by Wong Ho Leng
Sarawak DAP chairman
Fellow Sarawakians. Today is a milestone in our long struggle for change. Pakatan Rakyat has successfully won 15 seats, nearly doubling our representation in the State Assembly. This result is a clear and bold message to the BN Government. The people have declared in no uncertain terms that we want change.
Judging from the results state-wide and the spectacular defeat of SUPP President and Deputy Chief Minister George Chan, it is now clearly untenable for Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to remain in power. The people of Sarawak have effectively delivered a vote of no confidence to the leadership of the Chief Minister. If he chooses to cling on to power, he will be openly defying the wishes of the people.
Today, Sarawakians have come out in a show of force to vote against corruption, cronyism and abuse of power. Today, Sarawakians have rejected elitist politics and irresponsible governance. Today, Sarawakians have stood up and demanded a government that is competent, accountable and transparent.
No longer will the people accept lip service and false promises. No longer will the people accept leaders that enrich themselves at the expense of the people.
The results today are a strong indication of the desire for immediate change. The needs of the people must be looked after. Sarawakians now expect the government to deliver comprehensive reform programmes that will directly benefit the people.
Sarawakians now demand:
• Greater and fairer distribution of its natural resources. We want oil royalty to be increased from 5% to 20%.
• Land issues to be resolved immediately. We want transparency in land alienation and a swift solution to Native Customary Rights issues.
• Equal opportunities in employment and business. We want an open tender system to replace the monopolistic practice currently in place.
• Fundamental infrastructural needs have to be addressed. We want proper roads, clean water, electricity and greater internet penetration, especially in the rural areas.
• We also want educational opportunities to be available to every Sarawakian child across the state.
The will of the people will only be ignored at the Government’s peril. If they do not heed the call for change, their time will soon be up.
The people have spoken, and the message is clear. Change, or be changed.