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DAP MANIFESTO FOR SARAWAK STATE ELECTION 2006( Political Principles and Objectives)


by DAP Sarawak



Political Principles and Objectives


Democratic Action Party (DAP) reaffirms that it will strive by moderate, rational and peaceful parliamentary means to establish a Malaysian Malaysia that is clean, just, free, equal, democratic, open and with good governance.

By espousing these principles, we present our policies and solutions to various problems, such as the dire state of economy caused by unashamed cronyism and rampant corruption under the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s unjust rule.


1.      Natural Resources

The Rakyat are owners of natural resources such as land, forest, mine, sand and gravel, and maritime resources and their extraction and profit should not be owned by oligarchic and monopolistic parties.

Malaysia is an oil producing country which has benefited tremendously from the escalating international oil price. Therefore, the government’s excuse for fuel price hike is absolutely unacceptable.

The impression that the government lacks development funds to roll and its coffer seemingly drained are all due to decades of misrule, crony capitalism, unbridled corruption, embezzlement of the public purse, white elephant projects that make no economic sense, and the never ending mega scale scandals that wasted billions of ringgit. No serious effort has ever been taken to check these misdeeds but instead fuel subsidies for the Rakyat were abruptly reduced under the pretext of saving government funds.

In reality, fuel subsidies constitute a tiny portion of the natural resources that the Rakyat enjoy. Just look beyond the borders at Brunei – another oil producing country – where there is not only no fuel price hike but the people continue to enjoy waiver on their income tax. 

DAP is against the fuel price hike because it is wrong to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’, worse still to rob the Rakyat to pay for the government’s inefficiency and corruption. 

The government must reinvent itself to practice the culture of accountability, transparency, responsibility, as well as wiping out corruption.

2.      Land

Life is such that the Land laws will affect the interests of the Rakyat for generations. DAP firmly believes that the unjust provisions in the Sarawak Land Code ought to be amended to protect the property rights of Sarawakians.

This includes the uplifting of s.47 acquisition should the government not acquire the said land within two years.

DAP strongly believes that the Land Code should make provision for automatic renewal of land titles as and when the lease terms expire. As the sons and daughters of Sarawak, we should be entitled to own land permanently.

43% of land in Sarawak has a lease term of 60 years. It means that after sinking their life savings into a house, 43% of the Rakyat could only stay at their properties without hassle for a mere 60 years.  When the lease term expires, a hefty sum of premium is needed to renew it, failing which the land reverts to the Government. In other words, those who had spent a fortune to purchase land are merely renting the land for 60 years.

Why can’t we have permanent titles like other states?

DAP steadfastly demands adequate compensation for landowners whose lands are acquired by the government.

DAP condemns sweet talks of the BN leaders. The only guarantee to property rights is through legislation, with the citizens’ rights enshrined therein.

3.      Development

Development is the responsibility of the government. Taxation is paid to its coffer for precisely this purpose.

The objective of development is to benefit the Rakyat. But development ala BN-style is 4 ringgit out of 10 ringgit goes to its actual intents, the rest for the cronyism and friends in high places, which has inevitably drained the economy and burdened the Rakyat.  Delays in project delivery, abandonment, variation of published costs and wastage are all parts and parcels of development under BN. Yet no one seems to be held responsible.

For instance, 75 projects were approved for Sarawak under the 8th Malaysia Plan (2001-5) but only 36 were completed.  

Examples of extreme delay in construction and delivery include the Durin Bridge in Sibu, the Kayan Bridge in Kuching and the new prison project in Kuching. These are just tips of the iceberg but provide a glimpse to the pathetic state of affairs.

It was only after DAP MP for Bandar Kuching tirelessly raised it in Parliament that the case of Kuching Prison caught the eyes of the Prime Minister. He visited the site and expressed utter disgust and disappointment and ordered an investigation. The new prison is to cost RM248.73 million now compared to its original bill of RM132.66 million when work begun in 1997. Holding 650 inmates, it costs a whopping RM380,000.00 per cell. Each cell for an inmate costs more than a semi-detached house in Sarawak.

Costing RM36 million, or RM48,000.00 per lot, Sibu’s Multi-Storey Car Park is blatantly another wasteful project. No tender was called. The costs cannot be justified.

What is most unacceptable is that only RM3 million out of the RM800 million allocated under the 8th Malaysia Plan for flood control in Sarawak Rivers had been utilised. No wonder Sarawak towns and cities are inundated by floodwaters during the wet seasons.

