KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31, 2016:
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has accused Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem of being autocratic when he announced the dates of the Sarawak elections.
“Adenan, who commands a certain popular appeal, seemingly showcases willingness to engage and understand society, reminding us of the “Pak Lah effect”.
“However, the announcement of the chosen election dates has exposed that the nature of Barisan Nasional has not changed,” she claimed at a Press statement.
She said as stated by Sarawak Keadilan chief Baru Bian and his counterpart state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, “the power of the state government ends with dissolution of assembly and It is only the Election Commission (EC) that decides on election dates”.
“We must be able to tell the difference between the public face of democracy and the real, behind the scenes face of Adenan Satem’s autocracy.
“It appears that a leopard never really changes its spots, it merely covers it up. And this is the leopard that the Sarawakians will be facing in the coming state elections.
“A populist Adenan changes nothing: Native Customary Rights (NCR), good governance, transparency in administration etc could not be materialised under the five decade rule of the BN.”
She further alleged that it was PKR together with other Opposition colleagues who were vocal in demanding recognition of Sarawak’s 18 points – NCR land rights, addressing maligned and inequitable development and growth in the state.
“In fact Adenan only reacted to what the Opposition voiced out.
“We must never once let our guard down with the siren call of ‘give me five more years which will be proven as another false promise to bring real democratic change to Sarawak.”
Nurul said the challenge for the Opposition was to stay united and put Sarawakians first.
“The achievements of the last state elections were due to strong, united Opposition cooperation. Today the challenge is bigger for Pakatan Harapan.
“All parties must remain committed to put the interests of Sarawak’s people above partisan interests.
“We should not allow BN to take advantage over our differences. Unity is the key to success.”
She said in the 2011 state elections, Sarawak PKR successfully secured three out of 49 seats – a challenging feat considering we went head to head with PBB in 28 seats; seven against the SPDP, and nine with PRS.
“We remain committed in exacting change through the electoral process – despite the Election Commission’s flaws and the leverage held by the incumbent.
“If we want to advance, or even preserve our gains thus far, we must be committed to a united front.
“We urge everyone to put aside their squabbles and showcase maturity to convince Sarawak’s voters that we are capable of replacing BN.
It was reported that the date Adenan announced was merely a proposed date and that he reiterated it was up to the EC to agree or otherwise.