Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sarawak DAP launches attack on GPS as it reveals partial candidate list for polls

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says he has been unable to find the state's 2022 supplementary budget document at the legislative assembly.

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Sarawak DAP today questioned the administration of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition, as it revealed a number of candidates for the state election to come on Dec 18.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuching, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said he had been unable to find the state’s 2022 supplementary budget document at the legislative assembly.

“Last week, I went to the state legislative assembly library to check if there were any budget documents for 2022,” he said.

“I found none. So in other words, there was no formal tabling of the budget. There was no formal document, not only for members of the public but even for the assemblymen.

“I think this is something very wrong and non-transparent,” he added.

Chong also said the state reserve fund had declined in the two years under GPS, from RM30 billion in 2017 to RM23 billion in 2019.

“The figure as of Dec 31, 2020 was not tabled in the state assembly.

“The 2019 figure was in the budget document for 2021, which was tabled in the assembly at the end of 2020. That is the figure for 2019,” he said, adding that the final figure for 2020 for the should be in the budget document for 2022.

“As you remember, there was a special sitting helmed by the state government announcing the budget not in the state legislative assembly but at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

“In that announcement, there was no budget document given, only the speech by Abang Johari Openg.”

Chong, the Kota Sentosa assemblyman, also questioned the state’s multi-billion projects and urged all opposition parties to work together against GPS.

“Many multi-billion projects have been announced by Abang Johari,” he said.

“RM1 billion for communication towers, RM5 billion for the second trunk road project – all projects are always in the billions.

“Sarawak needs change, or at least a strong opposition, otherwise GPS will have a blank cheque to spend the public’s money.”

He also revealed 18 of the party’s 26 candidates for the upcoming election, of which 11 would be new faces.

He said the candidates for the remaining eight seats would be announced after GPS has made known its candidates.

For the six seats in Kuching, he said DAP would wait until GPS component SUPP has announced its candidates while for the other two seats in Sibu, it was willing to cooperate with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

“For the Dudong and Bawang Assan seats, there were previous negotiations with PSB but not very successful.

“So we are willing to compromise and still open our door for final negotiations with PSB to show our sincerity in cooperating with them against GPS,” he said.

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