By John Isaac
BY depriving Opposition assemblymen of allocations for their constituency, GPS has short-changed voters for more than 50 years.
“In fact, they (GPS) are undermining and discriminating Sarawakians for their democratic rights and voices.
“Especially so when the opposing assemblymen are also excluded from the action committees and not selected to helm the chairman’s post for the public accounts committee (PAC).
“It was only during the PH government that the PAC chairman was held by the opposition to provide better check and balance on the executive’s powers,” said Julian Tan, the special assistance to state DAP chairman, Chong Chieng Jen.
Julian said a good and clean government can withstand intense scrutiny and criticism.
“Without transparency, check and balance, we risk wastages that could be used to fast-track the development in the state. Sadly after 50 over years being governed by GPS, Sarawakians have no idea how billions of state funds were utilised and not tally with the development we should have had,” he said.
He said progressiveness and speedy development were only possible if the essence of democratic governance was retained; namely, accountability, check and balance.
“When the tax payer’s money is put into good use can we fast track development in line with the billions spent.
“The government of the day has basically ‘absolute power’; senators were appointed, and with no local council elections, mayors were also appointed.
“It is no surprise that those appointed tend to sing the tunes of their political masters,” he said.
Julian said Sarawakians should not be held ransom to what is rightfully their democratic rights.
“Sarawakians can choose for themselves by voting for the people they think can best serve them and not be used as a political tool.
“In many ways, they represent the first respondents to the problems faced by residents,” he said.
He said it was not surprising that during the PH government, GPS did not support the federal government’s (PH government) plans to proceed with local government elections in 2021 which required the people to vote for their mayor.
“GPS silenced the voice of Sarawakians and deprived us of our right for a check and balance and the right to appoint those whom we deemed fit to run our cities,” he stressed.
The confidence and supply agreement (CSA) signed between Perak Menteri Besar and the state Opposition marked the new political milestone of reform in the country.
“The GPS state government should abandon its archaic practices of the last century.
“They have been running Sarawak in the most exclusive and opaque manner and should learn from the Perak government, especially in giving equal allocations to all constituencies, so the people will not be ‘punished’ for supporting the opposition,” he said.
The CSA agreement also required that the Public Accounts Committee chairman must be an opposition assemblyman.
“Such is the beginning of check and balance, the essence of democratic governance we all need and can be proud of,” added Julian.