KUCHING: Two Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders have ticked off DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen for trying to conjure up a negative perception that the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem was dictating the nomination and polling dates.
PBB supreme council member Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who is also Asajaya assemblyman, said he was irked by Chong for playing dumb on the Election Commission’s freedom to decide the nomination and polling dates.
He pointed out the remark made by Chong on the nomination and polling dates proposed by the Chief Minister was ‘petty and ridiculous’.
“The Chief Minister was just making a proposal on the dates of nomination and polling for the State Election to be on April 18 and 30. Surely YB Chong knows what is a ‘proposal’,” said Karim.
Adenan had made known the proposed dates – April 18 for nomination and April 30 as polling day – when launching an election seminar for Satok constituency at the Damai Beach Resort on Friday night.
Karim said even if the Commission decided to agree with the proposal, it did not mean that the Chief Minister controls the Election Commission as alleged by Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman.
Chong was reported as saying the Chief Minister had chosen April as the date for the polls in order to coincide with his Bersih 4 trial. The assemblyman was charged with taking part in a street rally on Aug 28 last year while on his way to join a Bersih 4 gathering at a sports field here.
If convicted, he is liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000, which will disqualify him from contesting in any election for five years.
Abdul Karim opined that instead of uttering such allegation against the Chief Minister, Chong “should have been thankful to Adenan for revealing the proposed dates as it will erase all speculations” and make it easier for both Barisan Nasional and the opposition to prepare for the state election.
“Surely YB Chong knows that this has never been done before, and I’m sure what CM Adenan (has done) is to give opportunities to all parties a reasonable time to get themselves prepared for the election instead of groping in the dark.
“YB Chong should be thankful to CM Adenan for his fairness to all,” added the Assistant Minister of Housing and Assistant Minister of Youth Development.
BN Sarawak Backbenchers Club chairman Abdullah Saidol, on the other hand, said Chong was always loaded with political imagination about everything the BN government does.
“His allegation about Adenan influencing EC is another attempt to demonise the Chief Minister’s increasing popularity among Sarawakians,” said Abdullah who is also Semop assemblyman from PBB. He also spoke of rumours regarding plans by DAP’s elected representatives to contest in other constituencies because they are aware of their decreasing popularity and non-performance in their respective constituencies.
“DAP’s representatives are always busy criticising other people and trying to avoid assessing their report card or performance in their own areas,” he said.