Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Date: Dated 14th May 2018
Subject: Big NO to BN joining PH
There are conflicting statements in the media on the subject of Sarawak’s Barisan National Parties (BN) in particular Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) wanting to join the Pakatan Harapan (PH). We a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Sarawak are joining other Sarawak voters, in the recently completed 14th General Election, to strongly object such a move.
Rumours started circulating that PBB wish to join PH after a widely reported visit by Tun Taib Mahmud, Sarawak’s current Governor and the former Chief Minister of Sarawak who was once the chairman of the state’s BN, met Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the newly elected PH Prime Minister of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur. Since the visit was timed after BN have suffered a drastic loss in the elections the speculation was that Taib was trying to negotiate for his party and/or the BN coalition in Sarawak to join the PH.
BN lost generally because of the voters’ unhappiness or dissatisfaction with BN and are hoping for a beneficial change. But if the state BN component parties are admitted into the PH coalition, what change can civil society expect? All the struggles of the CSOs against BN’s oppressive policies would be brought to nought.
PH opening the door to BN component parties would be unacceptable for the voters who voted for PH. And we can also safely assume that those voters who had voted the state BN parties would not want it either. Such an arrangement, at all levels, undermines and subverts the will of Sarawak’s voters at large.
Accepting the BN component parties into their coalition must be avoided at all cost. For the last sixty years Malaysia have never had a formidable opposition party. Since the BN has lost the Federal Government to PH in the recent general election, BN should play their role as an opposition in order to provide a good check and balance.
Malaysia and Sarawak, needs a competent, honest transparent, people-friendly & people-centred government. Just as important and at the same time there is a necessity for an equally qualified opposition to safeguard our democracy. Malaysia needs to work towards a two-party multi-racial system, just like in other developed nations. The results of the just concluded 14th General Elections, is a natural progression towards such a system.
1) Save Sarawak Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers)
2) Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
3) Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
4) Persatuan Dayak Sarawak (PEDAS)
5) Jaringan Tanah Hak Adat Bangsa Asal Sarawak (TAHABAS)
6) Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (BRIMAS)
7) Gerakan Anak Sarawak (GASAK)
8) Sarawak Indigenous Lawyers Alliance (SILA)
9) Persatuan Masyarakat Tering Miri (PMTM)
10) Building Indigenous Initiatives and Heritage (BIIH)
11) Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E)