By John Isaac
PAKATAN Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen is unperturbed by the reaction from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) over his proposal for a ratio of 70:30 seat allocation between PH component parties and PSB.
Chong, who is also Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman, said he was merely putting forward the proposal and it would be up to PSB to take or leave it.
“All parties have their right to contest in as many seats in elections as they wish. It is up to the PSB leadership to make the call.
“As for PH, we are being pragmatic and genuine in wanting to bring about more equality and fairness to Sarawak.
“In the past decade, we have seen too much resources being plundered to benefit only a few groups and cronies, while the general populace are kept poor and inadequate,” he said.
This, said Chong, was especially so when it comes to the rural people whose land and timber resources have been greedily exploited.
He was asked about PSB’s reaction that it insisted on contesting in all the 82 seats come the next state election, with an ultimate goal of replacing the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as the next Sarawak government despite his proposal.
On Sunday, Chong came up with the proposal of working with PSB through seat allocations of 30 per cent of the total 82 seats to PSB.
“The question whether PSB is genuinely fighting for the interests of the people of Sarawak or its financiers behind the scene is still a question of concern.
“This is because its financial backers are deeply involved in the timber and plantation business,” said Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.
There has been widespread speculation that the diversified KTS Group, which also owns a stable of newspapers in East Malaysia is backing PSB.
Critics have warned that this could lead to conflict of interests for PSB and its alleged financiers when it comes to issues like Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.