Friday, August 14

Chong worries about effect of by-election on coming state polls

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Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen is concerned that what had happened in the Tanjung Piai by-election would be reflected in the coming state election due in 2021.

He said in a statement yesterday that it not only mirrored the poor performance of the PH government in fulfilling its election manifesto promises, but also showed that PH had been losing not only the support of the Malays but also the Chinese as well.

“The Tanjung Piai by-election result must be taken seriously by the PH leadership. Though it may only be the result of one by-election, it is nevertheless the general indication of the rakyat’s dissatisfaction towards the performance of the PH government after 18 months in government,” said the state DAP chairman.

Reminding the PH leadership that the Sarawak state election is just around the corner, Chong said there must be a discernible change of federal government policies in the right direction.

“Therefore, between now and the next Sarawak state election which may be held as early as six months from now, there must be a discernible change of federal government policies in the right direction.

“We do not need to search far for what is the right direction. We only need to refer to the 14th general elections manifesto which had won us the government, which is in general, a middle-path, progressive and fair government for all races,” he said.

He likened the Tanjung Piai by-election as a term assessment for the PH government with the next 15th general election as the final year examination.

From this term assessment, he said the PH government had failed miserably – not only did PH not gain any increase in Malay support, it had lost the majority of the Chinese support.

“The people have spoken loud and clear. It is time for the top leadership and the cabinet to urgently make amends and re-think the government’s policies and direction henceforth,” said Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

He urged PH leadership not to be content with the fact that there were still three more years before the next general election, as the Sarawak state election was just around the corner.

The state DAP chairman said the Sarawak state election would be the mid-year assessment for the PH government, and if they fail again, the momentum would continue till the end of the term.

From another perspective, he said the Tanjung Piai fiasco was a blessing in disguise as it gave the state PH the early warning signal rather than finding out the hard facts after the Sarawak state election or the 15th general election.

“To all the Sarawak PH members and supporters, let us not be despaired by the result of Tanjung Piai by-election. It is a battle lost but not the war,” he said.