KUCHING (June 8): Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) maintains its view that the pay cut of ministers, assistant ministers and assemblymen from the state’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is ‘merely a drop of water in the ocean’.
Rather, it said the move was only a show of solidarity between the GPS and its federal counterparts in Perikatan Nasional (PN).
“The suffering of the people calls for more action of real substance (from GPS), instead of cosmetic action to show solidarity with its West Malaysian political partners.
“What is needed is rapid roll-out of vaccines across the state, enlisting all medical professionals including the GPs (general practitioners) and also for the private hospitals to assist.
“What is needed is doing away with the bureaucratic red tapes and the arduous process of registration and assessment before anyone could get a vaccination,” said PSB in a statement.
The salary reduction involving the ‘YBs’ (elected representatives) from GPS might amount to RM3 million – a value that PSB regarded as ‘a drop in the ocean’.
In rebutting PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s remarks about the pay cut, the GPS Backbenchers Club had responded: “It is time that they (PSB and other assemblymen from the Opposition) to stop politicking, step it up and carry out their roles in helping Sarawak recover from Covid-19.”
It further said the contribution by the GPS-led state government via the pay cut of its members signified the solidarity on the fight against Covid-19.
Adding on, PSB viewed GPS as a partner of the PN-led federal government and yet, GPS had failed to deliver what mattered the most – the immediate availability of vaccination for all Sarawakians.
PSB said it had been working hard in the fight against Covid-19 and doing the best it could by distributing educational pamphlets, face masks, sanitisers and food aid to those in need.
“We had also offered our assistance to the state government to help the people, but none of the PSB assemblymen was given the opportunity to serve in the fight against Covid-19.
“We call upon the GPS government to put the people’s health and well-being first by setting aside political differences with us in order to unite as one ‘Covid-19 Fighting Team’.
“We repeat our call upon the GPS government to stop all those lavish projects immediately and divert the billions of ringgit from those projects towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic effects from the MCO (Movement Control Order), which would be far more effective than the ‘RM3-million drop in the ocean’,” said PSB.
The party also said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) should be left to the professionals, and ‘politicians should get out and stay out’.
According to PSB, it is time for GPS to be transparent with the people on all matters concerning the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that it is only through transparency that the public could be reassured as to what the government is doing for them.
“Let the professionals decide on the best course of action and advise the government. Let this advice be made public so that the people would know what is being done.
“Now is the time to take swift and decisive action. Now, more than ever, we need firm and strong leadership. We cannot have half-hearted measures to deal with the surging cases.
“Look across the seas to other countries that have controlled the pandemic, countries like Singapore and Australia. Emulate them,” said PSB.
PSB said it would always stand ready to assist the government in this fight against a common enemy –‘a fight that Sarawak must win and win quickly, for the sake of the people’.