This lackadaisical attitude of the state Government will only reduce its ability to negotiate for more funds under the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-10).

Announcement of new projects and allocations have become political charades of the BN during election times. Without a strong opposition in the DUN acting as a forceful watchdog, the Rakyat will not only see no benefit from development but suffers from its dark sides as more allocations often means more corruption, wastage and rent-seeking that continue to deplete the public purse.

DAP reaffirms its view that development projects must make economic sense. Projects that are not economically viable, such as the RM300 million new DUN building in Kuching, should be stopped immediately. Public funds should be used on more pressing items such as renovating schools infested by termites, improving medical facilities, enhancing measures to prevent crime etc.

DAP demands that there should be no toll for bridge crossing when the bridges are built on goods-for-goods or barter basis.

4.      Ombudsman

DAP proposes that an Ombudsman must be established to receive complaints from the public against corruption and power abuse by Ministers and heads of department.

DAP also proposes that there should be stricter scrutiny of the public tender process in order to ensure that taxpayers’ monies are utilized properly. 

5.      Agriculture


DAP views that in order to improve the livelihood of the farmers and their productivity, the government ought to make public its guidelines for land application from the government. It should be non-racial and open to all willing and able Malaysians regardless of race, ethnicity and religion.


Land ownership for those who are prepared to toil is our primary objective. This would prevent land being targeted by unscrupulous crony capitalists while needy farmers end up landless.


DAP believes that agro-based industries are essential to preserve the value of agricultural products and to assist the farmers to compete internationally in the wake of globalization. Basic amenities such as roads, irrigation, electricity, education and medical facilities in the agriculture-based areas should be upgraded. 


6.      Culture and Education


DAP believes that the government should fully respect the constitutional rights of all ethnic groups to learn their mother tongues, and to treat all mother tongue education equally.


The State government has an obligation to allocate funds and land for overcrowded Chinese schools or those buildings that are in a state of danger or disrepair.


The Government should allocate financial grants to Chinese primary and independent secondary schools and to reserve land for Chinese schools in urban development plans.


On the question of highflying Sarawakian students who were refused places by their desired universities or faculties, or rejected scholarships by the Public Service Department, DAP believes that the right solution is to make the application processes more transparent. Officials who discriminate against applicants should be subject to disciplinary actions. The issue should not become a repeated political drama years after years.


7.      Local Government Elections


DAP believes in restoring the local government elections to enhance the democratic rights of the Rakyat, to improve the checks-and-balances at grass-root level, to guarantee local councilors do their jobs in accordance with the laws and wishes of the people, and to end corrupt practices at this level of government. The people have the right to demand that local councilors should not be appointed to only serve interests of political parties in the BN. 


8.      Women’s Rights


DAP stresses that all laws which are discriminatory against women should be reviewed to ensure women’s rights and gender equality are adequately protected.


The government should establish a women’s aid centre with professional counseling service, legal advice, and financial aid to shelter women suffering from violence.


DAP demands the establishment of government-aided child care services to reduce the financial and psychological burden of working mothers.


9.      Privatization 


DAP opposes the privatization of public services by monopolistic corporations. All privatization projects should be scrutinised by the DUN and media to ensure proper planning and to avoid political pork barrel or secretive contracts.


10.    Employment in Public Service


DAP believes that priority in employment opportunities in the public service of Sarawak should be given to Sarawakians. Further, there should be a balance in the ratio of ethnic groups based on the principles of just and fair play. 



We appeal to you to recognise and endorse our decades of tireless efforts and numerous sacrifices. Only DAP has persistently stood at the forefront of protecting the interests of the Rakyat.


Together we can reform the corrupt political culture and re-mould the DUN of Sarawak into one that is full of democratic dynamism and ideals of social justice. A responsive and responsible democratic culture shall replace that of a subservient, submissive and ‘yes-man’ culture. Truth shall prevail over lies.


To avoid wastage of public funds and to ensure our future generations live a stable and decent life, DAP appeals to you for support. That will allow us to check the power of the ruling coalition.


The BN Government has dominated the state legislature. It has been wisely said, Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely! It is high time to put a check on it.


It is essential that there be a change. The Rakyat are the boss but they have suffered long enough under the monopolistic rule of the Barisan Nasional.







*  DAP Sarawak

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