUPP has failed to fight for Sarawak rights and Sarawakians affected by the fuel price hike despite Sarawak being the major contributor of Malaysia being a gas and oil exporter.

Instead Taib Mahmud is proud that Sarawak was allocated RM200 million from the oil subsidy savings of RM4.4 billion following the 30 cents in fuel prices to spend on improving its public transportation system and another RM20 million more to buy fuel for rural areas. Such pride is a great disservice to Sarawakians as this RM 220 million to alleviate the impact of the fuel hike is only 5% of the RM 4.4 billion and half of the RM 440 million sought by Sarawak last month.

This neglect of Sarawak can be seen not only in the poor infrastructure, high incidence of poverty and the reduction in allocation funds under the Ninth Malaysian Plan.

Oppose the reduction in funds for Sarawak under the Ninth Malaysian Plan to only 6.8% as compared to 7.5% under the Eight Malaysian Plan

Sarawak was allocated RM 12,817 million in development funds or 7.5% of the total RM 170 billion Eighth Malaysian Plan (8MP). Such development funds were reduced from 7.5% to 6.7% under the Ninth Malaysian Plan(9MP) when Sarawak was given only RM 13.4 billion out of the RM 200 billion in total development funds. If private finance initiatives of RM 20 billion are included RM 15.1 billion out of RM 220 billion was given to Sarawak or 6.8%, still 10% less than was given under the 8MP.

Sarawak should get an increase in development funds of much more than 10% when according to the 9MP, its incidence of poverty is high at 7.5% compared to only 3.8% in Peninsular Malaysia. In fact the incidence of poverty in Sarawak has almost doubled from 3.8% in 1977 to 7.5% in 2005.

For BN and SUPP to agree to a reduction in the development allocation for Sarawak under the 9MP when poverty has worsened shows that DAP is more qualified than BN in fighting for fairer share from the Federal government.

Why an oil importer like Singapore can give S$2.6 billion (RM 6 billion) to Singaporeans but not an oil exporter like Sarawak?

DAP reiterates the social responsibility and moral obligation to distribute Petronas profits to needy Malaysians as such oil revenue belong to Malaysians. For 2004 financial year ending 31 March 2005, RM 35.5 billion in Petronas profits would amount to RM 1,500 per person or RM 9,000 per year for a needy household of 6 persons. For the latest financial year, Petronas profits would amount to RM 2,000 ringgit per needy Malaysians who are not well-off, more than enough to offset the rise in petrol price at international prices.

If a non-oil exporter like Singapore can give S$2.6 billion (RM 6 billion) cash under the 2006 Budged this year to all Singaporeans, especially the poor, why can’t the Malaysian government do so when Petronas has earned nearly RM 500 billion since its inception in 1974? Oil importer Singapore has given S$10.6 billion (RM 24 billion) directly to its people since 2000 as compared to Petronas which has not given a single cent.

The natural question that Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud and SUPP must answer is how come Sarawakians  cannot even get a single cent directly from the RM 500 billion oil revenues whilst Singaporeans without a single cent of earning from oil revenue can benefit from RM 24 billion these last 5 years?

Taib Mahmud has failed miserably as the Chief Minister for more than 25 years. It’s a shame for him to ask for a bigger mandate. The people of Sarawak should punish him and SUPP by giving more seats to the DAP- for a stronger opposition in the state.

This coming Sarawak state elections is an historic opportunity for Sarawakians not only to improve their living standards, reclaim their rights to enjoy their natural resources and protect democracy. It will also give Sarawakians an opportunity to articulate their unhappiness together with other Malaysians unhappy with the fuel price hike and the manner our oil resources are handled.

DAP Candidate for N.59 Kidurong Chiew Chiu Sing ( left) shook hand with his opponent
Paul Yong Khing Kee (BN-SUPP), witnessed by the Returning Officer outside
Bintulu Development Authority Building.


*  Chiew Chiu Sing, DAP candidate for Kidurong

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: