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Appeal to Sarawak voters to make special effort in getting information and news of the opposition parties

 


 

Media Statement

by Ronnie Liu


(Petaling Jaya, Thursday):

  • 5 pertinent issues for Sarawakian bothers and sisters to take note before casting their votes on Saturday, May 20 2006

Appeal to Sarawak voters to make special effort in getting information and news of the opposition parties

Election is an integral part of a democratic system. The beauty of an election is that it allows the voters to assess the performance of the ruling parties and decide whether they should continue to rule or to give way to their opponents.

But elections must be clean and fair for all the parties so that the voters can cast their votes with a free and informed mind. In that sense, it is vital and essential for a free flow of information and messages from the candidates and the parties they represented during the entire campaign.

But more often than not, the voters in Sarawak, just like their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, were unable to receive messages and information coming from the opposition parties as all media in the mainstream was controlled by the ruling parties and their associates.

While we are trying our best reach out to the voters within a short campaign period of 11 days, we wish to appeal to the voters to make special efforts in getting the news and messages of the opposition parties.

DAP has created a special column on the Sarawak State Elections in the cyber world. We urge the voters to log on to www.dapmalaysia.org/sarawak/ for information and messages from our candidates and party leaders. We also appeal to voters to email to their friends and relatives and even download and print out some copies (as many as you could afford) for dissemination.

5 pertinent issues for Sarawakian bothers and sisters to take note before casting their votes on Saturday, May 20 2006

1.                  Unfair distribution of development funds oil-rich Sarawak produces about one third of the total oil production in Malaysia. But not only Sarawakians were forced to pay more for their petrol and diesel, the resources harnessed in Sarawak were used to develop other Federal states, making Sarawak one of the poorest state in the country. Sarawak gets only 6.8% under the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) from 2006 to 2010. DAP calls for the oil royalty to be increased from 5% to 15% for the benefits of all Sarawakians.

2.                  Lands and homes not secured Many Sarawakian landowners are forced to pay very high premiums (51% to 70% for commercial and industrial lots; 40% to 60% for urban residential lots) when their titles for lands and homes expired; many Sarawakians have lost their land rights (including Natives customary land rights) to ruling elites and their cronies in recent years. DAP calls for land reforms and automatic renewal of titles to safeguard the interest of landowners.

3.                  Rampant corruptions at all levels- corrupt practices have caused heavy leakages and wastage of public funds under the Pehin Taib Administration. The Silicon Project and Kuching Prisons scandals and the new Sarawak State Legislature Building are just some of the many examples. DAP determines to expose wrongdoings and corruptions of the state government if elected to the Sarawak State Assembly.

4.                  Prices up due to fuel hikes Prices of all goods and services have gone up sharply due the BN Government irresponsible fuel hikes. BN Government should have made use of Petronas earnings ( RM35.5 billion in 2004 alone) to lessen the burden of the people in the streets. DAP calls for direct financial help from Petronas (RM1, 500 per person) to the needy families in the state, just like what Singapore have done for their people.

5.                   Biased treatment of mother tongue education Chinese primary schools in the state receive very little fund for development from both the BN State and Federal Governments. Only 3.6% of the total budget for primary schools was allotted for SJKCs under the 9MP although Chinese students make up of more than 21% of the total primary student population. DAP calls for greater allocation of funds for all Chinese independent secondary schools and SJKCs in the state.

There are, of course, many other issues and scandals that reflect the misrule and mismanagement of the Barisan Nasional Governments both in the Sarawak state and federal levels which warrant a punishment from the Sarawakian voters. These include the AP scandal, the Moorthy snatch-body issue, the Shahrir Saga and Jasin MP "Close one eye" scandal, the crooked bridge fiasco, the cracked MRR2 highway, the MAS scandal, teaching math and science subjects in English, the closure of SJKC Damansara and etc.

We urge our brothers and sisters in Sarawak to seriously consider the facts and figures presented to you as an assessment of the BN ruling parties. Only DAP elected representatives genuinely fight to preserve the rights of all Sarawakians under the Malaysian First spirit. Please give your full support and vote for DAP and other opposition parties in this crucial 2006 Sarawak State Elections.

Enough is enough!

(11/05/2006)


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP NGO Bureau Chief

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