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The people of Sarawak should heed the advice of our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir not to have a “too strong government” and vote for a strong DAP team in the next Sarawak State Legislative Assembly led by the brave people of Kidurong.


Media Statement
by Anthony Loke

(Bintulu, Tuesday): If there is one person that the opposition should thank in the campaign for this Sarawak state election for speaking the truth from his heart, it should be our former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Tun Dr. Mahathir has sort of become the unofficial “spokesperson” for the opposition and he had finally conceded that he can speak from his heart after stepping down as the premier. Tun has opined that he always believe in a strong government but not too strong as it is now because it can kill off debate and without a proper check and balance to the government. This is precisely what we have been talking about the current situation where the BN controlled 92% of the seats in Parliament and it is tantamount to the saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

In the case of Sarawak, it is even worse as the last State Legislative Assembly the BN had 98% of the seats as the Opposition had only one and that was only because the brave people of Kidurong voted for Sdr. Chiew Chiu Sing in 2001 as the torch bearer for the “Light of Democracy” in Sarawak. And we appeal to you, the people of Kidurong to rise to the occasion once again on May 20th to keep this “light” burning so that we can have a brighter future not only for the people of Kidurong but all Sarawakians!

In a Q&A session with a group of Malay professionals in a close-door talk organised by think-tank Institute of Economic and Political Studies last year which is now available on DVD, Tun Dr. Mahathir has said;

There is, of course, the fear that when a party dominates too strongly, political debate becomes impossible, and, if I may say so, one of the things that people might feel today is an inability to debate, to question, because you would be outvoted anyway. And I believe that a country must be governed with strong governance, but not too strong. If the government is too strong, it kills initiative, it kills debate.

So, what we see today is a strong government but maybe a little bit too strong. I've always believed that a two-thirds majority is necessary in order to enable the government to carry out its policies. But a government that has 90 percent of the seats in Parliament may be regarded as a little bit too strong and there will be a lot of psychophants along the elected members and they will not criticise anything. If they criticise, it will be in a very subdued kind of way.”

The people of Sarawak and especially the voters of Kidurong should heed the advice of our former Prime Minister despite our reservations and criticism on his past ill-treatment towards the opposition. The Sarawakians voters should take this opportunity on May 20th to send a strong DAP team of Opposition Assemblymen to the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly to put the BN state government on toe. A vote for SUPP candidate is a vote for a psychophant as they are only parasite who will be there to warm up the seats and the only motivation for them to be in public office is to get into a better position to gain benefits and government largesse in the process.

An overly dominant government serves no purpose and benefits to the people. At the federal level, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with such a strong mandate with 92% of parliamentary seats has not been able to “walk his talk” in bringing reform to the many ills in the country and fulfill his election pledges. The most important election promise he made in 2004 was to wipe out corruption. Where are we heading now? Do you believe that the problem of corruptions in Malaysia has been tackled and the situation is better now compared to two years ago? Without real political will and commitment by initiating structural reform in the system such as making the Anti Corruption Agency a real independent body, the “sweet talks will remain sweet talks”.

To push for real reform and to send a strong message to Pak Lah that his “mid-term report card” is not impressive at all, the only option is to vote for a strong Opposition in Sarawak. All Malaysians in Peninsular and Sabah are counting on our fellow Malaysians in Sarawak as only Sarawakians have the privilege to go to the ballot box once every 2 years to give a mid-term assessment to the BN leadership. Sabahans have lost that privilege and Peninsular Malaysians never had that opportunity. If the BN are returned with a resounding victory once again on May 20th, Sarawakians are sending a very wrong message to the federal leadership as they will take the election results as an endorsement of their performance and policies and this include your approval to the most unfair petrol price hike in the last 2 years.

The only way to fight corruptions and malpractices in the system of governance in the country and in particular Sarawak is to have a more balance political power in the State Assembly as more Opposition members means more scrutiny on the government of the day and more “Public Auditors” to safeguard the interest of all stakeholders that is the people of Sarawak.



*  Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary and Negeri Sembilan State Assemblyman for Lobak

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