KUCHING, June 27 — The 15th general election (GE15), which may be called this year, will be a political platform for Sarawakian voters to choose between local-based parties and Peninsula-based national parties, said Datuk Lily Yong.

The Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Kuching branch chairperson observed that the opposition parties had been quite proactive in trying to win as many votes as they can.

“Come the next general election, the focus would be on voters’ choice — local-based parties or Peninsula-based national parties.

“Given the good performance of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government, I believe the state ruling coalition will be able to obtain a greater success so as to strengthen its position to go into further negotiations with Putrajaya on Sarawak’s rights,” she said last night.

Her text of speech was read out by Voong Nam Jin during the SUPP Kuching branch’s 63rd anniversary dinner held at a restaurant here.

Yong said many people are struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years as well as the recent rising costs of living.

While the country is on the road to economic recovery, she felt that the various assistance and allowance provided by the government would not relieve people’s financial burden once and for all.

She said government assistance and allowance may temporarily help the targeted groups cushion the impact of increasing costs of living, but this would not serve as a long-term solution.

“Handing out cash aid does not solve the root cause of the problem. What’s more, the assistance and allowance are never enough to meet the inflation rate.”

To better address the matter, Yong suggested the government come up with long-term plan and mechanism to give a boost to economic development in the country.

She said more economic development plans could be launched and implemented to help small medium enterprises (SMEs) sustain and grow.

“The government can also create more business opportunities for the commercial sector besides attracting foreign investments and encourage more export from the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

“With the strategic location of Sarawak, neighbouring with West Kalimantan, we stand a good chance to see better integration of Sarawak’s economy with the global economy,” she added.

Touching on SUPP, Yong hoped that party leaders and members would continue to stay united and adhere to the SUPP Constitution.

She said they must realise what the people’s current needs are and bring about reform accordingly so as to ensure the relevancy of SUPP.

“Not only must we be disciplined but we have to always be with the people in order to stay relevant and face further challenges ahead,” she said.

Among those present was SUPP Kuching branch deputy chairman Bong Lian Huan. — Borneo Post