PSB launches election manifesto promising big changes in Sarawak if it wins

This morning, PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the manifesto would be published via all newspapers and social media platforms in English, Malay, Chinese and Iban, to make it easier for voters of various races in the state to understand. — Picture from Twitter/Bernama
This morning, PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the manifesto would be published via all newspapers and social media platforms in English, Malay, Chinese and Iban, to make it easier for voters of various races in the state to understand. — Picture from Twitter/Bernama

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KUCHING, Dec 7 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) today launched its manifesto for the 12th Sarawak State Election with the promise of sweeping changes if it were to win on December 18.

Chief among them is reforming governmental structure with the appointment of four deputy chief ministers, each representing one main ethnic group, to assist the chief minister.

“The appointment of full Cabinet ministers by the chief minister shall be by consultation with all the deputy chief ministers and at least by a majority decision of the chief minister and the four deputy chief ministers combined.

“Each of the main ethnic groups (Dayaks, Malays, Melanau, Chinese) and a cluster of a few minority native groups in Sarawak shall be entitled to at least one position of either chief ministers or deputy chief minister, regardless of political background or position,” the party said in its manifesto that was given to the press today.

The manifesto added that each ethnic group or clusters of minority native groups would also have at least one minister or assistant minister appointed to represent them in the state Cabinet.

“To avoid cronyism and ensure transparency and fair representation in government, the Cabinet and public sector and government authorities or bodies will be fairly and equally represented not only according to ethnic background, but also different regions or areas across Sarawak,” said the manifesto.

The manifesto also called for the Sarawak State Treasury to be placed directly under the Cabinet and sit apart from the chief minister and deputy chief ministers who should not hold any state finance ministerial office or positions.

On land issues, PSB said Sarawak’s current policies do not provide security of land ownership and that it proposed converting all leasehold residential titles to freehold for natives.

“Typically, new residential land titles are on a 60-year or 90-year lease.

“PSB wants to address that by converting all leasehold residential land titles to freehold.

“All established Native Customary Rights (NCR) Land will be issued titles in perpetuity,” said the manifesto.

PSB also called for Sarawak to be a “model secular state” by setting up a Religious Harmony Commission to ensure freedom of religion is practised in Sarawak.

It also said that it wants to ensure there is public funding for all recognised religions in the state.

“The party also pledges to clearly demarcate between the Shariah and civil legal systems,” said the manifesto.

This morning, PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the manifesto would be published via all newspapers and social media platforms in English, Malay, Chinese and Iban, to make it easier for voters of various races in the state to understand.

The launch of the manifesto could not be conducted as usual because PSB wanted to avoid organising large gatherings to prevent the spread of Covid-19, he said.

“Our manifesto is unique because it is available in English, Malay, Chinese and Iban,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Bawang Assan PSB office in Sibu today.

Sarawak goes to the polls on December 18. Official campaigning kicked off yesterday which was also Nomination Day.

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