GPS have threatened to terminate allocations and projects should they be voted out of power. When did it become acceptable for the ruling coalition to hold their voters hostage?
Abang Johari Tun Openg better known as Abang Jo has committed to allocating RM1.5b for Upper Rejang Development Authority IF he comes back to power.
While on the surface, this may seem like a good thing, the underlying message is cold and calculated. In other words, this is a thinly veiled threat that he will hold back development until he is guaranteed to come back to power.
This is akin to holding the Sarawak people ransom for their vote.
Such “development” as bait for votes is not something that befits a true political leader. It also raises two important questions:
- Why wait till after State Elections for the allocation of RM1.5 billion?
- Why wait after 57 years to promise development for Kapit and Upper Rejang region?
There is absolutely nothing stopping him, right now as the Chief Minister of Sarawak from allocating RM 1.5bn for development purposes. In fact, it is sorely needed as the money will help generate job opportunities.
He is also implying that if the opposition comes into power that they would stop all development projects. What is his basis for such an outrageous claim? Is he confusing Pakatan Harapan for Perikatan Nasional that cancelled many socially beneficial projects particularly in Penang and Sabah when they became the federal government?
Furthermore DAP Sarawak chairman has clearly outlined his course of actions when it comes to ongoing developmental projects.
For one, he has assured the people that all projects and programs would continue. If there were to be any changes, it would be purely to improve the effectiveness of said projects. The promises made by DAP in terms of ongoing projects are as follows:
It is obvious that businesses need not fear a change of government. The only people who need to fear are the cronies who have survived who for decades have gotten rich off their political connections.
Even when PH took over the federal government in 2018, the Pan Borneo Highway project continued with no issue. The only change was the removal of the middle man LBU. By doing this PH was able to redirect RM 3.1billion back into the people of Sarawak, which would have otherwise been pocketed by LBU.
To highlight another important case, we must look at Jepak Holding’s electrification of rural schools project. There was a huge funding of RM 1.25 billion for 369 schools in Sarawak. Instead, the money went into the pockets of a few influential people.
At the end of the day, the money was spent but none of the schools got their solar hybrid system. The case is now on trial involving the wife of the ex-Prime Minister Najib.
Surely, the PH Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng will not allow such similar corruption to happen under the PH Government. As such, the repair of dilapidated school projects was handled with very stringent terms and conditions.
It is irresponsible for Abang Jo to disingenuously imply that PH would in any way hinder development for Sarawak. There is simply no evidence and no basis for those type of harmful assumptions.
Since he is in power right now he needs to do everything he can to help the people weather the effects of this current economic recession.
Playing the carrot and stick game with your impoverished voters is cruel and unnecessary. You have the power to make those changes now, so why wait?
This article was inspired by DAP Sarawak Chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s statement on the 5th of October