KUCHING (Nov 25): Participation of the state’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the federal unity government is vital to reflect true unity, an Opposition backbencher told the august House today.
Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Padungan) said the formation of a unity government could be a new dawn in Malaysia and even in Sarawak.
“However, a ‘unity government’ cannot be a truly unity government without the participation of GPS, the coalition governing Sarawak and having the largest number of members of Parliament from Sarawak,” he said when debating the Sarawak Budget.
Chong asserted that what is best for Sarawak is a competent multicultural federal government that takes care of all regardless of race, religion or background.
He opines that the ‘Sarawak First’ slogan will sound hollow and meaningless when the whole country “goes to the dock”.
“We are an integral part of Malaysia and thus the success or failure of Malaysia will impact us directly,” he said.
As such, Chong hoped that the GPS will be part of the federal government.
“It’s now time to heal, reconcile, find commonalities and rebuild our beloved nation. Let’s put aside our differences and come together to rebuild our nation and for the betterment of our people.
“This will just be the beginning and the real work starts now,” he said.
He said Sarawak cannot be so naive to think that extremism in Peninsular Malaysia would not affect Sarawakians or that they can somehow protect themselves from such divisive sentiments.
He pointed out that national policies affect everyone and thousands of Sarawakian students travel to public universities in Peninsular Malaysia, exposing themselves to such negative and divisive sentiments on top of continuous migration into Sarawak which brings the risk of such sentiments further infiltrating the state’s harmonious society.
“On top of that, we are facing the threat of a global economic recession and we need a government that understands and is competent in addressing the economy, instilling international confidence, and attracting investors, be it international or domestic.
“As Sarawakians, what we want is a multiracial Federal Government in Putrajaya that embraces pluralism and to treat all Malaysians regardless of our race, religion or backgrounds fairly, and not one that instigates, spew hatred and play with racial and religious tension to further divide us Malaysians.
“At the end of the day, we have to put the country first and make decisions for our future generations and their generations to come. With all these factors considered, the nation finally could breathe a sigh of relief when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the Prime Minister yesterday,” he said.
Chong believed that only a government led by Anwar can steer the country towards better political stability, instil principles of good governance, which will allow the country to progress as well as attract foreign investments.
He said the choice of making Anwar the new prime minister was proven right when Malaysia stocks surged the most in over two years since March 2020 on bullish market sentiment and the Ringgit gained 1.9 per cent against the dollar, becoming the best performer in Asia since the announcement.