Thursday, June 12, 2014

No unity government with Adenan

KUCHING: The DAP has ruled out participating in the government currently helmed by Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

Its state assemblyman for Padungan,Wong King Wei, does not see the opposition Pakatan Rakyat joining forces with Adenan.
Giving his take in the local media in conjunction with Adenan’s 100th day in office, Wong said the main reason for ruling out such an idea is Adenan’s emphasis on form rather than substance.

“It’s said that a new broom sweeps clean. (But) it is very disturbing to see that there are no changes in policies even with this change of leadership.”
He acknowledged that Adenan has brought a new style in his first 100 days in office, “but (is pursuing) the same old policies as his predecessor”.
“To propose a joint government does give the people some space for imagination,” noted Wong. “But the great differences in policies have proved that this (unity government) is impossible.”
He cited the recent unprecedented courtesy call by the opposition on Adenan, his approachable style and apparent willingness to listen and accept differing opinions, the emergence of the
Teras Party on the last day of the May sitting of the State Legislative Assembly, as “fuelling the imagination and expectations of Sarawakians for a unity government”.
“This (unity government) is not a new idea,” said Wong. “I saw the same concept at work in the Netherlands when I visited the Parliament there.”
He said “the opposition-government relationship should not be seen as an enmity”. However, he does not see any “middle ground” emerging, much less the prospect of a harmonious relationship with the ruling Barisan Nasional government.
Wong sees a stronger economy, a safer living place for all Sarawakians and environmental conservation as essential pre-requisites for a unity government.
His party also strongly supports bringing down the crime rate and improving the public transport system to reduce the rising car ownership.
New style alone not enough
On the economy, Wong claimed that Adenan has not reported how he will deal with the tremendous economic pressures facing the people and how he will help increase their income while arresting the spiralling cost of living.
He noted that Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a company linked to Adenan’s predecessor and now Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, continues to enjoy a monopoly in the state economy.
He cited the maintenance of state roads, a monopoly held by CMS, as a case in point.
“All state lands should be sold through fair and open auctions and not sold to cronies at dirt cheap prices,” said Wong. “Ironically, our housing prices are the same as in Johor Baru although Sarawak has plenty of land which is sold cheaply to cronies for development.”
The way the property market is being handled, including giving out monopolies in cement supplies and manufacturing, “has caused housing prices in major cities and towns in Sarawak to increase sky high”, said Wong.
He wants the Sarawak government to emulate Singapore in handling housing development to cut the cost of land and prevent first-time buyers from being saddled with the various costs transferred to them.
Wong sees no change from Taib’s policy of building mega dams and opening up oil palm plantations. In fact, the Sarawak government is adding to the existing stock of one million hectares under oil palm cultivation, using techniques that harm the environment. Besides, construction work on the proposed 10 dams will be proceeding as planned.
“A new style alone will not bring change to Sarawak and will not give the people a better life,” he said.