KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Sarawak constitution does not allow the appointment of state assemblymen, a Sarawak DAP lawmaker today told Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
In response to Dr Sim’s remark warning Sarawakians that a non-native may become chief minister if they were backed by “outside” parties in the next state election, Bandar Kuching MP Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen pointed out that Dr Sim as a full minister in the state government should have known the fact.
“Members of the Cabinet, or even state representatives that is nominated by the different parties will need to go through an election and be chosen by the people.
“Thus, even if in a case a non-Sarawakian is nominated by any party, the people will still have the final say in the election,” Dr Yii said in a statement to Malay Mail here.
Dr Sim, who is also Sarawak’s local government and housing minister, had earlier responded to the recent appointment of Sabah DAP treasurer Loh Er Eng from Penang as a nominated assemblyman in Sabah’s state legislature.
Under the Sabah state constitution, the Governor, on the advice of the chief minister, may appoint not more than six nominated assemblymen as members of the Sabah state legislative assembly, who enjoy the same perks and privileges accorded to the elected assemblyman.
Dr Sim had warned Sarawakians that a state assembly “full of PKR and DAP people” would leave Sarawak vulnerable to further exploitation.
Dr Yii said it was regrettable that Dr Sim had in his remark asserted that backing DAP and PKR would lead to further erosion of Sarawak’s independence and autonomy.
“However, even in our differences in political opinion, I regret the stance SUPP has taken to resort to dishonesty, fear-mongering and even to a certain extent racial instigation.
“Dr Sim’s comparison and fear mongering is pure dishonesty and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public,” he said.
Dr Yii said Pakatan Harapan Sarawak, whether DAP or PKR, has always nominated fellow Sarawakians in all elections, including filling leadership roles with Sarawakians.
He further said there was no question of outside control or even interference in selection of a non-Sarawakian candidate as it was proven in the last general election, where DAP contested with its own logo.
Unlike their peninsular counterparts, the Sarawak and Sabah chapters of both DAP and PKR are given autonomy to decide their local affairs.
Dr Yii also reminded the public that history will speak for itself as it was SUPP, who was then part of the federal government, which “took away” the state’s rights and autonomy through the Constitutional Amendments of 1976.
Sarawak is expected to hold its 12th state election in 2021.