Pakatan can win Sarawak with Putrajaya under its belt, DAP sec says

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen (seated, 2nd from left) and Anthony Loke (left) speak to reporters in Kuching November 4, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen (seated, 2nd from left) and Anthony Loke (left) speak to reporters in Kuching November 4, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Nov 4 — It is not impossible for Pakatan Harapan (PH) to wrest control of Sarawak in the next state election due in 2021, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said today.

Loke who is also federal transport minister said the four-party coalition’s success in defeating Barisan Nasional to take Putrajaya in the May 9 general election has tipped the scales in PH’s favour over the current state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.

“In the past, we were faced with a lot of challenges by being in the Opposition, but I think the Sarawak PH has an added advantage to win in the state election because we are in the federal government now,” he said in opening the 18th Sarawak DAP state committee convention here.

Loke promised that PH’s federal leaders will not misuse government assets and only depend on those owned by its component parties during the state election campaigning.

“We will work hard to change the policies of the GPS government and we want to prove to the Sarawak voters that we can become a better government and put in good governance in place,” he said.

Loke told the newly-elected Sarawak DAP committee that its mission is to capture the state in the next state polls and to start preparing for it now.

Earlier, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen accused the GPS government of resorting to dubious tactics to retain state power.

He claimed GPS has been excessive with spending state fund by awarding millions of ringgit worth of projects to its friends with the hope of winning voter support ahead of elections.

“Now that the change of state government is imminent, the GPS is suggesting to spend an allocation of RM10 billion in a year,” he said.

Chong, who is also the deputy federal minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, expressed concern that GPS is playing up regional sentiments.

“They are saying that Sarawak is ill-treated by the PH federal government and that only Sarawak-based party can defend the rights of Sarawakians,” he said.

Chong also accused the GPS government of banning community leaders and village headmen from attending PH ministers’ official functions in Sarawak.

“GPS government is also trying to yield its influence to forbid some newspapers from reporting unfavourable news about it.

“In this era, such of suppression will not yield its intended effect but on the contrary will only speed up the demise of a government,” he said.