KUCHING, April 6 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan today said Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen should not blame the state government for the absence of any Sarawak entrepreneurs and businessmen to participate in the recent Malaysia-China economic co-operation initiated by the federal government.
She said Chong, instead, should blame himself for not fighting hard enough for the business communities to be included in the Malaysia-China economic cooperation since he and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are from the same Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Kho said there are many entrepreneurs in Kuching and Stampin, both represented by the state DAP in Parliament, who should be members of the delegation led by the prime minister to China.
“It is disappointing to learn that there were no signatories from Sarawak in the historic signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) amounting RM170 billion during the visit to China.
“DAP has the highest number of MPs (40) in the federal government, including five from Sarawak DAP.
“Why doesn’t Chong question his own PH national chairman on the lack of Sarawak signatories in the MOUs, instead of putting the blame on the state government and SUPP lack of Sarawak representatives,” she asked in a statement, pointing out that SUPP has two MPs.
Kho recalled that SUPP party president and Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Sim Kui Hian was part of the Malaysian delegation during former Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s visit to China in 2016.
“It is embarrassing and disappointing to know that Chong as the state chairman of PH in Sarawak was not included in Anwar’s entourage to China,” she said.
She said contrary to what Chong had claimed, Sarawak recorded RM27.05 billion in trade volume with China in 2021, despite the disruption of business activities due to Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement two days ago, Chong urged the state government to take proactive steps to engage more Sarawak entrepreneurs and businesses to participate in the Malaysia-China economic co-operation initiated by the federal government.
He had said the glaring absence of Sarawak businesses in Anwar’s entourage to China was a missed opportunity for the state’s business community and Sarawakians.
He expressed regret that none of the 19 signatories from Malaysia involved in the signing of the Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) worth an estimated RM170 billion with the Chinese companies was from Sarawak.
“The Sarawak government, by not proactively participating in the prime minister’s visit and not ensuring that the local Sarawak businesses participate in the trade contingent, was not doing the Sarawak business community a favour,” Chong said.