KUCHING, May 2 — Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) promised today to be “a strong opposition” as it announced its pledges in the Sarawak polls, the first election the six-month-old party is contesting.
According to national deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, it is part of their last effort to win over voters in the state.
“This is our second phase, the second stage of our campaign. And I hope the Sarawak voters will make it viral,” he told reporters here when asked of the late reveal, five days before voters go to the ballot box this Saturday.
“This is our last effort to convince Sarawakians to give Amanah a chance to convey their struggle in the state assembly.”
Aside from offering themselves to be the voice of a strong opposition, the “seven offers of Amanah” also include pressuring for reform in land administration, the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), providing employment opportunities in downstream industries, increasing development in rural areas, improving quality of life and obtaining 20 per cent oil royalty for the state.
On the pressure of contesting only in Parti Pusaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) strongholds, Amanah elections director Dr Hatta Ramli said that the idea of a “white seat” was just “psychological warfare” tactics slung at Amanah by the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) party.
“We like the idea of PBB announcing that these areas are ‘white’ for them, or that it’s ‘grey’ for them. It is their assessment. But most of it is just psychological warfare, either to boost their workers' spirits or to bring down ours,” he told reporters here.
“But we are not going to buy it. We have equal chance in all these areas. The response given by the locals during the campaign carried out by Amanah so far is wonderful and very unexpected.”
Salahuddin had last week announced that the party would not be announcing an official manifesto as it was only contesting in 13 seats in the Sarawak state elections.
Amanah was formed by former PAS leaders from the so-called progressive faction of the Islamist party, who were purged from the PAS central leadership during its elections last year.
Amanah is part of the Pakatan Harapan pact, which it formed with PKR and DAP after the latter fell out with PAS.
The party had last week nominated 13 candidates to contest in the 11th Sarawak state election that will be held on May 7.