SIBU: Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is playing with fire at the expense of its people by ganging up with UMNO and Pas to oust the people mandated government.
She said whatever physical improvements to our state which they think they could bring about through their ministerial posts, it would never be good for the people if our social and constitutional rights are compromised in any way.
“As such, I call on the Sarawakians to rise up at this crucial time to say no to the GPS government in the next state election,” she added in her reaction to the new Federal Cabinet.
Chang said the cabinet lineup was obviously to reward Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties and PN friendly party with an increase of 15 minister and deputy minister posts.
“GPS has obviously been generously rewarded,’ she said.
However, Chang said the composition of the line up should be a serious concern for the people of Sarawak for the following reasons.
“Firstly, for increasing the ministerial posts, PN govt is taking us back to the old BN days of frivolous & careless spending of tax payers money.
While the PH government had started their term with an austerity drive of downsizing the cabinet and civil servants, the PN seemed to be going the opposite direction.
There is no reason for this increase when for the past 22 months, the PH government had shown that 55 ministerial posts was sufficient to run the government efficiently.”
With the new bloated line up, Chang said more of the tax payers money would need to be used to pay the salaries and allowances and office expenses of the additional 15 ministers and deputy ministers.
“And with the four new senior minister posts, would they be paid the full ministers’ pay or a higher pay? Would their perks and benefits be the same the full ministers’ or would they be given more? Whatever it is, the people would have to pay the price.
And with the 1MDB debts still not fully being paid off yet and of which the government has a annual commitment to pay the debt interest till 2021, of RM1.7 billion, the people would be looking at very bleak days economically.”
Secondly, Chang said with PAS secretary general, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan appointed the law minister, Sarawakians should be concerned if he would push to revive the controversial bill RUU355 to amend the Shariah Court (Criminal jurisdiction) Act in parliament again.
“With a PAS law minister, it is also very worrying how his personal and party’s outlook may influence the civil legislations of our secular state. This would be a serious threat to the secular nature of our Federal constitution.”
Thirdly, Chang said with another PAS appointment of a deputy women and family minister, the women in Sarawak have a real cause for concern that the policy to impose a minimum marriage age to protect our children might now never materialise.
She said PH government had been working on raising the age so as to reduce child marriages in our country and of which Sarawak has been one with the highest statistic.
“Pas has never hide the fact that they opposed to the proposed policy because it is not in line with their ideology.”